Lone working is generally accepted to mean working in an area or in circumstances where there are no other workers present. Therefore, in the event of an emergency there is no one to give assistance or summon help. There is no time limit attached to working alone - it may be for the whole work period, or for a much shorter period of time. Activities which may present high risk when working alone include: • Access to and from the workplace using ladders (eg, can a person working alone actually move portable ladders?) • Entry into confined spaces. • Handling biological substances. • Handling flammable substances, for example organic solvents • Handling valuables. • Lone occupation of rooms fitted with automatic fire protection systems • Working alone and directly with members of the public (including research/ survey work). • Work with high pressure systems ,e.g steam boilers and pipelines • Work with toxic substances, for example cyanides. Activities which may present lower risks include: • Cleaning duties as part of a team • Office work out of hours • Static security work (e.g monitoring CCTV). Regardless of the reasons for working alone, steps must be taken to carry out a risk assessment of the lone working activity. All lone workers should be aware of the risk reduction procedures, and should know what to do in the case of an emergency.