Lone workers are those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. Lone working is defined as working in an environment in which, if rendered incapacitated or unconscious, a person cannot reasonably expect to be found within 15 minutes. The main hazard in lone working is that in the event of an accident that incapacitates them, a person will not be able to contact or summon help.
The risk from lone working is dependent on the nature of the work undertaken whilst working alone. General office based activities or ‘paperwork’ type activities are classified as being low to medium risk and are acceptable under normal conditions.
Laboratory work, maintenance works, workshop activities, fieldwork, handling of hazardous (biological, chemical, radioactive) agents, etc. are all considered to be medium to high risk activities and must not be undertaken without completion of a Lone Worker Risk Assessment.
The University SIRC Office has prepared a UCD Lone Working Risk Assessment Template which allows those considering lone working to identify the hazards associated with their work and to put in place control measures to reduce the risk from those hazards. A completed general Lone Working Risk Assessment (UCDA11) is also available to use and can be modified to include additional risk control measures and more specific information.
In addition, some tasks / duties are considered as not suitable for lone working.