Often, some of the very basic steps to arrange a safe working environment for lone workers are not put in place. A yearly risk assessment ensures that all precautions are taken to ensure the safety of staff. Below are some of the questions to ask yourself when carrying out a risk assessment.
It must be identified if the Lone Worker can adequately control the risks of the job
Below are some things to be aware of when doing a lone working risk assessment:
- Identify and Analyse the Risk: Who is classified as a lone worker within the organisation? Look particularly at those who work in the community with high risk clients and those who work out of hours.
- Any of the following staff should be classified as lone working and in need of extra protection against high risk clients. For example, community care workers, housing officers, probation officers, environmental officers, social workers, social service, benefits workers, voluntary staff, NHS staff and anyone who seems in need of extra care such as women who work alone.
- Determine the level of risk by considering if there are appropriate lone worker policies, procedures, good practice standards and guidelines in place. Are they used by staff and up to date? Are they the most efficient option? Do staff need further training? Think about access to the work environment, is there a safe way in and out?
- After recording the risk assessment and preparing an action plan, staff must be informed of the risks and the actions to be taken. Training is crucial for the successful implementation of a lone worker solution.
- Review your risk assessment every year. As staff distribution changes across an organisation so do the policies and procedures needed to ensure their safety and therefore to adhere to legislation.