Lone Working Policy

Purpose

Volunteers Network CIC is committed to providing a safe working environment as far as is reasonably practical for its volunteers. Consideration shall therefore be given to the health and safety implications in respect of lone working.
This document explains how Volunteers Network CIC will protect their staff as far as is reasonably practicable from the risks of lone working. The law requires employers to consider carefully, and then deal with any health and safety risks for people working alone.

Policy

All staff and volunteers should be made aware of this policy. Anyone who is or who potentially may be a lone worker shall receive information, instruction and relevant training in respect of all identified hazards and the risks involved.

• All new staff and volunteers of Volunteers Network CIC should receive an induction, including reference to the lone working policy.
• The risk assessment for the community Hub includes issues regarding lone working.
• A personal alarm is to be worn by any member of staff or any volunteer working alone at the Hub.
• In an emergency, the lone worker should phone the relevant emergency service and also the project coordinator. Telephone numbers are on the wall of the Hub.
• It is the responsibility of the project coordinator to regularly re-assess risks, recording the time and dates of any changes to policies and procedures.
• It is the responsibility of the project coordinator to ensure that workers do not suffer from undue stress as a consequence of lone working.
• It is recognised that some workers are required to work alone for significant periods of time without direct supervision and in these situations, Volunteers Network CIC will ensure that adequate support is provided.

Definition of lone working

Individuals are alone at work when they are on their own, they cannot be seen or heard by another worker, cannot expect a visit from another worker for some time and/or where assistance is not readily available when needed. Therefore, lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision.
This includes establishments where:
• Only one person works on the premises
• One person works separately from others
• One person works outside normal hours
• Carrying out work in someone’s home other than their own
• Working in premises that are not leased or managed by Volunteers Network CIC

Aims of the policy

The aim of the policy is to:

• Increase awareness of safety issues relating to lone working;
• Ensure that the risks of lone working are assessed regularly and that systems are put in place to minimise the risk as far as is practical;
• Ensure that appropriate training is available to staff and volunteers that equips them to recognise risk and provides practical advice on safety when working alone;
• Encourage full reporting and recording of all adverse incidents relating to lone working and reduce the number of incidents/injuries relating to lone working.

Procedure

Individuals will receive information, instruction and supervision in respect of the hazards and risks associated with lone working. All individuals are to take relevant and sensible precautionary measures whilst lone working. If a member of staff feels that they are putting themselves at risk through lone working, they should discuss the situation with the project coordinator. Further efforts by the project coordinator shall be made to eliminate or reduce hazards starting with a process of reassessment of the task.

Risks of lone working

Risk assessments for site based lone workers must include:

• Safe entry and exit
• Location, eg remoteness, transport, parking
• Risk of violence eg history of violence from the public or the client
• Safety of equipment for individual use
• Channels of communication in an emergency
• Site security
• Security arrangements ie alarm systems and response to personal alarms
• Level and adequacy of on/off site supervision

Risk assessments for mobile lone workers must include:

• Premises risk assessment where applicable
• Arrangements for home visits including consideration of alternatives
• Travelling between appointments
• Reporting and recording arrangements
• Communication and traceability
• Personal safety and security

Following completion of risk assessment, consideration must be given to any appropriate action that is required.

Information Hub

• If there are concerns about a visitor to the Hub, the door should be left open.
• If working alone in the Hub a personal alarm should be worn at all times.

All staff and volunteers must be made aware of the project coordinator’s mobile number.

Implementation and Quality Assurance

Implementation is immediate and this Policy shall stay in force until any alterations are formally agreed by Directors. This Policy will be reviewed annually by the Directors, sooner if legislation, best practice or other circumstances indicate this is necessary.

All aspects of this Policy shall be open to review at any time. If you have any comments or suggestions on the content of this policy please contact Helen Burton, Director on 01323 381811 or eastbournevolunteers@gmail.com

Latest version updated 05/04/18