Lone working can be defined as any work activity that is carried out by an individual in isolation from other employees.
A lone worker can therefore be thought of as someone who works by themselves without direct or regular supervision.
The work activity should normally last for more than a short period of time but it does not have to occur frequently. In other words, there must appropriate controls in place for occasional occurrences of lone working.
In this article we discuss the legislation around lone working, and the training and monitoring procedures that should be in place in order to mitigate the associated hazards.
There is no general legal prohibition on working alone but employers are bound by their duties under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSAW) and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSW).
- Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a duty of care on employers to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees whilst at work.
- Regulation 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at work Regulations 1999 places a requirement on every employer to assess the risks to employees whilst at work and any others who may be affected by that work.
An employer cannot delegate or transfer his responsibilities under HSAW or MHSW to employees who work alone. Employees do, however, have a responsibility to:
- take reasonable care of themselves and other people affected by their work activities
- co-operate with their employers in meeting their legal obligations.
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For further information, please contact Joanne Taylor, Development Executive on +44 (0)161 957 8071 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.