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Policies and Procedures

Lone Working Policy

1. Introduction

1.1.This policy sets out the way that Global London College will comply with the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 and the relevant statutory provisions.

 

2. Scope

2.1.This policy covers everyone that is employed by Global London College that are exposed to lone working conditions.

 

3. Policy statement

3.1.Global London College is committed to ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, the personal safety of its employees.

3.2.It should be clearly understood by all concerned that in any situation, the reduction of risk and avoidance of untoward incidents is of paramount importance.

3.3.Where visitors or clients are involved, the emphasis must be on safeguarding them from harm, even in cases where they contribute to the disturbance.

3.4.Within the context of Global London Colleges overall Health and Safety Policy, each Directorate is required to undertake a risk assessment and produce their own procedures to assist employees in the local situation.

 

4. Definitions and explanation of terms

4.1.Global London College defines a Lone Worker as someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision. Employees are also considered to be working alone if they have neither visual nor audible communication in the event of an incident.

 

5. Equality impact assessment (Currently Lone Working  not applicable March 2016)

5.1.An initial screening equality impact assessment form  has been completed for this policy, a copy of which can be found in Appendix 1. The outcome of the  initial   screening   will  determine   whether   a full   equality   impact assessment will  be required.

 

6. Duties (roles and responsibilities)

6.1. Director of Administration  

6.1.1.Shall have overall responsibility for ensuring compliance with Health and Safety legislation.

6.1.2.Shall ensure that this policy is reviewed every three years and in the light of  any changes in working practice and/or changes in statutory legislation and/or  an incident occurs that requires improvement and /or the fire risk  assessments identifies significant risks that are not already addressed.

6.1.3.Shall ensure that adequate resources are made available to implement the policy and carry out any remedial action or amendments to this policy.

 

6.2. GLC Board

6.2.1.Shall ensure that risk assessments are carried out by DOS/ QA Manager and/ or Welfare officer as necessary and local arrangements implemented to reduce the risks.

6.2.2.Shall as legally required, liaise with third parties to ensure the safety of employees when working away from Global London College.(See GLC risk assessment form for External visits).

6.2.3.Shall respond to request for remedial action to minimize risk following an assessment, audit or inspection, by allocating funds, or seeking funds for the procurement of equipment, or changes to working practice where it will reduce  the risk of injury or ill health.

 

6.3. Estates and Facilities Manager(s)

6.3.1.Shall provide advice, guidance and support to managers in developing individual local arrangements under this policy.

6.3.2.Work with managers to investigate any incident of violence or security breech, to identify ways to reduce the risk.

6.3.3.Shall on a period basis review lone workers risk assessments to ensure the meet the needs of the individual on health and safety matters such as security arrangements, supervision, first aid.

6.3.4.Shall submit annual reports to the GLC Board, highlighting the areas of compliance and non-compliance to the lone working processes.

 

6.4. Departmental/Line Managers

6.4.1 Shall review operations to identify situations where employees may be exposed to foreseeable risks.

6.4.2 Shall produce risk assessments and implement controls, reviewing their effectiveness at intervals not exceeding 12 months or when a significant change in circumstances occurs and following any incident.

6.4.3 Shall establish clear procedures to set limits as to what can and cannot be done whilst working alone, and where appropriate, when to stop work and seek advice.

6.4.4 Shall ensure employees receive appropriate training.

 

 

6.5. Employees/ Consultants

6.5.1.Consider the potential risks associated with lone working and are required to follow any specified procedures laid down.

6.5.2.Shall report to their manager any problems whilst working alone.

6.5.3.Shall take reasonable care of themselves and other people affected by their work and co-operate with their employers in meeting their obligations.

6.5.4.Shall be personally accountable for their actions and responsible for ensuring they comply with the agreed procedure.

 

7. Safe Working Arrangements

7.1.Establishing safe working arrangements for lone workers is no different from organising the safety of other employees, visitors. Lone workers should not be exposed to significantly higher risks than others who work together.

7.2.Precautions should take account of normal working conditions and foreseeable emergency situations e.g. fire, equipment failure, illness and accidents.

7.3.When considering safe working arrangements managers will follow a hierarchical system based on the following;

a)  Assessment of the seriousness of the risk

b)  Avoidance of the risk

c)  Control of the risk to the greatest possible degree

7.4.Incidents can have a detrimental effect on the individual. Managers are to ensure that employees/ consultants  are properly cared for after such incidents. Even those employees not directly affected can be subject to anxiety and concern. It is important that all employees/consultants are informed of the basic details and any counter  measures as soon as possible.

 

8. Lone Workers in Office

8.1.Where there is a situation where members of staff are in a lone working scenario, they should where possible ensure most/all of the following items are adhered to:

1. Ensure that you  have control of the access to the building/room.

2. Lock yourself in, whilst ensuring you  can get out quickly if necessary.

3. Only give access to others if you  are sure that you know who they are.

4.Arrange for someone to ring you  at a predetermined time to check that you are all right.

5.Check on means of escape from the building in an emergency, e.g. fire doors.

 

6. Check your access to a telephone.

7. Try to plan appointments etc. so that other people are in the building with  you.

8. Keep valuables – handbags, cases, equipment secure and out of sight.

9. Ensure lone worker has at list two emergencies contact numbers provided by GLC

lIf you  are assaulted or threatened contact the Police immediately on 999

lIf you  are verbally abused or receive indecent telephone calls report the matter immediately. In all instances complete an Datix form

 

9. Lone Workers undertaking Home Visits and Travelling

9.1.Both managers and staff have a responsibility to ensure working arrangements are as safe as possible. A key factor in this is the manager (or other staff member) knowing where staff plan to be and for there to be the means for two way communication whenever possible.

9.2.Where there is a situation where members of staff are in a lone working scenario undertaking home visits or travelling, they should where possible ensure most/all of the following items are adhered to:

1. Plan your route. Avoid having to stop to check maps etc.

2. Try to visit in daylight or with someone else.

3. Telephone the staff member prior to the visit to confirm your visit and to ensure that they will be there.

4. If on arrival at a staff members home, you  meet with a situation that you did not expect to which gives you  concern, leave and make other arrangements.

5. You should never enter a house if you  are suspicious.

6. If a visit takes significantly longer than planned, make contact with base to update them on your revised plan and timetable.

7. Domestic pets and other animals can present problems. If you  feel unsure or unsafe ask the staff member to remove them to another room/place.

8. Keep car doors locked when travelling (If you  were unfortunate enough to be involved in the accident, the emergency services will have no problem opening your car to rescue you).

9. Keep valuables etc out of sight in the car, ideally locked in the boot.

10. Try to park in open, well-lit places.

11. If someone approaches you  when you are stopped lock all doors. Open your window  a fraction to allow conversation. Only offer to help if you  are sure the situation is genuine.

12. When returning to your car, have the key ready and enter quickly. Lock the doors as a routine.

13. Avoid walking in isolated or poorly lit places or in subways whenever possible.

 

10. Supervision

10.1.Although lone workers cannot be subject to constant supervision, it is still an employer’s duty to ensure their health and safety at work.

10.2.Supervision can help to ensure that employees understand the risks associated with their work and that the necessary safety precautions are carried out.

10.3.The level of supervision required is a management decision, which should be based on the findings of risk assessment. The higher the risk, the greater the level of supervision required e.g. a line manager may arrange for the lone worker to be contacted at regular intervals through the shift.

10.4.It should not be left to individuals to decide whether they require supervision  or assistance.

 

11. Review arrangements

11.1.Procedural documents will be reviewed by the procedural document owner within 2 years of approval. However, a review earlier than this may be prompted by factors including:

1)   Legislative or regulatory changes

2)   Structural or role changes

3)   Operational or technological changes

4)   Changes in the evidence-base

5)   Organisational learning

6)   Audits  and reviews of the effectiveness of the policy

 

12. Training / support

12.1.All staff will receive awareness of this policy through their Health and Safety  induction

12.2.Should anyone require support, advice or guidance on any element outlines in this policy they should speak to their line manager or Estates and Facilities  Manager

 

13. Process for monitoring effective implementation

13.1.Please refer to the matrix in Appendix 2

 

14   Points of  Reference

lHealth and Safety Act Work etc Act 1974.  Available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/legislation/hswa.htm

lManagement of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.  Available at http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/hsc13.pdf

 

 

Updated: 24 February 2020