Lone Worker Policy

Statement of intent:

SNN recognises its duty of care for the health, safety and security of volunteers working alone. This policy applies to our volunteers who visit service users’ homes alone.

SNN have a responsibility to be aware of those activities that require lone working and to ensure that suitable and sufficient risk assessments for those situations are carried out.

SNN will ensure that all volunteers are familiar with our policy on zero tolerance of violence against our volunteers.

SNN will provide volunteers with training, information and support advising of the hazards of working alone and associated good practice.

It is acknowledged that guidelines cannot cover eventualities/circumstances which are not possible to anticipate. However, all volunteers have a duty to ensure that priority is given to their own safety and to that of colleagues, service users and the public where possible.

SNN will ensure that all initial visits to service users will be undertaken by two members of the committee. Where it is the intention that this initial visit will result in 1 to 1 contact between the service user and a volunteer those carrying out the initial visit must assess the situation and report back to the Safeguarding Officer on any concerns.

Volunteer’s responsibilities:

It is the responsibility of the volunteer to co-operate with any safe system of work and follow any instructions given.

Volunteers should not continue with a visit if they feel that the person is under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if they appear aggressive or abusive or present a risk. Make whatever excuses needed, to safely leave the situation and report back as soon as practicable to the Volunteer Co-ordinator.

Each volunteer must do all they reasonably can to avoid themselves being exposed to a situation that may result in an accident/incident. This will include a continuing assessment of the situation they find themselves in.

If anyone finds themselves in a situation with which they are not familiar or do not feel safe they must seek further assistance.

Where an incident occurs even if no injury is sustained, the incident must be reported to the Volunteer Co-ordinator as soon as practicable and an incident/accident report form completed. Should the volunteer not feel safe following such an incident then they should withdraw and seek further advice/assistance. The Volunteer Co-ordinator will inform the Safeguarding Officer

Volunteer’s should:

  • Always tell someone in SNN or their partner at home where they are going and when they expect to return
  • Prepare themselves by finding out everything they need to know before arriving and planning in their mind how they are going to deal with it
  • Never meet aggression with aggression
  • Never enter a building or a person’s home if they don’t feel safe.


Maintaining effective communication with volunteers in lone situations is essential. It will help to ensure that SNN are kept informed of their whereabouts but also provides a means of making contact in an emergency and therefore enhances a volunteer’s sense of security.

Policy Review

This policy will be reviewed at the first meeting of the incoming Management Committee each year. It will also be reviewed in response to changes in relevant legislation, contractual arrangements, good practice or in response to an identified failing in its effectiveness.

Date adopted and approved by the SNN Management Committee.

5th September 2016

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