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Lone Working Risk Assessment Checklist

Immediately report hazards anytime using a mobile app and improve the monitoring of working conditions.

Published 28 Jul 2021

What is a Lone Working Risk Assessment?

A lone working risk assessment is a safety procedure used to protect lone workers from workplace hazards. The UK government requires all employers to address health and safety risks in the workplace which may harm lone workers.

Performing regular lone working risk assessments can help businesses establish safe working arrangements and systems for lone workers.

This article discusses:

Who are Lone Workers?

As people are legally allowed to work alone, lone workers are those whose job entails working in isolation from other employees. They can be those who work outside normal business hours, away from a fixed base, or those who work separately from others.

Anyone who works alone, including contractors, self-employed individuals, and especially employees, is considered as a lone worker. Such types of workers are exposed to higher risks of workplace hazards due to lack of assistance and supervision. 

Employers are required by the Welfare at Work Act Section 19 (United Kingdom) to conduct risk assessments. These lone workers risk assessment determines whether the employee can work by themselves.

What are the Risks of Lone Working?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has recorded a handful of information concerning lone worker accidents and fatalities. Common workplace accidents involve hazards such as slipping, tripping, falling, electrocution, using faulty machines, not wearing personal protective equipment, and unattended medical conditions. Controlling the risks of lone working is crucial for both employers and employees to make sure that safe work practices and conditions are still top priorities even when working alone.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) identified possible hazards a lone worker may be exposed to such as work accidents, inadequate first aid, diseases, lack of rest, and physical violence from other parties. The lone worker risk assessment determines if it’s safe for one person to do the job. In the event that an activity is proven to be high risk, the employer must provide a backup worker. HSA also recommends to provide control measures such as available communication using phones or tablets. Another important item is the first aid kit for non-serious injuries or to mitigate the impact of graver accidents.

Ensuring a Safe Work Environment: Employer’s Duty

Workers rely on their employers to provide a safe working environment while keeping themselves safe by taking necessary precautions. All employers must establish safe working procedures and protocols to reduce or eliminate potential hazards that lone workers may be exposed to. Employees must then cooperate with their employers about these policies. Here are 4 major issues that employers need to address when establishing a safe workplace:

  • Risk control measures – conduct regular risk assessments to identify and evaluate existing and potential hazards. Assess which hazards can be mitigated and which hazards are uncontrolled to develop more effective engineering and administrative controls.
  • Worker medical condition – ensure that all lone workers are physically fit before commencing work. Seek medical advice if needed and make sure that emergency equipment and procedures are in place.
  • Safety and competency training – develop training programs to measure and enhance worker competency level and skills.
  • Supervision – conduct periodic site visits to check current working conditions and employees’ quality of work and discuss findings with employees. Use reporting tools like iAuditor in your business and get notified of what is happening during lone working hours.

Mobile App Solution for More Effective Lone Working Risk Assessment

An essential part of establishing a safe working system for lone workers is to conduct regular risk assessments. A mobile app solution like iAuditor is an ideal replacement for paper-based risk assessments and can be incorporated into your safe work system:

  1. Lone worker benefits: Due to lack of assistance and supervision, lone workers should be competent to identify and assess the risks in the workplace, and be capable of responding to emergencies. Do paperless reporting on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Capture photo evidence of hazards and electronically share them to authorized people anytime.
  2. Employer and manager benefits: Track work progress and safety of lone workers. Comply with government requirements and get notified when there are new risks for immediate resolution.

Lone Working Risk Assessments with iAuditor

A lone worker app is a digital tool used to improve the safety of employees who work in isolation and without direct supervision. These apps are designed to improve lone worker safety by identifying, rectifying, and monitoring occupational hazards. Safety officers typically conduct lone-working risk assessments as part of a standard safety protocol.

Here’s how iAuditor simplifies lone worker safety through customizable inspection and risk assessment forms, fast reporting, and actionable insights that continually improve safety standards:

  • Convert, create, and customize inspection templates with a Lone Worker App

    iAuditor can convert your existing paper forms to digital format in seconds via smart scan. Using our easy drag-and-drop template builder, you can create comprehensive smart forms from scratch in minutes. You can also download premade lone working risk assessment templates from our public library to get you started right away. Conduct inspections using your mobile device even while offline. Collect the right data using different field types and ensure that your lone worker’s safety is prioritized.

  • Receive notifications in real-time and assign corrective actions to key personnel

    With iAuditor, you can schedule routine and ad hoc inspections to personnel and have them receive real-time notifications through the app and email. Assign actions, specify priority level, and provide notes so corrective measures can be taken. You will also be able to monitor upcoming and unfinished inspections to ensure compliance with safety standards.

  • Generate reports instantly and utilize actionable insights for continuous improvement

    After an inspection, you can instantly generate reports to be shared with appropriate personnel. The data from your inspections are automatically pushed to the web app under the analytics dashboard. Here, you can review reports broken down by time, location, department, employees and more so you can easily identify issues that need to be addressed.

To save you time, we have created lone working risk assessment templates you can download for free and fully customize.

SafetyCulture staff writer

Carlo Sheen Escano

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.

Carlo Sheen Escano is a contributing writer for SafetyCulture based in Makati City, Philippines. Sheen has experience in digital marketing and has been writing for SafetyCulture since 2018. His articles mainly discuss risks in the workplace and well-known safety and quality processes used to mitigate them. Furthermore, Sheen is passionate about providing insights to global customers on how technology can help them to do the best work of their lives.