By Jo Martinez. Last Updated 14th June 2023. The meaning of a lone worker is someone who works by themselves or without direct or close supervision.
Employers still have a duty to ensure they do everything they reasonably can to protect the safety of those working by themselves. However, in some cases, lone workers may be attacked despite the safety regulations put in place.
This guide explores whether you’re eligible to claim compensation and how the process might differ depending on the circumstances of the accident in which you suffered harm.
For example, if the harm you sustained resulted from a violent crime, you may be able to claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
However, if the harm you experienced was a result of your employer breaching the duty of care they owed you, you may be able to seek compensation by making a personal injury claim.
Additionally, we will explore the compensation settlement you could receive following a successful claim against your employer.
More importantly, we have explored the option of funding legal representation through a No Win No Fee arrangement, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
Whilst we have aimed to cover the information you need in our guide, we understand you may have questions after reading. If so, our team are available to discuss your potential work-related injury claim in more detail. You can contact them 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
To get in touch:
- Fill out your enquiry using our online contact form
- Phone us on 0161 696 9685
- Use the online chat feature below
Select A Section
- Lone Work Meaning – What Is Lone Work And What Are The Risks?
- How Many Lone Workers Are Attacked Every Day?
- Who Could Be Liable If You Are Attacked As A Lone Worker?
- Managing Risk For Lone Workers
- Lone Workers – How Long They Have To Claim
- Civil And Criminal Injury Claims Calculator
- How Could Lone Workers Attacked Everyday Claim Compensation?
Lone working, meaning working with little or no direct supervision, can present risks to employees. We explore job roles that may involve lone work later in this guide.
However, even when undertaking lone work, meaning without direct employer supervision, your employer still owes you a duty of care. This means that your employer must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of their employees. It is set out in the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HASAWA).
Additionally, the Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 sets out the need for employers to carry out risk assessments. This includes assessing the risk of lone workers being attacked everyday. We examine the legislation in more detail later on.
Guidance For Lone Working
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) sets further guidance for lone workers and their employers. This includes ensuring that you have adequate support and workplace training as well as keeping in contact with you if you work alone. It also includes advice for employers to put measures in place to support workers who have experienced violence while carrying out work duties.
The HSE lists key workplace violence risks as:
- Fewer workers around, such as in the late evening or early morning.
- Workers with authority over others, such as security staff who must enforce rules.
- Carrying valuables, such as money or expensive equipment.
- Workers dealing with people who may have been affected by drugs or alcohol.
Call our advisors to further discuss how many lone workers are attacked daily. Our team of experts in workplace violence offer free legal advice 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the lone worker meaning is anyone who works by themselves or without close supervision. Under the Health And Safety At Work etc. Act 1974, your employer owes you a duty of care to take all reasonably practicable steps to keep you safe whilst performing work activities or at work. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 discusses in further detail what these steps could include.
According to the HSE, lone workers are more vulnerable to violence risks. Violence is defined as a worker experiencing abuse, threats or being assaulted in a situation related to their job.
Lone workers could be attacked everyday. Your employer must take steps to prevent work-related violence. As an employee, if you are concerned about any risks, you should be able to talk to your employer, a supervisor or a health and safety representative.
The HSE records that 5,315 incidents of violence occurred in 2021/22 that had to be reported under the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR). Although these statistics don’t tell us how many lone workers are attacked daily, they do provide insight into violence risks while at work.
What Occupations Are At Risk Of Attacks?
Some examples of jobs that may include lone working can include:
- Taxi drivers
- HGV and LGV drivers
- Petrol station attendants
- Social care workers
- Maintenance or repair workers
The HSE report on violence at work also provided data on the types of occupations and jobs that are more likely to see aggressive acts against staff.
They found that:
- 8.4% – protective service occupations such as the police and paramedics
- 3.9% – health and social care professionals
- 3.3% – health professionals
- 2.9% – managers and business owners
The average risk across all professions is 1.4%, meaning that police officers are statistically 6 times more likely to suffer injury compared to others.
Continue reading to find out more about accident at work claims. Otherwise, you can get in touch with our advisors for free at any time.
There are various reasons why lone workers may be attacked everyday and wish to seek compensation for their injuries. However, the process of doing so may depend on who is liable for the incident in which you sustained harm.
We have explored the different avenues you could take to claim depending on the specific circumstances of your accident.
Criminal Injury Claims
Lone workers may be attacked everyday due to a violent crime. If you have experienced physical or psychological harm as a result of a violent crime that happened in England, Scotland or Wales, you could file a compensation claim through the CICA.
When claiming through the CICA you will need to provide evidence of the incident. Evidence that could help strengthen your case might include:
- Police report: You must report the incident to the police in order to make a claim through the CICA. Once you have reported the incident, you should receive a crime reference number that can be used to process your claim.
- Medical records: These could include doctor or hospital records as well as an independent report from a medical assessment that you may need to attend as part of the claims process. This can provide details on the full extent of the injuries you sustained.
If you feel you would benefit from having an experienced solicitor representing your criminal injury claim, we could help. An advisor from our team could assign a solicitor from our panel to begin working on your case under a No Win No Fee arrangement. To learn more, get in touch on the number above.
More Evidence Examples
You may find it difficult to access evidence after you have been attacked as a lone worker, meaning you may benefit from using a solicitor to help you build a strong case. They could help you request CCTV footage and access copies of your medical records.
If you work alone, it’s likely that you don’t have any colleagues in your vicinity. However, it could be that others nearby or passing witnessed the attack. If so, and you have a way of tracing them and contacting them, they may be willing to submit a statement to corroborate your story. A solicitor can also help with this.
For more information on the evidence that could help to support your potential case, get in touch with an advisor.
Claims Against Your Employer
In some cases, a lone worker could make a personal injury claim against their employer if the harm they sustained resulted from negligence.
Under the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (HASAWA) employers must take reasonably practical steps to reduce workplace risks, including the risk of violence. This is part of the duty of care that they owe to their employees. Failure to take reasonable steps could result in injuries.
For example, your employer may have failed to provide you with training on working with vulnerable members of the public. As a result, you may have experienced harm after being assaulted at work.
If you experienced negligence on the part of your employer, contact our advisors to discuss your options about seeking accident at work compensation.
Under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 employers must manage the risks lone workers face.
Although lone working does not increase the risk of violence in itself, workers could be more vulnerable due to a lack of nearby support. As such, employers should provide training to minimise the risks of lone workers being attacked everyday. This training could involve employees and workers:
- Learning to recognise situations where they might be at risk
- Learning how to use technical solutions
There are other steps your employer can take to prevent you from sustaining harm while at work. If you’re unsure whether your employer failed to uphold the duty of care they owed you, please get in touch using the number above.
Regardless of how many lone workers are attacked daily, if they suffer due to employer negligence and would like to make a workplace injury claim, they must do so within the personal injury claims time limit. The Limitation Act 1980 sets this as typically three years to start a claim from the date of the accident. However, certain exceptions suspend the time limit for lone workers seeking compensation for their injuries. These include:
- Lone workers injured prior to their 18th birthday will have three years after their 18th birthday to start their claim. A litigation friend can start a claim on their behalf at any time while the time limit is suspended.
- If the injured party lacks the mental capacity to start a lone worker’s claim, the time limit is suspended indefinitely. Should the claimant regain their capacity, then they will have three years to start their workplace injury claim from this date. However, a litigation friend could start a claim while the time limit is suspended.
Due to the lone work meaning and nature of lone work, you may be eligible to make a criminal injury claim instead. The typical time limit to make a claim through the CICA is two years.
When making a personal injury claim, you could receive up to two heads of claim in your settlement: general and special damages. Each compensates you for the different impact your injuries have had on you.
General damages seek to award compensation for the impact your injuries have had on your quality of life, including the pain and suffering you have experienced. The figures in the table below relate to the general damages head of claim. They are taken from the latest edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document comprising bracket compensation amounts for various types of harm. Legal professionals often use the guidelines to help them when valuing claims.
|Injuries involving paralysis||(a) Quadriplegia: The award given will depend on several factors relating to the injury, such as the pain the person has experienced, their life expectancy and the degree of independence.||£324,600 to £403,990|
|Injuries involving paralysis||(b) Paraplegia: Consideration will be given to different factors when assessing the award given. This might include the psychological impact, age and life expectancy.||£219,070 to £284,260|
|Damage to the brain||(a) Very Severe: Injuries in this bracket might include quadriplegic cerebral palsy that causes disabilities that are severe in nature.||£282,010 to £403,990|
|Damage to the brain||(e) Minor: Cases in this bracket include minimal if any brain damage.||£2,210 to £12,770|
|Psychiatric and psychological damage||(a) Severe psychiatric damage that affects the person's life, education and work as well as their relationships. Other factors will be considered when determining the award given.||£54,830 to £115,730|
|Injuries affecting the senses||(b) Complete blindness in both eyes.||In the region of £268,720|
|Chest injuries||(f) Injuries in this bracket may lead to the lungs collapsing. However, a full recovery will be made without complications.||£2,190 to £5,320|
|Skeletal Injuries||(b) Multiple fractures affecting the facial bones resulting in permanent deformity.||£14,900 to £23,950|
|Skeletal Injuries||(c) Nose fractures: (iv) A simple and undisplaced fracture resulting in a full recovery.||£1,710 to 2520|
|Skeletal Injuries||(f) Teeth damage: (i) Where several front teeth have been lost or seriously damaged.||£8,730 to 11410|
Lone Worker Attacks – What Are Special Damages?
