What is Lone Working?



It's estimated that there are up to 8 million lone workers in the UK.



The Sentencing Council guidelines state that a Corporate Manslaughter fine should be up to £20 million.



It’s reported that 18% of people now spend over half of their time as a Lone Worker.


Per Day

It’s estimated that over 160 assaults and attacks take place on lone workers every day.

There are up to 8 million lone workers in the UK alone…

The British Security Industry Association estimates there are over 6 million lone workers in the UK, but some estimates put that figure as high as 8 million. It’s reported that 18% of UK employees now spend over half of their time as a lone worker. A recent market research report estimated that there are over 30 million lone workers in Europe and around 23 million in North America.

The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) definition of a lone worker is someone who “work[s] by themselves without close or direct supervision”. This broad definition can include any employee who spends time in an office on their own, travelling between meetings, or even working at home or in a café – either regularly or on the odd occasion.

Many of these individuals work in conditions that expose them to personal danger from work-related violence or verbal abuse, accidents, serious illness or injury. And due to the fact that they are on their own this puts them at a greater risk should the worst happen. What does this mean for employers?

Employers have a legal and moral Duty of Care to staff to protect them from unnecessary risk. Establishing a healthy and safe working environment for lone workers can be different from organising the health and safety of other employees. They should not be put at more risk than other people working for you. It will often be safe to work alone. However, the law requires employers to think about and deal with any health and safety risks before people are allowed to do so.

If an employee suffers harm at work as a consequence of doing their job, the organisation and their directors could end up in court. And if it can be proven that the systems employed aren’t up to the job of protecting workers, they may be in breach of numerous pieces of Health and Safety legislation. This could have disastrous consequences.

Before even considering the cost of fines and litigation, the HSE estimates that it can cost an organisation in excess of £20,000 just to investigate a single physical assault. It can cost a lot less to prevent one.

If an incident does occur, the courts will take the resources available to an organisation into consideration – the Sentencing Council guidelines state that a Corporate Manslaughter fine should be up to £20 million. It is no defence for an employer to say that they did not have the time, money or resources to reduce risk. There is the possibility of courts imposing publicity orders which can tarnish reputations, and in the worst cases, prison sentences for senior managers found to be negligent.

Send For Help is at Hand

Send For Help’s subsidiaries – SkyguardGuardian24 and Peoplesafe help fulfil employer’s Duty of Care to their staff. It’s not just about protecting lone workers and employees at risk. It’s about helping to protect employers from potential ruinous litigation. What’s more, it’s proven to help increase morale and staff confidence knowing that if they need assistance fast, there are highly trained professionals available 24 hours a day to help assist in any emergency.

Via our trading brands, we operate in every relevant UK market sector; Corporate, SME, Consumer, Public Sector, Police, NHS, Telecare, and Charitable.

We are a service driven organisation that prides itself on our proven ability to handle real life emergencies, including those deemed to be of the highest risk within the UK – individuals under Police protection.

Millions of pounds of investment in developing bespoke software, infrastructure and devices have enabled us to offer a service that really works. It’s proven, it’s out there helping to protect real people every day in a host of challenging and diverse situations.

Direct Link to Police for Faster Response Times

Through the use of Unique Reference Numbers (URNs), security systems are able to escalate alarms directly to police forces and provide an immediate response – faster than that available to those dialing 999.

URNs can be allocated to security systems such as Alarm Receiving Centres (ARCs) if they are compliant with requirements from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC). They give ARCs a direct link to police control rooms and enable a level 1 priority response which bypasses the 999 system. Vital time is saved using this approach as alarms have already been verified as genuine by the ARC. Details of end users and the incident will also be passed on by the ARC, so a response can be dispatched much quicker.

Send For Help’s service is fully accredited with BS 8484:2016 and BS 5979 Category II Alarm Receiving Centre, as part of its compliance with the NPCC’s requirements. We have URNs for all UK police forces (where available), giving us direct access to police control rooms. Verified alarms are communicated to response services in accordance with the National Police Chief Council’s Security Systems Policy.

Further to this, our devices are nationally approved by UK police forces having been awarded the Police Preferred Specification product design scheme, Secured By Design. Our Alarm Receiving Centre was also the first facility to have been audited to the scheme’s ‘ARC for Lone Workers’ product category.

Therefore, in emergency situations where time is critical, Send For Help’s users are assured the fastest response available to them.

For more information please refer to the following statement from the National Police Chiefs Council.

Legislation affecting employers:

    • The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
    • The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999
    • The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007
    • The Health & Safety Offences Act 2008

These are only the general laws affecting organisations – in addition, there are whole host of supplementary Health and Safety regulations which apply to specific industries, workplace environments and types of job activity.


Benefits include:

  • Protection of your lone workers from potential harm, serious injury or life-threatening incidents
  • Improves lone worker morale
  • Reduces time off work due to incident related illness/convalescence
  • Helps employers fulfil their Duty of Care to employees
  • Protects your organisation from ruinous litigation
  • Fast, cost effective backup for people at risk in the private sector
  • Upholds your organisation’s reputation (which can be seriously damaged in legal proceedings, even if found not guilty)