Lone Working

Lone workers are classed as those that work by themselves without close or direct supervision.

Drivers by the nature of their roles are classed as lone workers, spending long periods of time on the road by themselves. Those driving public transport will also be classed as lone workers, although they are technically surrounded by people, they do not have close or direct supervision for long periods of time.

It is important that they are provided with a way to communicate with the office / depot, but obviously mobile phones are not to be used whilst driving. 

Vehicles should also be fitted with trackers; this will enable drivers to be tracked down if they do not arrive at their destination within a given time frame. This can also be useful as evidence if a driver is accused of causing damage to another vehicle or property, as it can prove where the driver / vehicle was at the time of the accusation. Based on my own experience, this can prove very useful!

It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that they inform their supervisor if they are unwell or of any medication that may affect their ability to drive.  Employers must ensure that their drivers are competent and qualified to driver the vehicles they are driving, they must also satisfy the eyesight requirements of the Highway Code. 

Drink and drug driving must also be prohibited and polices should be in place to ensure that drivers will be aware of the consequences of arriving for their shifts under the influence of either.  Drivers should refrain from eating or drinking whilst driving and ensure that they take their allotted breaks to avoid fatigue, when tired your reactions will be slower and your vigilance will be reduced, putting you more at risk from having a crash.  Take your breaks, stretch your legs, get some fresh air and eat and drink during your break to help keep your energy levels up.

Ensure that the vehicles being used are roadworthy before setting off to avoid breaking down or having a tyre blow out on your journey and ensure that you have got the route planned prior to setting off, it’s a good idea for the office / supervisors to be aware of the routes their drivers will be taking as well in case of emergencies. Ensure that drivers are aware of what to do if they do have a breakdown i.e. if possible, parking up in a safe place, who to call for assistance etc. 

Have check in points with the office / depot set up i.e. after each drop off send a message to back to the office to update of progress, or have PDA check off systems, so that the progress throughout the day can be tracked along with the location of the driver / vehicle.  

Assess the risks of violence and aggression that drivers may have to deal with and have policies and procedures in place to deal with these situation i.e. if a driver is faced with aggression be it verbal or physical they are to remain / return to their vehicle, look doors and windows and call for assistance or leave site if it’s possible to do so, once these policies are in place, ensure that all your drivers are aware of them and regularly remind them via the use of toolbox talks.

If you need any help with your company health and safety, please get in touch through healthandsafety@totalcompliance.co.uk or call 0345 9001312.

#healthandsafety #drivers #loneworking #loneworker #roadsafety #workplacesafety