The UK Health and Safety Executive’s guidance INDG73 on the risks of lone working has been updated.
This revision includes a new section on how lone workers can be protected from the risks of work-related violence.
It says that training in personal safety, which may include conflict resolution, can help a worker recognise situations where they may be at risk and to take appropriate steps to avoid or manage the risk.
Other measures to consider include modification or design of the work environment, if appropriate, to avoid workers being isolated and providing work equipment such as devices designed to raise the alarm in an emergency which can be operated manually or automatically, for example phones or radios.
There is also more information on how managers should keep communications with lone workers, including:
- supervisors periodically visiting and observing people working alone
- pre-agreed intervals of regular contact between the lone worker and employer, using phones, radios, email, etc, bearing in mind the worker’s understanding of English
- other devices designed to raise the alarm in an emergency which can be operated manually or automatically
- implementing a robust system to ensure a lone worker has returned to their base or home once their work is completed. and new advice on the impact that lone working can have on the stress, mental health and well-being of employees.
It also reminds employers that they should regularly test technical solutions and all emergency procedures to ensure lone workers can be reached or contacted if a problem or emergency is identified.