The risks of working alone

Is it legal to work alone and is it safe?

Working alone is not against the law and in many cases it will often be safe to do so. The law however requires employers to consider carefully and deal with any health and safety risks for employees who work alone.

Employers are responsible for the health & safety and the welfare at work of all their employees and workers and they also have responsibility for the health and safety of any contractors or self-employed people who are undertaking work for them.

The above responsibilities cannot be transferred to any other person, including those people who do work alone, as it is the overall responsibility or the employer.

Workers have a responsibility to take reasonable care of themselves and also other people that may be affected by the work they are completing, but also to co-operate with their employers in meeting their legal obligations.

Who Are Lone Workers..?

Lone workers are employees or people who work by themselves without close or direct supervision, from company management, for example these can include, but not limited to:

  • A person working alone in a small workshop, petrol station, kiosk or shop
  • People who work from home other than in low-risk, office-type work
  • People working alone for long periods, eg in factories, warehouses, leisure centres or fairgrounds
  • People working on their own outside normal hours, eg cleaners and security, maintenance or repair staff
  • Workers involved in construction, maintenance and repair, plant installation and cleaning work
  • Agricultural and forestry workers
  • Service workers, including postal staff, social and medical workers, engineers, estate agents, and sales or service representatives visiting domestic and commercial premises

How Do Employers Control Risk..?

Employers have a duty to risk assess and assess risks that lone workers may encounter and take necessary steps to avoid or control risks. Below is just an example, but this must include:

  • Involving workers when considering potential risks and measures to control them
  • Taking steps to ensure risks are removed where possible, or putting in place control measures and carefully selecting work equipment to ensure the worker is able to perform the required tasks in safety
  • Instruction, training and supervision
  • Reviewing risk assessments periodically or when there has been a significant change in working practice.
  • This information was taken from the HSE website and for additional information see the HSE Lone Working Guidance Leaflet

Our Online Training Available

Personal safety for lone workers online training course, click here to register and startWe offer an online lone worker training course that will offer the learner an introduction to personal safety for the lone worker and is conducted using video based instruction from within your own secure training area.

Our course is available with free lone worker training videos, which can be paused or rewound so that you can gain a better understanding of the course content and structure as you progress through the course.

Our Course, Who Is It Suitable For..?

This lone worker online training course is an ideal learning platform for security guards, door supervisors, domestic cleaners, maintenance workers and more and once you have successfully completed training your will be able to print your lone worker training certification.

You can register and start training by clicking the “Register Now” button above, or for additional information see our main website for a breakdown of the course content by following this link: Online Lone Worker Course