Lone Working is becoming a vital part in jobs across all sectors. It is important to discuss what is needed to ensure the safety of these Lone Workers. it is essential that companies have a Lone Worker Policy in place for employees to access and be aware of should they need it. The policy will ensure that the staff feel safe and supported within their job role.
It’s important that the policy is not filled with jargon, but is functional and understandable. That means should a staff member be put into a position where working alone is necessary they can look at the policy and understand plainly what needs to be done or if an employee has a question, they can easily find the answer.
Employers are bound by law to take appropriate measures to protect the safety of their employees (Turnbill, 2016). Once the policy is in place workers may feel safer and have a better understanding of their role, of what is expected from them and what they can expect from the company in support.
Q: What are the main things to consider when writting a Lone Working Policy?
An effective LW policy can assist in promoting a strong culture amongst employees, this will ensure safety and best practice are followed therefore reducing the risk of legal issues. Policies should be designed to alert staff to potential risks presented and describe procedures to reduce these risks.
Structure: Although not a legal document a policy should provide employees a best practice structure to follow when working alone. Your policy must follow a format that ensures consistency with other policies your organisation already has. The policy should set out the rationale for the policy, with background information, how it relates to the organisation’s values and how it will help to protect LW.
Awareness: The policy should be accessible and easy to understand, LW’s and their managers should be familiar with the document and it’s location. Copies should be issued to new employees and then reinforced through training sessions.
Guidance: A strong LW policy considers the potential risks that employees face and offers guidance to reduce these from occurring. The policy should allows workers the opportunity to make informed decisions about their safety, not to raise anxiety but to provide a framework for managing potentially difficult situations.
Consistency: It is imperative that the team and organisation shows consistency in it’s approach to the policy. Employees must share information with their colleagues to ensure the team is supportive in decisions that have been made, contradicting a colleague will lead to a potentially more vulnerable environment.
It is the responsibility of both employers and employees to ensure that the policy and principles are fulfilled where possible. Staff must, alongside the policy, always undertake a dynamic risk assessment and have the skill to adapt to the ongoing changing situation.
For more information on Lone Working, consider taking a look at our IKON Quarterly which discusses different elements of Lone Working. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us on 01473 722 924 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.