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There are particular tasks where staff working alone may be more vulnerable and at risk, under these circumstances, extra policies and procedures should be put into place. Examples of these situations include:

Where the lone worker is out of hours working or where the lone worker has to carry out assessments of compulsory hospital admissions under the Mental Health Act, or Investigations into child abuse.

The lone worker may be required to remove children from their care providers under an emergency protection order ;
Or they may have to meet new contacts with members of the public where there is no previous background information on them;

The lone worker may have to undertake home visits to service users, or
There may be a need to provide services to service users who have a known record of violent or aggressive behaviour.

Lone workers may have to escort service users who are potentially violent, or who may attempt to abscond.

It is generally accepted that people work best when they have a satisfactory balance between their paid work and the remainder of their lives as individuals, workers and members of the community.

It has become increasingly necessary for Staff to work at home both on a permanent and temporary basis. Home working arrangements for a team or individual should not be approved until a competent person has carried out a risk assessment of the individuals concerned.

The assessment covers the type and nature of the expected duties and all associated hazards.

Potential hazards that may arise include:-

  • Handling of loads 
  • Use of work equipment
  • Use of electrical equipment
  • Use of substances or materials
  • Working with display Screen equipment.

The potential exists for a home worker to be the victim of violence in their own home, as a consequence of their work activities.

The risk assessment should identify those staff that may have a higher risk of exposure. Service users with a potential for violent and aggressive behaviour should not be allocated to staff working from home.

Procedures must be put in place to prevent service users from discovering the private addresses of home workers and briefings should be given to all home workers on personal safety issues.   It should be established if there are there effective communication links between the lone worker and the rest of the workers.

Does the lone worker have sound knowledge and understanding of health and safety procedures, incident reporting, and guidance information issued to staff

It should be established if there an effective procedure for recording and or monitoring staff movement.
And whether plans have been established, to provide the back-up needed, if unforeseen events that could jeopardise staff health and safety arise.