Lone Working Policy

Imperial College Union is committed to ensuring the health, safety and welfare of its members, staff, customers, suppliers, visitors, and all others who may be affected by its activities and recognises its responsibility to create a safe working environment during lone working, under the Health and Safety at Work Act (1974); The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 and is committed to ensuring the health, safety, and welfare of all staff.

1. Definition

Lone workers are people who “work by themselves without close or direct supervision” (The Health and Safety Executive). At certain periods throughout the year, such as ICU closure days, workers may be on site carrying out work tasks that would otherwise be acceptable during normal campus opening. Any tasks carried out during these periods should be risk assessed to ensure that any lone working implications are properly identified and controlled.

It is Union's Policy to:

  • Avoid all lone working where reasonably practicable to do so.
  • Where lone working cannot be avoided, safe working is to be facilitated by:
    • Undertaking risk assessments, where necessary, to identify the hazards, assess the risks and put appropriate control measures in place;
    • Providing adequate and workable procedures to ensure that lone working consent is obtained and recorded in circumstances where this is required either by the College Code of Practice or in accordance with local rules;
    • Liaising with other employers to ensure that adequate procedures are in place in relation to lone working in shared premises.
  • Where risks cannot be adequately controlled, lone working shall be prohibited.

2. Responsibilities

  • ICU Board of Trusties

    The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 places a statutory duty on organisations to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare of its employees at work and other people who may be affected by their activities, e.g., membership, volunteers, members of the public.

    The Board of Trustees, as the governing body of the Union, has overall and final responsibility for Health and Safety matters within the Union, and for ensuring that Health and Safety legislation is complied with.

  • Managing Director (MD)

    The Trustee Board has devolved day-to-day responsibility for Health, Safety and Welfare to the Managing Director.

    The MD, and those acting on their behalf, will ensure:

    • Ensure that adequate arrangements are in place to achieve compliance with the policy;
    • MD delegates responsibility for undertaking aspects of these duties through line management & identified roles.
    • Senior Leadership Team

      The Managing Director will delegate to the membership of the leadership team the following responsibility:

      • Monitoring and reviewing the effectiveness of Health and Safety activities and the Union's Health and Safety Policy and associated policies and procedures, and for ensuring that, at the strategic level, performance standards and timescales are adhered to;
      • Chairing the Students' Union's Health and Safety Committee and ensuring it has the time, facilities and resources to carry out its business effectively;
      • Keeping under review this Health and Safety Policy and the Health and Safety performance of the Students' Union.
    • Facilities, Health and Safety Manger (FHSM)

      The FHSM is appointed by the MD to undertake the following:

      • Bringing this policy to the attention of Imperial College Union Line Managers;
      • Ensuring that departmental activities are conducted in accordance with Union policy, legislative, and other formal standards and that those hazards having the potential to cause harm are risk assessed and identified controls are implemented.
    • Imperial College Union Line Managers

      Health and Safety is a delegated line management responsibility requiring managers to undertake operational Health and Safety duties identified in this policy. Imperial College Union Line Managers to undertake the following:

      • Ensuring that departmental activities are conducted in accordance with Union policy, legislative, and other formal standards and that those hazards having the potential to cause harm are risk assessed and identified controls are implemented;
      • Ensuring that employees receive sufficient information, training and supervision on Health and Safety matters;
      • Staff are made aware that lone working should be avoided where reasonably practical;
      • The implications for lone working are considered in the risk assessment for the activity or area;
      • Risk assessments include consideration of any individual factors that might affect the capability of specific individuals to carry out lone working tasks;
      • Lone working activities are monitored to ensure that control measures are effective and that risks have been reduced to a tolerable level.
    • ICU Staff

      Individual members of staff, students and visitors have a legal duty to co-operate and comply at all times with the ICU Health and Safety Policy, instruction and training provided. Staff are responsible for:

      • Their manager or supervisor is informed immediately if there are any problems or changes to agreed arrangements;
      • Cooperating with their line manager / supervisor by complying with any lone working risk assessments that apply to the work that they will be carrying out;
      • They keep within the scope of the agreed work and work areas;
      • Ensure that their manager / supervisor is informed if they have a health condition that may increase risk from lone working;
      • Report to their line manager / supervisor anything they consider to be unsafe or likely to lead to ill-health.
    • Imperial College London

      The Students' Union, whilst an independent charity in its own right, is an integral part of the Imperial College community and could not exist without the College. The Union and College work in partnership to ensure that adequate measures are in place to ensure health, safety and welfare within the Union. The Union is committed to working with the Imperial College London Safety department and where appropriate, ensuring that the Union's Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements are in accordance with the College Health and Safety Policy, Codes of Practice and arrangements.

      The Union is in an unusual position in that whilst Union staff work directly for the Students' Union their contracts of employment are with the College. Whilst the Union accepts its duty of care and responsibilities, the College also has a duty to ensure, and support, the safe management and operation of the Students' Union.

    Review date: March 2025