Safety in the workplace

Safety doesn’t happen by accident.

Understand employer and co-worker responsibilities in relation to occupational safety
(The GP in the Wider Professional Environment, RCGP Curriculum)

Workplace health and safety - in general practice

Institution of Occupational Safety and Health – IOSH  is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that sets professional standards, supports and develops members, and provides authoritative advice and guidance on health and safety issues.

Violence and aggression in general practice – Staff interaction with people from all sections of the community is the centre of general practice. As violence is present throughout society, the risk needs to be assessed and managed.  This guidance on assessment and management from the Health Development Agency dates back to 2001.

Lone working

Busy as each practice is, a proportion of our staff care for patients on their own, without the support of line managers or other colleagues. As such they are effectively ‘lone workers’, defined by The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) as those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. HSE’s Lone Working” outlines the responsibilities of employers to protect lone workers.

NHS Staff Council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Partnership Group (HSWPG) have published Improving the personal safety for lone workers: A guide for staff who work alone to assist staff who work on their own and to stress the need for robust risk assessment and risk management in lone worker situations. This document outlines what your employers and managers should do to improve the personal safety of lone workers and what you can do to protect yourself.

The CPD Zone is brought to you by the GP schools of Health Education England working across Thames Valley and Wessex, in association with Oxford Health FT Library.​

Page last reviewed: 15 January, 2021