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Updated Lone Worker Standard Effective

Feb 2017

Released in September last year, the updated lone worker British Standard (BS8484) applies in full late February 2017.

More and more people in the UK are working alone - away from their organisation’s office, at home or during hours that don’t conform to the standard nine-to-five etc. Working either in isolation or without direct supervision can present itself with additional health and safety risks.

The BS 8484 code of practice for the provision of lone worker device (LWD) services has been developed in response to a demand from the security industry to promote best practice when providing a LWD service to customers, and to create a benchmark against which LWD services can be measured. Compliance with this code of practice by service providers will enable both effective use of resources and maintenance of a good level of support for lone workers.  BS 8484 also aims to reduce the number of false alarms received by the response services.

Following a consultation process comprising key stakeholders from industry, the Police and audit bodies, amongst others, BS848 has been reviewed by the British Standards Institute committee GW3/12 under the Chairmanship of Patrick Dealtry. The draft revision was out for public comment and received over 200 comments which were discussed and many accepted into the revised standard. As a major revision to the standard, BS 8484:2016 was issued on 11 August 2016 to establish best practice in helping employers to look after vulnerable staff and becomes fully effective on the 28th February 2017.

BS 8484:2016 offers recommendations and provides a benchmark for those looking for a solution to reduce and/or eliminate the risk to staff operating away from the ability of colleagues who could otherwise provide direct assistance. It applies to Lone Worker Devices (LWD) and/or Lone Worker Applications (LWA) and acknowledges that these are part of a wider lone worker protection strategy incorporating the following changes:

  • revised and expanded definitions
  • revised structure including customer considerations and sections on management and training
  • improved self-certification process for lone worker devices by putting the responsibility for effective self-certification onto the supplier
  • allowance for the emergence of safety applications for mobile phones


Peoplesafe MD Ian Johannessen, who formed part of BSI committee which reviewed and updated the standard commented:

“The standard has greatly improved and covers the elements that contribute to lone worker safety in a more comprehensive manner. There are four groups that will benefit from the 2016 release: lone workers, their employers, lone worker solution providers, and escalations and emergency services.”

Brenig Moore, Technical Director at Astutis commented:
“Customers of lone worker services are increasingly demanding accreditation to BS 8484 which is already a requirement in public sector documents. Compliance reveals a commitment and offers reassurance for those wishing to remove the risks inherent with operating with lone workers.”

The new standard, arguably needed now more than ever, is also said to be more customer-focused and looks more widely at how those who employ staff in a lone working capacity are able to establish and maintain an effective position on lone worker staff safety, encouraging more companies to examine both safety culture and systems in this capacity.

For further information visit:

BSI Group:

Lone worker? You will find lots of practical advice to help keep you safe here:

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