Guidance to improve the safety of lone workers


10 / 10 / 2013 8.01am

An increasing number of NHS staff work alone in community settings such as patients’ homes or on outreach work. Lone workers can be vulnerable and at increased risk of physical or verbal abuse and harassment from patients, clients, their relatives or members of the public simply because they don’t have the immediate support of colleagues or security staff.

These two guidance documents highlight the importance of protecting lone workers and provide advice for managers on their legal duties. They also outline the steps that staff can take to protect themselves and the importance of reporting incidents.

The two guides can be used to support local initiatives around lone working and the roll out and implementation of lone worker alarms and associated training. They include some quick questions to act as checklist to ensure that the necessary protections and control measures are in place.

The documents have been produced by the Health, Work and Wellbeing Partnership Group (HSWPG). The HSWPG is a national sub-group of the NHS Staff Council. The overall purpose of the group is to raise standards of workplace health, safety and wellbeing in healthcare organisations and to promote a safer working environment for all health care staff. The group, formerly known as the Partnership for Occupational Safety and Health in health care (POSHH) changed its name and terms of reference in early 2013 to reflect the growing emphasis on workplace wellbeing issues and further develop and support partnership working on health, safety and wellbeing at a national and local level.

View the range of publications, resources and online advice produced and commissioned by the HSWPG in the keeping you well section of our website. 

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