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As a lone worker, it is critical that you are aware of your companies’ policies and procedures, so that in the event of an emergency you are able to obtain further assistance and prevent any serious negative outcomes.

Your employer will have a number of policies that are relevant to the work that you do, these include what to do in an emergency. These policies will vary depending on the company, the work that you do and the equipment that is in your workplace.

Your company will have a large number of policies available, the ones that particularly relate to lone working include; Health & Safety, First Aid Emergencies, Fire evacuation, manual handling and Lone Working.

It is important that you take the time to review these documents, that you understand the process that you need to follow and how you can minimise the risks to your general safety and well-being.

The HSE state that employers are legally obligated to help ensure lone workers are not put at risk. These considerations include:

• Assessing areas of risk including violence, manual handling, medical suitability of the individual to work alone and whether the workplace itself presents a risk to them
• Requirements for training, levels of experience and how best to monitor and supervise them
• and making sure you know what is happening, including having systems in place to keep in touch with them.

Ultimately your employers are responsible for you when you are in the workplace. However, all employees are responsible for minimising risk and familiarising themselves with company policy. This is particularly true for lone workers who will not always have colleagues available to help them in the event of an emergency.

We must also consider reporting of potential problems before an incident occurs. If we are able to follow an approved protocol to prevent an incident we are protecting our safety and that of other employees.

It is your responsibility to adhere to the best practice that has been outlined by your company and to be aware of what to do in the event of an emergency.

In the event of an emergency, you must be aware of what to do. This again will vary depending on your company, the steps usually include; Keeping yourself safe, calling the emergency services and contacting a nominated individual.

Keeping yourself safe is the most important consideration in an emergency. In no circumstances should you put yourself at risk, especially if you are a lone worker. Remember if something happens to you, how will anyone know if you are in danger if working alone.

Calling the emergency services may include the fire service, police or ambulance service. This should always be the second point of call as lone workers should have a nominated contact who should be contacted in the event of an emergency, it is this person who will deal with the impact on the company and any other employees.