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Staying Safe While Working Alone

1st June 2023

Staying Safe While Working Alone

Around 150 lone workers are attacked in the UK every day, according to 2018 figures from the British Safety Council – and working alone isn’t rare. It is estimated that there are up to 8 million people in the UK who work alone, making up approximately 20% of the entire UK working population. 

Under the UK’s Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations, employers must ensure they mitigate risks to lone workers. This can be done by properly preparing staff for the potential dangers associated with working alone, and skills to protect themselves.  

Who are Lone Workers?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) defines lone workers as ‘those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision’. This includes those who work:  

  • Outside of normal work hours, such as security staff and cleaners 
  • With patients outside of the hospital, like healthcare, counselling and social care workers
  • In transport and logistics, such as bus, delivery and taxi drivers
  • Alone in fixed places like shops and petrol stations
  • Digitally and from remote places as of recent years
  • Away from a fixed base, such as maintenance workers, engineers, field workers, sales reps and housing inspectors

In fact, lone workers operate in a variety of organizations across nearly every industry. 

A High Risk of Violence 

When someone is working by themselves, they experience an increased vulnerability to mental and physical attacks. The lack of nearby support makes it harder for them to prevent threats, abuse or assaults – but it is critical that they are able to look out for their own health and safety. Fortunately, there are basic skills individuals can learn to protect themselves should danger arise.  

Virtual Training to Boost Awareness and Safety 

To support organisations in keeping their staff safe – and increase awareness and confidence among employees – VIRSEC have developed a fully online course called Lone Worker Awareness – Dealing with Conflict. The training course addresses the potential dangers of working alone, as well as practical steps to take to mitigate and control associated risks. It covers topics such as:  

  • The Threat Pyramid
  • Psychology of Conflict Situations
  • Experiencing Aggression, and Relevant Theories
  • Typical Response Mechanisms
  • Conflict Management and De-Escalation
  • Threat and Risk Assessments
  • Improvised Self-Defense Tools and Measures
  • Conducting Due Diligence and Emergency Procedures

The course can be taken by lone workers in any industry worldwide and is especially useful for anyone whose role frequently involves working alone in environments where the potential for harm from a third party is a reality. This training is fully approved by the UK CPD Accreditation Group, which is an internationally recognised certification. Learners will receive an electronic copy of the official course certificate in PDF format upon successful completion of the course. 

To learn more, visit: