Lone Working in schools – what you need to know.

What are lone workers?

During recent times, there has been an increase in lone working in schools. The HSE defines a lone worker as ‘someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision’. Within a school environment there will be certain members of staff that either occasionally or regularly work alone and they need to be trained to manage their own safety during these periods.

Your responsibilities

The employer has a responsibility to manage health and safety before they allow their staff to become lone workers, thinking about who will be involved and which hazards could harm those working alone. The employer must train, surpervise and monitor lone workers whilst keeping in touch with them and responding to any situation that occurs.

The law states that employers must assess and control the risks in their workplace, and that if you employ five or more workers, you must record what you’ve found to identify hazards that could harm you and your employees.

The risk assessment

A lone working risk assessment should consider the hazards associated with the lone working being carried out, how the lone worker may be harmed, and what you are doing to control the risks identified. Risks to consider could be the potential threat of physical violence, unsociable hours, welfare conditions including the need for staff breaks, high physical and mental demands, increased stress, and accidents or emergencies arising out of the work to name a few.

You must also review and update the assessment if anything changes, such as new lone working procedures or the employment of new staff members who are expected to lone work. The ProFire team can help you through advice and review of your risk assessments on the subject of lone working.

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