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Lone Working Policy and guidelines
Please note that this policy requires various other procedural documents, which have been kept confidential for the safety of volunteers and employees.
1. Oblong policy
Oblong acknowledges that there may be an increased risk to the health and safety of it’s employees, volunteers and tenants when working alone. Oblong therefore acknowledges its duty to make adequate provision for the health and safety of lone workers. It is the policy of Oblong to fully implement the general requirements of the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 in respect of lone working.
2. Key legislative requirements
General duties under the Health and Safety at Work etc., Act 1974 and specific duties of the Management of Health Safety at Work Regulations 1999 require Oblong to provide a safe environment, safe equipment and safe systems of work for its employees and those working on its premises, including volunteers. Risk assessments must be carried out to identify risks to lone workers and control measures introduced to minimise the risks wherever practicable. These requirements are applicable to all work situations/activities and in particular where staff and students are working alone or outside normal working hours.
3. Oblong’s responsibilities
ensure that a risk assessment of lone working is carried out, a procedures flow diagram which forms part of this policy (appendix A) and that appropriate records are maintained
ensure measures are implemented and maintained to reduce the risk of lone working to its lowest practicable level
ensure that all staff and volunteers are aware of Oblong’s procedures for lone working through appropriate information, instruction and training.
ensure that sufficient resources are made available to control and manage lone working arrangements
ensure the effectiveness of this policy is monitored
3.1 Oblong employees
Oblong employees shall;
ensure that they comply with the lone working procedures and they report any incidents at the first available opportunity.
ensure that they comply with the lone working procedures and they report any incidents to their designated ‘buddy’ immediately.
4. Risk assessment and control
A lone working risk assessment will form part of this policy (appendix B) to ensure that the hazards to the lone worker are identified and that suitable and satisfactory control measures are implemented, monitored and reviewed.
5. Guidelines for lone working
This guidance offers guidelines to staff and volunteers of Oblong. It is not intended to provide a rigid, restrictive system.
5.1. Hazard categories
The assessment of hazard rating based upon a suitable risk assessment should be made by the Centre Co-ordinator. In selecting which particular category an activity fits within, the following guidance should be considered.
5.2. High risk activities - Category 1
No person should work alone where there is a serious health or safety hazard. Practical examples of this include:
Working at height;
One to one meetings with anyone who is believed to be under the influence of drugs, alcohol or is known to have a history of aggressive behaviour.
Wherever the above work is carried out, a second person should remain within calling distance whenever these acute hazards are present.
Volunteers would not normally be allowed to work on Category 1 activities unless
adequate and immediate supervision is provided.
5.3. Medium risk activities - Category 2
Medium rated hazards fit into this category. The dangers would not be so immediate as those outlined under the Category 1 heading, but it would still be desirable for a second person to be present where reasonably practicable to take emergency action.
Example of Category 2 activities:
work involving manual handling likely to cause injury,
Staffing reception during events with over 20 participants
taking rubbish out under darkness
cash handling in public spaces
leaving the building on own with cash
staffing reception for events that are primarily aimed at under 18s
Volunteers would not normally be allowed to work on Category 2 activities unless
adequate and immediate supervision is provided or have the appropriate skills and experience for the situation.
5.4. Low risk activities - Category 3
Where there is no hazard involved in the activity, e.g. reading, writing, use of rooms for Rooms for general purposes, computer terminals, etc., it is not necessary for a second person to be in calling distance. The only action required for such activities outside normal working hours would be to complete logging in and out book at reception
5.5. Category assessment
The assessment on hazard categories should be based upon an adequate risk assessment Risk assessments should be undertaken by a competent person.
Ratified May 2015 by trustees, with condition of additional development of Buddy system and amendment to procedure document.
Procedure document & Buddy system finalised June 2015.