Lone Worker Risk Assessment Example
Carrying Out a Risk Assessment for Lone Working
Lone workers can face risks those in an office environment may not even think about. In the article below, we explain how to effectively evaluate and carry out a lone worker risk assessment.
As with any other form of work, employers are expected to undertake a risk assessment before employees are allowed to work alone. In the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance document ‘working alone’, a lone worker is defined as someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision.
Lone workers include those who:
Section 2 of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a legal responsibility on employers to:
prepare a written health and safety policy and bring it to the attention of employees;
provide safe systems of work;
provide a safe working environment for employees; and
provide information, instruction training and supervision.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, made under the Health and Safety at Work Act, are more specific and explicit to employers.
The law and lone working – corporate manslaughter conviction
The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 clarifies the criminal liabilities of companies, including large organisations where serious failures in the management of health and safety result in a fatality.
In February 2011, legal history was made when a company was found guilty of corporate manslaughter relating to an employee’s death. It was the first prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007 and the company was fined £385,000. The average fine for a corporate manslaughter offence in the ten years since it received royal assent is £328,820, though this figure has risen to £528,571 since the sentencing guidelines increased the maximum fine to £20million.
Risk assessment example – A proactive approach to health and safety
Employees working alone should at all times be at no greater risk than other employees. It is an employer’s duty to assess risks to employees and take steps to avoid or control the risks.
Risk assessments and action plans aim to make good health and safety management more proactive than the traditional reactive approach. They need to reflect how hazards can change based upon various factors, such as perception, experience, location, time of day, the nature of the work being carried out and whether or not the employee is regarded as a lone worker.
It is therefore crucial that risk assessments are communicated, understood and reviewed by all parties involved regularly.
Free Download – Five Step Risk Assessment Guide
Lone workers can face risks that some organisations may not even think about. As with any other form of work, employers are expected to undertake a risk assessment before employees are allowed to work alone.
Click the button below to download your free ‘Five Step Risk Assessment Guide’ to help get you started.