ALL SAINTS, BIRCHINGTON PARISH – LONE WORKING POLICY
Lone Working Policy
Lone working is not covered by any specific legislation but the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 apply.
This legislation states that “It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all of his employees” and “It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with”.
Employers and employees therefore have a duty to themselves and others with regard to safety and there is an increased risk to the health and safety of employees when they work remotely from other colleagues or other persons and/or outside ‘normal’ working hours.
The definition of a lone worker is: “Those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision”.
The PCC wish to extend good working practices to all employees and volunteers and in normal circumstances will not permit lone working. However, this is accepted that on occasions it will be necessary – especially for the PiC , Churchwardens and Treasurer
Persons at Risk
In the Parish, people at risk may include anyone who comes into the buildings alone during closure times and particularly our PiC, Churchwardens, other members of the Ministry team flower arrangers, vergers as well as other volunteers. Lone working risks are also extended to those who visit members of our Church community in their own homes in an official capacity.
ALWAYS CARRY A CHARGED MOBILE PHONE IF VOLUNTEERING (even in a small group) AND A TORCH DURING HOURS OF DARKNESS)
These may include, for example:
• A potential for violence or threatening behaviour towards an individual carrying cash or high value equipment.
• The use of machinery, electrical or other equipment or chemicals.
• Working in remote areas, particularly after dark and outside normal working hours.
• Encountering intruders.
• Working at heights, using ladders and lifting.
• Competency, ability and medical condition of the individual.
• Falling, tripping, head injuries and other injuries gained through activity in Church /during visit etc.
This is not an exhaustive list; individuals are expected to discuss any potential lone working with the PiC/Churchwarden so the risk can be assessed and any necessary control measures applied.
2. Control Measures
All employees and volunteers will:
• Not undertake work for which they are not trained/qualified.
• Take reasonable care of their own health and safety, for example, use kick stools when working at height.
• Not do anything to put themselves in danger.
• Know and follow relevant safe working procedures and guidelines including for operating machinery and using hazardous substances.
• Never cut corners or rush work.
• Always follow reasonable targets.
• Stop for regular breaks and, if possible, change activity.
• Tell the PiC or Safeguarding Officer or Churchwarden about any relevant medical conditions.
• Report any hazards or accidents encountered.
• Not make any visits to the Church buildings alone or visit people in their homes without notifying the PiC or Churchwardens before and after the visit (when returned home)
• Ensure that any vehicle that is being used for a visit is properly insured, MOT’d , serviced, road worthy and has sufficient fuel. Ensure the route is known, parking is in a well-lit area, doors are locked whilst driving and a breakdown service is subscribed to by the driver. This is to safeguard the volunteer to be able to travel safely.
• A Church Contact form is completed by all volunteers and a copy with the PiC and Churchwardens ( the churchwarden will copy the form) in case of emergency
The PCC will:
• Provide opportunities for meetings and support if required.
• Assess the risks to all lone workers if a request to lone work is made.
• Provide appropriate training if required.
3. Emergency Services Information – it is essential that people carry a charged mobile phone and torch (when any part of a visit may be made during hours of darkness – even if light at the start of the lone working.)
Dial 999 and be ready to give the following information:
• Your name.
• Telephone number of your mobile
• Address of the church building/place you are visiting
• Your exact location on the premises.
• A brief description of the situation.
• The best way to enter the building.
• Call the PiC or a Churchwarden to inform them – the emergency services may need the door to be unlocked – do not bolt the doors shut – use a key.
IT SHOULD BE APPRECIATED BY ALL EMPLOYEES AND VOLUNTEERS THAT IF A DECISION IS MADE TO LONE WORK WITHOUT REQUESTING PERMISSION FROM THE PiC OR A CHURCHWARDEN THAT THEY DO SO AT THEIR OWN RISK AND CANNOT HOLD THE PCC RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ISSUE THAT COULD FOLLOW OR OCCUR DURING THAT PERIOD OF LONE WORKING OR TRAVEL BETWEEN HOME AND THE PROPOSED VENUE.
The PiC, Churchwardens and Treasurer will, on occasions, need to lone work and they will strictly follow the recommendations in this policy and will on all occasions try to work with at least one other person and not lone work.
This policy will be reviewed as required, or if a situation occurs which necessitates any amendment.