Reviewed by: Sarah Cokayne and Shakera Rahman , Resources Committee 28th February 2022
Next Review: Spring 2024
This School recognises that there may be an increased risk to the health and safety of its employees whilst working alone. This policy sets out our approach in both identifying these risks and adequately managing them. Any questions regarding its operation should be addressed to the Headteacher.
For the purposes of this policy, a lone worker is an individual who spends some or all of their working hours working alone. This may occur:
- during normal working hours at an isolated location within the normal
workplace or when other staff are not nearby.
- when working outside normal business hours. These are deemed to be between 06:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.
Our duty to both assess and control any risks from lone working is governed by the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSWA). S.2 requires us to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare of our employees. Similar duties are owed to other workers, such as agency temps under s.3 of the HSWA. This will be achieved by carrying out risk assessments in accordance with the Management of
Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (as amended).
Our risk assessments will cover all work currently undertaken alone (or proposed to be), where the risk may be increased by the work activity itself, or by the lack of on-hand support should something go wrong. Once all job roles involving lone working have been identified, the following factors will be considered:
• Risk of violence – All jobs involving an element of lone working will be assessed for a risk of verbal threats, or violence. The priority will be those involving face-to-face dealings with members of the public and/or cash handling.
• Plant and equipment – Plant and equipment used by lone workers will be assessed to ensure that it is suitable for use by one person.
• Work at height – Working at height will not be undertaken when working alone.
• Chemicals – Any existing, or planned use of chemicals will be considered with regards to their suitability for use by those working alone.
• The worker – The medical fitness of workers working alone will be assessed.
• Access and egress – Some lone working may require access to locations which are difficult to access or exit. Assessments will consider whether these tasks are suitable to be carried out by one person.
In order to manage the risks identified, we have introduced the following control measures:
Risk of violence
• Staff are required to lock themselves in the buildings when lone working. This occurs automatically as long as exit doors are not left open.
• Staff must not arrange meetings with parents or members of the public when lone working. All meetings must be arranged during school occupancy times or when there is more than one member of staff on site for the duration of the meeting.
• Staff are required not to handle cash when lone working.
• Late meetings must finish promptly and not leave one member of staff alone on site.
• Staff must not approach, or let into the buildings, unauthorised persons when lone working.
• All staff are required to give 24 hours notice to the headteacher before lone working, either after hours or through holiday periods. The school will sometimes be locked during these periods and a list of holiday opening times will be published.
• Staff attending alarm activations will only attend either with police support or in pairs. An outside check of the premises must be carried out, to ascertain if entry has been gained, before entering the school. If there is sign of an entry police support must be gained before entering the school.
Staff are advised to:
• Avoid lone working wherever possible by arranging to work in pairs or as a group.
• Sign in and off the site – provision is made for this during holiday periods.
• Carry a mobile phone at all times when lone working.
• Let someone know you are coming into work, how long you expect to be and when you are leaving.
• Comply with fire evacuation procedures and attend fire assembly points, ensuring that you are cleared to leave the site in the event of an incident.
For those working on our premises, first aid equipment will be point out by the Premises Officer.
In the event that a lone worker falls ill, or into difficulties, they are to use their mobile phone to contact the headteacher, the staff member’s nominated person or the emergency services.
Access and egress:
Staff are required to consider weather conditions before coming into work and while on the premises.
Unacceptable Lone Working
The following activities are not to be carried out by lone workers under any circumstances:
- Working at height.
- Manual handling of heavy or bulky items.
- Transport of injured persons.
Lone workers will be trained in safe working practices. This will apply to employees and other workers where applicable, such as agency staff and contractors.
It is the responsibility of the headteacher, to monitor the tasks being carried out by staff. In particular, they are responsible for ensuring that any tasks described in section 6 are not carried out by one person alone.
If the nature of the tasks change in any way, he must ensure that a new risk assessment is carried out.
They also need to ensure that any lone worker follows good working practices and safe systems of work.
Lone Worker Duties
All lone workers are expected to cooperate fully with instructions given by the headteacher. They are also expected to follow the school’s safe systems of work and any associated procedures. Failure to do so, may be a disciplinary offence