Lone Worker Support

The term ‘lone worker’ refers to anyone whose work involves (either regularly or occasionally) being on their own, without access to immediate support (and back up) from work colleagues, managers or others. This could be within their employer’s premises or anywhere else, e.g. in a community setting.

Lone Working doesn’t necessarily mean a higher risk of violence

If a situation arises that threatens a Lone Worker’s personal safety, the absence of the close presence and support colleagues means they could be more vulnerable to serious assault/injury. However, if a person works alone it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are at higher risk of violence.

Lone Workers must be informed of the health risks they face and how danger may present itself, so as to be able to recognise danger if it surfaces.

Lone Workers also need to know how to reduce the risks to a minimum (safe practice procedures) and how to summon assistance.

Communication Technology

A wide range of communication technology is now available for Lone Workers.

These are designed to enable a lone worker to signal or call for help in the event of a violent incident or another emergency. They also enable the Lone Worker to be located immediately (via GPS) to reduce assistance response time. Some also offer a ‘Man-down’ feature that automatically detects a fall (or an unexpected period of non-movement) and sends an ‘alert’ to the ‘Monitor’. However, to be effective, these devices must be used in conjunction with robust lone working ‘procedures’ that are practicable, adhered to and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure that they remain appropriate for purpose.

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