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With lone workers, an emergency plan should be made to identify the risks and ensure necessary steps have been taken to plan for any emergency. The plan also needs to consider if the risk involved in the person's job.

Things that should be taken into consideration while preparing a risk assessment and emergency plan for lone workers include:

  • Can all equipment be used and handled safely by one individual?
  • Is special training and supervision required?
  • Does the worker have access to first aid?
  • Does the workplace in particular post a special risk to someone who is working alone?

The individual’s health and suitability for working alone should be assessed, people particularly at risk are young people and women.  Lone workers should be in voice contact regularly with their supervisor and visited periodically, automatic warning devices can be used to alert others if a signal is not received from the lone worker or when a lone worker fails to make contact at a specified time. When risk assessing you need to decide how you will identify risks and what controls are needed to reduce the risk.

In the plan, you should consider how a lone worker will get help and how a supervisor will identify that help is needed. If there is a risk of violence, code words can be created to alert the supervisor of an incident without alerting individuals around them that a call for help has been made, all individuals responsible for taking calls should be assessed and trained to take the appropriate action required.

In planning look at what action is needed if the lone worker becomes sick, lost, breaks down, has their car stolen or they are scared.  You need to plan how the emergency services are activated and directed to the lone worker.  By identifying risks and implementing a clear emergency action plan, procedures and appropriate training for everyone involved we can reduce the risks involved with working alone.