Lone Working Policy and Guidance

1. Introduction

At times, some Hub volunteers may be in a situation where they are a ‘lone worker’. We need to be realistic about safeguards which can be put in place, but we must at least enable volunteers to be clear about safe practices and behaviours if they find themselves working on their own.

Lone workers include those who:

  • work away from an office base (visiting)
  • work outside normal working hours
  • are the only person on the premises
  • work in the same building as colleagues but in a space on their own

We note that:

  • lone workers are at a higher risk of being seriously harmed by hazards at work because there may not be anyone to help them in the event of an accident or illness.
  • we must work with the Methodist church to ensure that it maintains robust health and safety practices for its premises as part of its overall duty of care, and comply with their requirements.
  • While home visits are not anticipated, we have nonetheless included them here.

2. Responsibilities of the Hub

We will:

  • assess any ‘reasonably foreseeable risks’ of the working environment and the working practices for a lone worker; this will form part of the Health and Safety at Work Policy for the Hub, and in conjunction with the Methodist church;
  • ensure that a system is in place for calling for help if there is a problem;
  • keep on file in a secure place the contact phone numbers of the volunteer and their next-of-kin [and vehicle registration details if used for Hub purposes];
  • identify any health issues that may affect the volunteer whilst working alone and review this as necessary;
  • ensure that all volunteers have Health and Safety Induction training, and are aware of the Guidance Information on lone working;
  • check that insurance cover adequately covers the work to be undertaken; 
  • Record any accident in the Methodist accident book within 24 hours of it occurring.

In relation to a lone worker risk assessment, consideration will be given to

  • the physical layout of the Methodist church and potential communication problems;
  • potential for verbal and physical abuse and violence;
  • whether or not the person is medically fit and able to work alone;
  • how the lone worker will obtain help in an emergency such as assault, vehicle breakdown, accident or fire etc;
  • whether there is adequate first aid cover, and the lone worker’s capacity to administer this on themselves before help arrives.

Guidance for Volunteers who may Undertake Lone Working

It is important that all volunteers recognise the importance of taking reasonable care for their own safety. These guidance notes will be given as part of induction training to members of the Strategy Group and Management Team, plus any other volunteer in a role in which lone working is a possibility. All volunteers will be advised of where this Policy document and Guidance can be found in the event that they are asked to work alone.

On the Church premises

  • Always advise someone else (family member) if you are going to the Hub office and may be on your own;
  • Where confidentiality requires that you may be alone with someone, try to stay in sight of other people within the public areas of the church. If you need to use a meeting room, then another person must be advised that the meeting is taking place. Dependent on the nature of the discussion, you may be able to leave the meeting room door ajar;
  • Do not open the door of the church to anyone, or agree to an appointment, if you are alone in the building;
  • Always stay alert and vigilant, taking note of what is happening. If you feel any cause for concern, any meeting/conversation must be brought to a close;
  • Always report any incidents of aggressive behaviour.
  • Take care when entering the building. In the event that you find a trip hazard or spillage, please take steps to avoid and, as much as possible, ensure the obstacle/spillage is removed.
  • If you are taken ill in the Hub office, contact the appropriate medical care first. As back up, please call key holder Jill Tomalin (on 01722 349308) as she lives nearby and, if home, may be able to get to you more quickly, and/or give access to others.


  • always arrange to meet unknown individuals in a public place and preferably with another person present;
  • ensure that someone knows where you are going and when you can be expected back if making a home visit. If practical, leaving a note stating who and where you are visiting and how you will get there. Always take someone with you if you can, even if they remain outside while your visit takes place.
  • ensure that you have a switched on working mobile phone with you at all times. 

Approved by the Steering Group:                                                   Last Updated June 2022