Lone and Remote Working
Every day, many of our employees work alone, or remote from base, without increased risk of harm and without incident. Lone or remote working is not in itself a hazard; rather there are occasions when the risk (arising from the hazards already identified by the task/activity risk assessment) increases because of lone or remote working. Additional controls may be required to reduce the risk to acceptable levels.
Lone/remote working is defined as a work activity where an individual works alone or where team of employees work together remotely from their usual fixed workplace, without immediate and direct close supervision. For the purposes of this definition, ‘work’ includes travelling during working time.
Managing lone or remote working risk starts with identifying those at risk. Appendix 4 of OHS-C-12.G1 ‘Guidance on the Risk Assessment Process’ provides a starting point.
Additional controls measures will be dependent on the compounding factors associated with the task. OHS-C-12.G5 (below) provides typical examples of compounding factors.
Note that Homeworking (or starting work from home) are not by themselves considered as significant compounding factors in a Lone/Remote working context. These aspects are considered within the context of the Council's Flexible, Mobile and Homeworking arrangements and typically involve a DSE self-assessment (for homeworking) and more informal arrangements for keeping in touch to avoid employees suffering the psychological effects of social isolation.
A separate Information page (Office Flexible, mobile and Homeworking Safety) is provided within our Topic Toolkit drop-down.
More detail on strategies and suggested control measures to enable your Service Managers and relevant employee Groups to develop a safe system of work is given in OHS-C-20.G1 ‘Lone and Remote Workers: Keeping in touch – keeping safe’ (below).
Document Management Information: Documents relating to the assessment and control of risks from lone or remote working spread across 3 Health and Safety Information topics: Risk assessment, Reduction of Workplace violence and lone or remote working, see "Corporate Document inter-relationship" below.