Lone Working Code of Practice
Important Information: The Policies and Guidance on the website have been amended for accessibility reasons. Hard copies of the originals can be requested from email@example.com or 01509 222181. When making decisions or attempting works based on these documents please consult the originals.
This Code of Practice is approved by the University Health, Safety and Environment Committee. It supports the University Lone Working Policy by providing more detailed guidance to all staff and students who lone work. It should be read in conjunction with the Lone Working Policy.
This document provides further information for schools and services to fulfil their statutory duties and ensure the health and safety of staff and students who lone work.
Safety Management Structure
The university safety management structure is outlined below:
The roles and responsibilities of the duty holders can be located in section 3 of the lone working policy. This section will expand on the duties of the Lone Working Duty Officers.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Lone Working Duty Officer
The roles of a Lone Working Duty Officer as outlined in section 3 of the lone working policy are as follows: Lone Working Duty Officers shall:
- Be aware of any lone working activity that is occurring within their school or service
- Respond to lone working incidents when required
- Notify the Safety Officer and Supervisor of any incidents that occur while lone working
The role of a Lone Working Duty Officer is to monitor in an “on call” type fashion. They will act as a point of contact in emergency situations and if required be responsible for liaising with security to ensure the safety of the worker.
It is recommended that the school or service have a process that allows the Lone Working Duty Officers to be notified of lone working activity. This should be done ahead of time to allow the work to proceed. In addition to this if using the lone working App (see section 4) the Lone Working Duty Officers will be notified.
Responding to Incidents
Once the appointed Lone Working Duty Officer has been notified of the work occurring, they are responsible for responding to emergencies, as such they should be contactable for the duration of the work.
This will involve ensuring the individual is still working safely. If there is no response from the worker, then the Lone Working Duty Officer will be required to contact university security. Providing details of the workers location and task, if using the lone working App (see section 4) there is a procedure for this.
In the event of an incident involving a lone worker the Lone Working Duty Officer should notify the supervisor and school/departmental safety officer. Giving the details as outlined in the lone working policy, followed by completing a SHE incident form to notify the Health and Safety Service.
Before work can commence a suitable risk assessment must be completed and approved following the procedures implemented by the school or service. The lone working aspect should form part of the task risk assessment with the additional controls in place to minimise the risks and does not require a separate lone working risk assessment.
If using the university risk assessment form “lone working out of hours” can be selected in the work activity section of the form as shown below:
In order to determine whether an activity can be safely completed by a lone worker the introduction of categorising the activity with respect to risk is a useful tool. This document will suggest the use of 3 categories High, Moderate and Low risk. A summary of where lone working is suitable is given in table 1.
The activity SHOULD NOT be completed unaccompanied
The activity can be completed alone but suitable control measures need to be in
The activity is safe to be completed alone with a suitable risk assessment
Some examples of tasks that fall into the following categories are given in the sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.3.
High Risk Activities
No person should work alone where there is a serious health or safety hazard. Practical examples of this include:
- Work with exposed electrical equipment at dangerous voltages
- Working at height
- Confined spaces
Moderate Risk Activities
Moderate risk activities can be carried alone providing they are suitably controlled, following the completion of a suitable risk assessment. Which ensures the hazards are identified and effectively controlled.
Low Risk Activities
Where there is no hazard involved in the activity, e.g. reading, writing, use of rooms for reference purposes, display screen equipment etc.
The worker conducting low risk activities is still required to follow the university policy and local procedures for lone working. This includes having a suitable risk assessment, this can be done through familiarisation with a local school/service generic risk assessment for out of hours working.
Managing Lone Working with the Lone Working App
The university has provided a lone working app designed to aid in the management of lone working activity and complements the policy and code of practice. Instructions for how to access the tool can be found on the health and safety website under guidance.
As previously stated, no work should be started before a suitable risk assessment has been completed and approved.
When the worker begins the task, they should log their work activity using the lone working register App. This will notify the Lone Working Duty Officer that the work has commenced.
After the initial waiting time the worker will be prompted via the App to state if they are still lone working. The initial notification time can be set between 1-240 minutes. However, this should be agreed upon during the risk assessment process and should be commensurate to the risk associated with the task.
If the worker responds “YES” to the first prompt the timer restarts and logs the response. If the worker does not respond after 5 minutes a second prompt will be sent to the worker.
If the worker does not respond “YES” in this case, after an additional 10 minutes the worker will be notified again, with a push notification and Email being sent to the Lone Working Duty Officer.
The Lone Working Duty Officer should then contact the worker to check they are still safe and healthy. In the event they cannot contact the worker they should contact university security using 01509 222141, providing them with information about the location of the user and the task being conducted.
Security are then able to investigate the situation and report back to the Lone Working Duty Officer. Who should then notify the workers supervisor and school/departmental safety officer in addition to completing an Assure Go Incident Form. The flow can be seen below: