UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering
Staff/Student Intranet

Out of hours & lone working

If members of the department will be working alone in offices or laboratories before 7am or after 7pm, or at weekends, it is essential for them to inform the front Security Lodge (ext. 32108) of their presence and their departure.

Department policy is to generally restrict laboratory work to normal working hours (as defined above).

Individuals may still come into the Department outside these hours to work in offices.  However, experimental work should not be performed unless:

  • the academic supervisor authorises it on a one-off (i.e., not regular) basis;
  • the laboratory manager agrees that the work is safe to perform in these circumstances;
  • a second worker is present to assist at all times if the task has been risk assessed as unsuitable for lone working.

This should be regarded as exceptional rather than normal working practice and a record should be kept of the authorisation.

Lone working is not permitted at any time if an activity has been risk assessed as too hazardous to perform alone. Note that having others present periodically in the area is not sufficient to count as group working; the supporting workers must be able to give their full attention to assisting the primary worker.

Lone working should be avoided wherever practicable- but it is recognised that with lower occupancy rates during the pandemic, it will be inevitable that staff and students will often end up working alone.

Safety services recommend:

1)   Staff & students use a ‘buddy’ system when working alone. For lower risk activity, your buddy can be remote and contacted by phone (WhatsApp, MS Teams). For higher risk work, your buddy must be close, but can be in an adjacent room in order to maintain social distancing.

2)  Teams should co-ordinate activities and attendance in advance of lone work taking place.

  • Contact your manager (or another buddy) when you arrive in your department.
  • Make follow up contact every 30 - 60 minutes to say you are OK.
  • Contact your manager (or other buddy) when you leave work.
  • Contact your manager (or other buddy) when you arrive home.