THERE IS NO UK LEGISLATION THAT SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITS LONE WORKING
That said, there are broad requirements under the HSAW Act 1974 section 2 for employers to ensure the health and safety of employees whilst at work. Additionally Reg 3 of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regs requires that an employer assesses the risks to employee's and others who maybe affected by their work. This responsibility cannot be transferred to people who work alone.
Lone working may be defined as any work activity which is intended to be carried out in isolation from other workers by an individual. The work activity should normally last for more than a short period of time. Lone working does not have to be a frequent requirement of the role and occasional occurrences still require appropriate controls.
Lone workers may be defined as those who work by themselves without direct or frequent supervision.
Types of lone working.
Lone working can take place when workers are either fixed or mobile.
Examples of lone workers in fixed locations may include employees who.
•work in a shop or petrol station, small railway stations, information kiosks,
•work in warehouses or automated plants.
•work at home.
•work outside normal hours, e.g. cleaners, maintenance staff, security staff.
•provide services to the public, e.g. social workers, home helps, community nurses.
Examples of mobile lone workers, may include employees who.
•work away from their base, or at remote locations, e.g. construction workers, maintenance staff, repair and cleaning workers.
•workers who travel as part of their work, e.g. sales staff or delivery workers.
•forestry and agricultural workers.
It should be taken in to consideration that many of these lone workers will come into more than one of the categories listed above, as well as the many and varied other possibilities, where employees are faced with lone working situations as part of their duties.
Hazards of Lone Working.
Some typical hazards which lone workers may encounter are.
•accidents, dangerous occurrences, or emergencies arising out of the work or work environment.
•inadequate provision of first aid.
•inadequate provision of rest, hygiene and welfare facilities.
•threatening verbal abuse and violence from members of the public.
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