What is a Lone Worker?

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The HSE defines a Lone Worker as “those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision.”

It lists some examples as; people working alone in premises, people who work from home, people working separately from others, people working outside normal hours.

Working alone is not in itself against the law and it will often be safe to do so. However, the law requires employers to consider carefully, and then deal with, any health and safety risks for people working alone.

Employers are responsible for the health, safety and welfare at work of all their workers. They also have responsibility for the health and safety of any contractors or self-employed people doing work for them.

Lone Worker Facts

It’s estimated there are over six million lone workers in the UK. This number has been on the increase for several years.

As advances in smartphones and communications technology enable remote connection to business networks, 18% of people now spend over 50% of their time as a Lone Worker. The research revealed that 49% admitted they’ve felt uncomfortable while working alone yet did not take action as they were nervous about the consequences or felt threatened by a person’s behaviour and didn’t want to make it worse.

According to research commissioned by EE (formerly known as Orange) and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, while 46% of people in full time employment identify themselves as Lone Workers, the term actually applies to 71%, including those who work alone in situations such as working late in the office (30%) or traveling to meetings on public transport (25%).

Read how Guardian24 works and how we can help protect your lone working employees.

Examples of Lone Workers

  • rent collectors
  • postal staff
  • social workers
  • home helps
  • doctors
  • district nurses
  • pest control workers
  • drivers
  • engineers
  • architects
  • estate agents
  • sales representatives
  • service workers
  • cleaners
  • painters and decorators
  • construction workers
  • agricultural and forestry workers