Assessing and Controlling Lone Working Risks
Assessing the Risk
When carrying out a lone working risk assessment it is important to put the 'lone' element into context as many of us are frequently 'alone', either at work or at home, but this doesn't mean we are in any more danger.
As a general rule of thumb, it is still the activity that remains the risk, with the 'lone' part possibly increasing the consequences if the risk was realised due to, for example, the fact there was no one to immediately help.
Before starting any lone working activity always ask if it is something that can be carried out 'alone' or does it need two people, direct supervision etc.
If the activity can be carried out alone, the following should then be considered when assessing the risk:
|Workplace||Does it present a particular risk, due to the environment, location, unfamiliarity, indoors, outdoors etc?|
|Person||Is the person more vulnerable e.g. medical conditions, disabilities, expectant mothers, language barriers, gender, maturity etc?|
|Activity||Can it be done alone e.g. manual handling / working at height or does it present a particular risk e.g. equipment, process, substance, time, location?|
|Access||Can the workplace be entered / exited easily?|
|Others||Is there a risk from others e.g. 'high risk' group / area being visited, dealing with the 'unknown' element of the general public etc?|
|Information / Training||Does the person have appropriate training and information to undertake the activity alone?|
|Supervision||What arrangements are in place e.g. regular checks, Security, signing in / out, scheduled contact times, CCTV, permits to work etc?|
|Emergency Assistance||Are First Aid facilities available, can help be summoned e.g. mobile, radio, alarm etc?|
|Emergency Procedures||Has information been provided on what to do in an emergency e.g. fire, spills, first aid, contact numbers etc?|
Controlling the Risk
Once you have assessed the risk you can then decide what controls are needed. Click on the following to help you with this: