Lone worker

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A Lone Worker (LW) is an employee who performs an activity that is carried out in isolation from other workers without close or direct supervision.[1] Such staff may be exposed to risk because there is no-one to assist them and so a risk assessment may be required.[2][3][4]

Examples of lone workers[edit]

There are different types of lone workers including:

  • People working at home such as Telecommuters, affiliated marketers, writers
  • Workers in the Energy Industry or Oil and Gas Industry including upstream workers like surveyors, land managers, drillers, and midstream or downstream workers such as refinery workers and drivers
  • Construction workers
  • Mobile workers such as traveling salesmen, truck drivers, health visitors, repair technicians
  • People who work in any type of Manufacturing facility
  • People working outside normal hours such as security guards, cleaners
  • Utility workers such as meter readers or technicians
  • Self-employed people
  • People who work apart from their colleagues such as receptionists, retail clerks, service station attendants

Countries with lone worker legislation[edit]

The following countries have enacted lone worker legislation:

  • Australia
  • Canada (Provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan)
  • France
  • Germany
  • The United Kingdom
  • Spain


In Australia[edit]

Australia has legislation regarding lone workers and their employers.

  • Guidance Note, Working Alone 2009[5]


In Canada[edit]

Some of the Provinces in Canada have enacted legislation regarding employer's responsibility towards Lone Workers.

Alberta[edit]

  • Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code: An Explanation of the "Working Alone" Requirements 2009 [6]
  • Working Alone (Part 28 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code) 2009[7]

Additional Province-issued documents include:

  • Working Alone Safely – A Guide for Employers and Employees 2000[8]

British Columbia[edit]

  • Working Alone or in Isolation Regulation 2011[9]
  • WorkSafeBC OHS Regulations General Conditions Part 4 2009[10]

Manitoba[edit]

  • Code of Practice for Workers Working Alone or in Isolation 2006[11]
  • Workplace Health and Safety Regulation Part 9[12]

Saskatchewan[edit]

  • The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 1996[13]


In France[edit]

France has enacted laws protecting lone workers.

  • Code du travail - Article R4512-13 2008[14]


In Spain[edit]

Spain has codified laws governing the protection of lone workers.

  • La Ley 31/1995 de Prevención de Riesgos Laborales 1995[15]


In the United Kingdom[edit]

The UK has specific legislation and standards that are relevant to Lone Workers and their Employers.

  • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
  • Safety Representatives and Safety Committees Regulations 1977(a) and The Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations 1996(b)
  • The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
  • Fire Act 2005

Managing lone workers[edit]

Common practices used by companies to manage the personal safety of their Lone Workers are:

  • Conducting Risk Assessments
  • Documenting a Lone Worker Policy
  • Implementation of a Buddy System
  • Lone Worker Training
  • Conflict Management Training
  • Use of monitoring systems and equipment (Panic Alarms, Mandown (fall/impact) Detectors, Pendant Trackers)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1], BSIA Lone Workers guide for Employers
  2. ^ Phil Hughes, Ed Ferrett (2009), "Lone workers", Introduction to Health and Safety at Work, Butterworth-Heinemann, p. 117, ISBN 978-1-85617-668-2 
  3. ^ [2], NHS Lone Working Guidance Section 3.3
  4. ^ [3], NHS Lone Working Guidance Section 3.3
  5. ^ [4], Guidance Note, Working Alone
  6. ^ [5], Alberta's Occupational Health and Safety Code: An Explanation of the "Working Alone" Requirements
  7. ^ [6], Working Alone (Part 28 of the Occupational Health and Safety Code)
  8. ^ [7], Working Alone Safely – A Guide for Employers and Employees
  9. ^ [8], Working Alone or in Isolation
  10. ^ [9], WorkSafeBC OHS Regulations General Conditions Part 4
  11. ^ [10], Code of Practice for Workers Working Alone or in Isolation
  12. ^ [11], Workplace Health and Safety Regulation
  13. ^ [12], The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations
  14. ^ [13], Code du travail - Article R4512-13
  15. ^ [14], Ley 31/1995. de 8 de noviembre, de Prevencion de Riesgos Laborales

External links[edit]