If you make a successful personal injury claim after being assaulted at work, your compensation award may include special damages.
This compensates you for the monetary losses you’ve suffered due to your injuries. Under special damages, you could claim back a loss of earnings, medical expenses and travel costs.
You would need to be able to prove that the costs you’d incurred were a direct result of your injuries. Therefore, you would need documentary evidence, such as bills, payslips and bank statements, for example.
It is worth mentioning that if you make a claim through the CICA, your injuries will be valued in line with the Criminal Injuries Compensation Scheme 2012. The amount and types of compensation you may receive for a successful CICA claim will differ from that of a personal injury claim.
To learn more about personal injury and CICA claims, you can contact our advisors. They would be happy to offer you free advice and answer any questions you may have about claims being made for lone worker attacks.
Lone workers who are attacked every day may find they could benefit from hiring legal representation. A solicitor who has experience handling claims similar to your own could help guide you through the claims process.
If this is the case for you, one of our advisors could help by assessing your case to determine if it’s valid and has a chance of success. If it does, they could assign a solicitor from our panel to represent your case under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA).
You could minimise the financial risks associated with legal representation by using an agreement such as this as you won’t need to pay any ongoing fees or upfront costs for your solicitor’s services.
Following a successful claim, you will pay a success fee, which is subject to a legal cap, from your compensation. However, if your claim fails, you won’t need to pay the success fee to your solicitor.
For more information on anything of which you’re unsure, you can:
- Fill out your enquiry using our online contact form
- Phone us on 0161 696 9685
- Use the online chat feature below
Related Claims For Workplace Violence
You might find the following links useful:
And more guides:
- Claiming compensation for an accident at work
- Accidents at work caused by tiredness and fatigue
- Claim compensation for slipping at work and hurting your back
- How to make an NHS accident at work claim
- How to claim compensation for an accident at work during your probationary period
- Why is it important to report accidents in the workplace?
- I was injured due to no workplace training, can I claim?
- How to claim for a back injury suffered while working for the NHS
- Office-based accident at work claims
- How to make a workplace back injury claim
- Employee rights after an accident at work
- Assault at work compensation claims
- Agency worker accident at work claims
- Tendon injury at work claims
- How to make a claim for an injury caused by defective work equipment
- How to claim for a back injury at work caused by lifting?
- Inadequate protective equipment compensation claims
- Ladder accident at work compensation claims
- Stuck in a lift at work? See if you can claim compensation
- Fatal accident at work claims
- Claiming when injured due to lack of work safety boots
- Manual handling claims
- Slip, trip, fall at workplace compensation claims
- Forklift accident compensation claims
- Warehouse accident claims
- Accident working abroad compensation claims
- Construction accident claims
- Self-employed accident at work claims
- Scaffolding accident compensation claims
- Could I be sacked for an accident at work claim?
- Firefighter injured at work claims
- Employers’ responsibilities after a work accident
- Claim for carbon monoxide poisoning at work
- I did not take time off work after an accident, could I claim?
- Chemical burn at work – can I claim compensation?
- Claiming for a work accident after leaving the company
- Do employers pay for work-related injury claims?
- Do you have to be an employee to make a work accident claim?
- Time limits for work injury claims
- Part-time employee injury claims
- I got hurt at work, do I need a lawyer?
- The personal injury claims process explained
- Temporary worker’s rights to claim compensation
- The Management Of Health And Safety At Work Regulations 1999
- Who to notify if a fatal accident occurs at work?
- How to use an accident at work claim calculator
- Fatal accident at work claims guide
- Contractor injured at work – can you claim?
- Bulging disc workers’ compensation claims
We hope this guide on claims that can be made by lone workers who are attacked every day has helped. However, if you need any additional information, get in touch using the details above.