Lone Working – Your Questions

Last reviewed on 21/11/2012 12:04

Question: My company wants me to move to a lone working system. Is this legal?

A: Lone working in most circumstances is not illegal but whether it is acceptable or not depends on the type of work done and where and when the person is expected to work.

There needs to be a full review of the proposed changes to include a full risk assessment to decide whether appropriate controls can be put in place to protect the lone worker.

Lone workers need to be sufficiently experienced to fully understand the risks and precautions required. Employers should set limits of what may and may not be done whilst working alone.

Lone workers should be suitably experienced and competent to deal with unusual or new circumstances and know when to stop and seek advice.

There are certain activities that shouldn’t be carried out alone, e.g. work in confined spaces or live electrical working. The employer must look at all aspects of the work and make sure that the lone worker has the facility to get assistance in an emergency. This might include taking a look at lone worker alerts and systems. If these are considered, they need to be tested and practiced to see if they are effective.

→ Read more on Lone Working