Policy statement

The Company will ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that employees and self-employed contractors who are required to work alone or unsupervised are protected from risks to their health and safety. Measures will also be adopted to protect anyone else affected by solitary working.

Solitary working exposes employees and others to certain hazards. The Company’s objective is either to entirely remove the risks from these hazards or, where complete elimination is not possible, to reduce them to a minimal level.

Arrangements for securing the health and safety of workers

Assessments of the risks of working alone carried out under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 will confirm whether the work can actually be done safely by one unaccompanied person. This will include the identification of hazards from, for example, means of access and/or egress, plant, machinery, goods, substances and environment, etc. Particular consideration will be given to:

  • the remoteness or isolation of workplaces
  • any problems of communication
  • the possibility of interference, such as violence or criminal activity from other persons
  • the nature of injury or damage to health and anticipated “worst case” scenario.

Information and training

Employees and others will be given all necessary information, instruction, training and supervision to enable them to recognise the hazards and appreciate the risks involved with working alone. Employees will be required to follow the safe working procedures as devised. Information will include the provision of first aid, communication procedures and awareness of emergency procedures. All employees are required to cooperate with these efforts to ensure safe working and to report any concerns to management.

Safe system of work

The Company will develop rules and instructions, if necessary in writing, to cover the following:

  • required ability of employees, eg:
    • professional training
    • qualifications and experience
    • full knowledge of work planned
    • medical fitness
  • suitability of equipment, eg
    • quality of hand tools
    • adequate level of appropriate personal protective equipment supplied by the Company
    • insulation of portable lighting and other portable electrical appliances
  • task, eg
    • compliance with all job instructions
    • avoidance of non-authorised or non-risk assessed work
  • means of communication, eg
    • two-way radio
    • mobile telephone
    • remote manual or automatic alarm system
    • regular visits by competent person
  • provision for treatment of injuries, eg
    • portable first aid kit
    • availability of first aider/emergency response
  • emergency and accident procedures, eg
    • means of summoning help
    • means of raising alarm
    • rescue plans and equipment
    • fire-fighting equipment
  • training, eg for safe use of specialised equipment and processes
  • supervision, eg for trainees, young people or new recruits, who must be confirmed as competent to work alone before supervision is reduced to the level of occasional visits.

Defined working limits

The Company will establish clear procedures to set limits of what can and what cannot be done while working alone. The general precautionary principle of not carrying out work if in doubt is advocated and employees should contact their supervisor for instruction.

Permits to work

In certain circumstances, particularly when the risks are considered high or where specific legal requirements exist, some or all of the above procedures may be contained in a written permit to work, without which the activity must not take place. Copies of permits to work will be issued to everyone directly involved with the activity, eg the lone worker, the closest supervisor and the relevant manager. Each person would then know their defined work role and the task to be carried out. Where time limits are a consideration, eg to control exposure to heat, fatigue or to ensure essential supplies such as compressed air gas cylinders are not exhausted, the permit would state required starting and finishing times.

Summary

Working alone can bring additional risks to a work activity. The Company has developed policies and procedures to control the risks and protect employees, and employees should comply with them. Apart from employees being competent in doing the job on their own, the three most important things to be certain of are that:

  • the lone worker has full knowledge of the potential hazards and risks to which he or she is being exposed
  • the lone worker knows what the task entails and what to do if something goes wrong
  • a suitable person knows the whereabouts of a lone worker and what he or she is doing.

Responsibility

Kentec Electronics Ltd is responsible for the implementation of this policy.

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