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Health and Safety Directorate

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Lone Working

Background

Establishing a healthy and safe working environment for those working alone / out of hours can be different from organising the health & safety of others at work. It will often be safe to work alone however, the law requires QMUL to think about and deal with any health and safety risks before people are allowed to lone work.
Consideration should be given to:-

  • Assessing possible areas of risk (such as manual handling, threat of violence etc.)
  • The suitability of the individual to work alone
  • Whether the workplace itself presents a risk to them
  • Having control measures in place to keep in touch and be alerted to any issues from lone workers

QMUL Documents

QMUL’s policy on Lone Working / Out of Hours Working describes the requirements that must be adhered to for all staff and students and the Guidance explains the procedures that all Faculties and Directorates must apply in order to achieve compliance with the policy. The policy and guidance can be found below

The specific Lone / Out of Hours Working risk assessment form can be found below

Points to consider

It is essential that lone workers understand the policy and guidance and abide by the local rules in force for the control of lone working in their area. Before seeking consent to lone work individuals should consider the following:

  1. Do you really need to lone work or can working practices be altered so as to avoid it.
  2. Have you confirmed that the lone working activity is not prohibited either within the policy or within your Faculty or Directorate?
  3. Has the risk assessment covering lone working been completed?
  4. Are all control measures identified within the lone working risk assessment in place before lone working begins (such as emergency contacts, lone working alarms, the use of buddy systems etc.?)

References

HSE Guidance on Working Alone: - http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/indg73.pdf
http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/workalone.htm

Contacts

For further information or guidance contact your local safety coordinator or the H&S Directorate

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