Lone working: Protect those working alone – Information from the Health and Safety Executive

HSE LogoStress, mental health and wellbeing

Lone working can cause work-related stress and affect people’s mental health.

HSE’s Stress Management Standards include the importance of relationships with, and support from, other workers.

Being away from managers and colleagues could make it difficult to get proper support.

Keep in touch

Put procedures in place that enable direct contact with the lone worker so their manager can recognise signs of stress as early as possible.

If contact is poor, workers may feel disconnected, isolated or abandoned. This can affect their performance and potentially their stress levels and mental health.

Working alone with a medical condition

if you are unsure whether someone’s health condition means they are safe to work alone, get medical advice. Think about both routine work and possible emergencies that may put additional physical and mental burdens on the lone worker.

First aid and emergencies

Put emergency procedures in place and train lone workers in how to use them.

Your risk assessment may indicate lone workers should:

  • carry first aid equipment
  • receive first aid training, including how to use first aid on themselves
  • have access to adequate first aid facilities

Emergency procedures should include guidance on how and when lone workers should contact their employer, including details of any emergency contact numbers.

Find out more on first aid.

Monitor lone workers’ health

Some lone workers can have specific risks to their health. For example, lone HGV drivers have high physical and mental demands on them, with long periods behind the wheel. You should monitor their health and adapt drivers’ work to allow for any specific health needs.

Source: HSE website