Lone Working




The purpose of this procedure is to define the steps to be taken to ensure that all lone worker operations are safely controlled. This procedure covers University employees; however contractors are referred to HSE IND 73.


This procedure applies to the University of South Wales Group.


  1. OHSS 02.29, the procedure for risk assessment
  2. HSE IND (G) 73 Working alone – Health and safety guidance on the risks of lone working
  3. OHSS , the procedure the Site Visits and Fieldwork


Lone Workers:

  1. Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. They are found in a wide range of situations, some examples are given below:
*Only one person works on the premises;
  • Personnel who work separately from others;
  • Personnel who work outside of normal hours;
  • Mobile workers working away from their fixed base.


5.1 Responsibilities

Deans and Heads of Faculties/ Departments are responsible for the implementation of this procedure within their areas of responsibility.

5.2 General

All work situations that involve lone working must have a risk assessment completed in accordance with OHSS 02.29, the procedure for Risk Assessment (Reference 3.1) and a safe system of work detailed in a Tier 3 procedure implemented.

5.2.1 The Risk Assessment must take account of all factors involved in the working process, e.g.:

  • Is the person medically fit and suitable to work alone?
  • What training is required to ensure competency in safety matters?
  • How will the person be supervised?
  • What can and cannot be done while working alone?
  • consideration of both routine work and foreseeable emergencies, which may impose additional physical and mental burdens on the individual;
  • Can one person adequately control the risks of the job?
  • Does the workplace present a special risk to the lone worker?
  • Are there safe ways in and out for one person?
  • Can any temporary access equipment, which is necessary, such as portable ladders or trestles, be safely handled by one person?
  • Can all the plant, substances and goods involved in the work be safely handled by one person? Consider whether the work involves lifting objects too large for one person or whether more than one person is needed to operate essential controls for the safe running of equipment.
  • Is there a risk of violence?
  • Are women especially at risk if they work alone?
  • Are young workers especially at risk if they work alone?

See also HSE IND (G) 73 Working Alone in Safety (Controlling the Risks of Solitary Work) (Reference 3.2).

5.2.2 Lone workers should not be at risk more than other employees. This may require extra risk-control measures. Precautions should take account of normal work and foreseeable emergencies, e.g. fire, equipment failure, illness and accidents. Managers should identify situations where people work alone and ask questions such as those listed above.

5.2.3 Based on the Risk Assessment a specific Tier 3 procedure shall be produced for each operation or location where lone working is involved.

5.2.4 Lone workers face particular problems and so appropriate control measures will have to be put in place and recorded via a safe system of work, these may include:

  • Instruction;
  • Training;
  • Supervision;
  • Protective equipment including alarms, mobile phones, two way radios, etc;
  • Periodic site visits combined with discussions in which health and safety issues are raised.

5.2.5 Lone workers need to be sufficiently experienced and able to understand the risks and precautions fully. Lone workers should be competent to deal with circumstances, which are new, unusual, or beyond the scope of training, e.g. when to stop work and seek advice and how to handle aggression.

5.2.6 The control measures should be checked periodically to ensure that they are used correctly and a review of the Risk Assessment shall be carried out.

5.2.7 Where a lone worker is working at another employer’s workplace, then the Risk Assessment, control measures and safe system of work must be agreed jointly with the host employer’s representative.

5.2.8 Where a lone worker is working at another employer’s workplace, then the Risk Assessment, control measures and safe system of work must be agreed jointly with the host employer’s representative.

5.2.9 Any person working alone in an isolated situation should not be without some form of communication, i.e. radio, telephone etc. In addition, there should be a system of monitoring the lone worker’s whereabouts by a second party. This could be achieved by the person working alone “calling in” at set times and on arrival and departure.


Further information can be found in the OHSS Lone Worker Guidance Notes Click Here To Open