Personal Safety for Lone Workers


Started on July 19, 2024

Personal Safety for Lone Workers

While harassment and violence can potentially affect any workplace and any worker irrespective of company size, type of activity or form of employment, certain groups and sectors can be more at risk. According to the British crime survey, BCS, respondents in the Protective Service occupations such as police officers were most at risk of violence at work. But lone workers such as truck drivers, health workers on visits, employees carrying money and people working late hours in pubs, petrol stations and betting shops can also experience violence. Lone worker safety should be treated independently of the wider topic of health and safety in the workplace.

Every day, thousands of people are exposed to situations where they are left alone in work premises, or when visiting members of the public during their working day. There are many risks associated with working in isolation and without the support of colleagues, including accidents and violence. Ensuring the safety of those who works alone can be very different from protecting other workers and there are often special considerations  for the lone worker.

This course will help employers protect the safety of lone workers and are given the knowledge and tools to put processes in place to ensure they comply with laws that relate to lone working.

Types of Lone Workers

The Health and Safety Executive defines a lone worker as someone who works by themselves without close or direct supervision. Here are just a few examples.

  • Working from a fixed base. Typically, this would be a single person working alone on a premises such as a shop or petrol station. This could also include a receptionist. This person could be holding money and therefore be at risk.
  • Working away from a fixed base. Examples would be healthcare workers, environment inspectors or maintenance workers,
  • Working separately from others on the same premises. Here we’re looking at security or cleaning staff, or people working outside normal hours
  • Working at home. These would be people who, for example, make clothing at home or fold and stuff envelopes,
    and finally,
  • mobile workers, such as taxi drivers, delivery people and door to door salespeople.

Legal Responsibilities of Employers for Lone Worker Safety

There is no one area of law that relates to lone working. That said, all health and safety legislation applies equally to lone workers, and in some cases is even more applicable. It’s a sad fact, however, that some employers may overlook their responsibilities to lone workers. Some of the laws and regulations that cover lone working are:

Common Dangers Experienced by Lone Workers

Often the risks faced by lone workers will be the same as for other workers, but they may face increased or additional risks from

  • violence and abuse from members of the public
  • theft or intruders,
  • accidents,
  • sudden illness,
  • risks related to driving
  • fire,
  • inadequate provision of hygiene, rest and welfare facilities
  • and the effects of social isolation.


Employers should be aware of the potential difficulties that homeworking can cause. They also have to fulfil their legal duties, including risk assessment and consultation. The HSE states, it may be necessary for employers to visit their home workers to carry out risk assessments.

If the homework involves using a computer, the display screen equipment regulations apply, and the employer must do an ergonomic assessment of the workplace. This involves making sure the worker has a professionally designed chair and that the computer is set up properly. Home workers who use computers should also have regular eye testing.  Other steps the employer should take include

Implementation of Lone Worker Safety

Your organisation should also have a lone worker personal safety policy. Central to this is a risk assessment form, the first stage in building an effective personal safety system for lone workers.

The course will guide employers on how to create risk assessments specific to the lone workers who work for them and implement processes and procedures to help ensure full compliance with UK laws and regulations.

Course ContentModule
Lone Worker Personal Safety: The Basics1
The Law: Responsibilities2
Assessing the Risks3
Personal Safety Solutions4
Practical Tips to Avoid Conflict5
Reporting and Recording Incidents6
Course Assessment

Online assessment for this Health and Safety of lone workers course is carried out by a series of multiple choice questions. Candidates must answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass each module. We advise you to complete each module and answer the question before moving on to the next module. This provides a better learning experience because you will need to have knowledge from earlier modules to understand some of the material in the later modules. For those who complete the course successfully, a PDF certificate of the award is sent directly to your inbox.  Hard copies of the award are available on request.  The course takes 45 minutes of training to complete. This is course content only and does not cover the time it takes to answer questions.

Related courses to Personal Safety for Lone Workers include:

Working Safely Training
Behavioural Safety Training