Public Facing Lone Workers: Profile, Hazards and Solutions

lone working nurse

Knowing who your lone workers are, and identifying the types of risks they encounter is the first step to choosing the appropriate lone worker system for your organisation.

In this article, we specifically look at public facing lone workers.

Public facing lone worker examples

Public facing lone workers are those who meet and face the general public on a daily basis. This could be in various locations. They may not know the environment they are entering or the background of the people they are meeting. Here are a few examples of public facing lone workers:

  • Retail Workers
  • Social Workers
  • Housing Officers
  • Care Workers
  • Lettings and Estate Agents
  • Parking Enforcement Officers
  • Probation Officers
  • NHS and Medical Workers

Your business may have more than one type of lone worker, you may even have employees who fall in between the categories. Therefore, individual risk assessments are important. You need to clearly understand the risks to that particular type of lone worker.

Understanding your workforce and recognising the risks to their personal safety is showing your duty of care. As a result, a risk assessment will identify your lone workers’ risks in the three categories:

  • People – Who are your staff likely to come into contact with?
  • Environment – Where are they working?
  • Tasks – What are they doing?

Risks for public facing lone workers

Verbal and physical abuse

Public facing workers may have little background information on the people they meet. This can place them in challenging situations, for example, meeting those who have a history of drug abuse.


A public facing worker’s environment can contribute to the risks. For example, a service user home or a showroom.

Slips, trips or falls

For those workers whose duties involve working with heights, they could be exposed to accidents.

Illness or accident

A public lone worker could become ill during their working day or have an accident, leaving them unable to summon assistance.

Download our public-facing lone workers infographic