A Guide to Lone Working



The risk of lone working became prominent in the late 1980's following the disappearance of estate agent Suzy Lamplugh. After arranging to meet a house buyer, referred to as "Mr Kipper" in her diary, outside a property in Fulham she disappeared and her body never found. Suzy was officially declared dead, presumed murdered, in 1994 eight years after she vanished.


Following the disappearance of their daughter Suzy's parents established The Suzy Lamplugh Trust. Much of the Trust's early work centered on the need for employers to protect their staff when they are working alone.


What is lone working?

In the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance document ‘Working Alone’, a lone worker is defined as someone who "works by themselves without close or direct supervision."

To avoid confusion in this instance we are not talking about staff who are left alone momentarily in the setting or staff such as managers in offices. Although these staff may be 'working alone' they are within the building with other people present.


Lone working in these terms refers to someone who might be working outside of their normal place of work on business. Examples of this might be when staff attend training sessions, undertake home visits, or stay late to finish something when everyone else has gone home. At these times your employees may not be in your premises but their safety and welfare remains your responsibility


As a consultant I work alone most of the time, especially when I'm out on the road visiting clients, and as such I have my own measures to keep myself safe. These include texting a family member when I arrive at my visit with an estimate of the time I will be with the client and calling when I leave after the meeting. If I am longer than I have stated the