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Health & Safety
H&S Manager
V&A Advisor
Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Services
01 November 2007
01 May 2019
01 November 2021


1.1.NHS Fife takes the health, safety and welfare of its entire staff seriously. It recognises that some staff are required to work by themselves for significant periods of time without close or direct contact with other NHS Staff in the community or in isolated work areas.

1.2.NHS Fife defines lone workers as: “staff whose working activities involve them in situations where they are without any kind of close or direct contact with other members of staff”.

1.3.The purpose of this Procedure is to enable NHS Fife to meet its obligation to protect staff from the risks of lone working, so far as is reasonably practicable.



2.1.1.The procedure applies across all areas of NHS Fife and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership including domiciliary settings


2.2.1.The procedure applies to all NHS Fife and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership staff, contracted personnel, and any other person who is not an NHS Fife employee, but who is working under the supervision and direction of an NHS Fife employee.


3.1.Chief Executive

3.1.1.The Chief Executive has personal accountability for all NHS Fife Health and Safety matters.

3.2.Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Services

3.2.1. The Director of Estates, Facilities and Capital Servicesis the Executive Lead for Health and Safety and is responsible for:

  • making sure that there are arrangements for identifying, evaluating and managing risks associated with lone working;

  • making sure that the organisation regularly reviews the effectiveness of this Procedure.

3.2.2.Many of the duties arising from this responsibility are delegated to senior managers, line managers and to the Health and Safety Manager.

3.3.Senior and Line Managers

3.3.1.Senior and Line Managers are responsible for identifying where lone working is required and authorisation of the practice

  • making sure that all staff are aware of this Procedure;

  • providing resources for putting the Procedure into practice;

  • making sure there are arrangements for monitoring incidents linked to lone working, and auditing the procedure to ensure compliance,

  • making sure that risk assessments are carried out and reviewed regularly;

  • putting procedures and safe systems of work into practice which are designed to eliminate or reduce the risks associated with lone working;

  • making sure that staff groups and individuals identified as being at risk are given    appropriate information, instruction and training, including training at induction, updates and refresher training as necessary;

  • making sure that appropriate support is given to staff involved in any incident;

  • managing the effectiveness of preventative measures through an effective system of reporting, investigating and recording incidents.

  • Ensuring that staff are consulted through partnership arrangements, on matters relating to their Health and Safety;


3.4.1.Staff are responsible for:

  • Taking reasonable care of themselves and others who may be affected by their actions;

  • co-operating by following rules and procedures designed for safe lone  working;

  • reporting all incidents that may affect the health and safety of themselves or others and asking for guidance as appropriate;

  • reporting any risks they identify or any concerns they might have in respect of lone working.

  • taking part in training designed to meet the requirements of this Procedure;


4.1.The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 create a duty to assess significant risks in the workplace. This duty extends to those risks associated with lone working as defined in paragraph 1.2.

4.2.Prevention and Control.

4.2.1.Managers must make sure that staff are not exposed to the risks associated with lone working or, if that is not reasonably practicable, that the risks are adequately controlled (see further guidance in: Guidance on Management of Risks Associated with Lone Working [Ref 6.1 Appendix 1]).


5.1.This Procedure is a part of NHS Fife’s system for managing risk as described in the NHS Fife “Risk Register and Risk Assessment” and Adverse Events Policies


6.1.Appendix 1:  Guidance on management of risks associated with lone working, version 3, December 2018.

6.2.GP/R7 NHS Fife “Risk Register and Risk Assessment Policy

6.3.GP/19 NHS Fife  Adverse Events Policy


7.1.PIN Managing Health at Work Guideline 5: Protecting the health, safety and welfare of people working alone

7.2.Royal College of Nursing and NHS Executive – “Safer Working in the Community: A Guide for NHS Managers and Staff on Reducing the Risks from Violence and Aggression” (RCN London, 1998, ISBN 187 385 2304)

7.3.UNISON – “Working Alone: A Health and Safety Guide On Lone Working for Safety Representatives” (UNISON, London, 2000, Product Code 1750)

7.4.UNISON – “You are not alone: a UNISON guide to lone working in the health service” (Unison, London,2007)

7.5.The Suzy Lamplugh Trust – “Personal Safety at Work: Guidance For All Employees” (The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, London, 1998, No ISBN)

7.6.Working Alone, Health and safety guidance on the risks of lone working, INDG 73 (rev3), published by HSE.