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1.1.8 Safe Working Policy and Procedure

This procedure should be read in conjunction with Children’s Social Care Risk Management Procedure and the Corporate Health and Safety Code of Practice.

Also: The Preventing Violence at Work Policy (S22).

Particular reference should be given to:

  1. Controlling Risks Arising From Violence, Aggression and Lone Working. Manager’s guidance;
  2. Avoiding Violence and aggression at work. Employee guidance.

The health and safety of this workforce and the management of risk arising from work based activities is a key consideration. This policy and procedure acknowledges that this involves both employee (personal) responsibility and managerial responsibility.

This chapter was added to the manual in April 2016.


  1. Key Principles
  2. Operational Requirements
  3. Employee Responsibilities
  4. Escalation Plan

    Appendix 1: Home Visit Risk Assessment Checklist

1. Key Principles

  1. This is a standard procedure that everybody is expected to follow;
  2. All staff are familiar with the Corporate Health And Safety Code of Practice;
  3. Failure to follow this procedure may result in disciplinary action;
  4. Tracking information is visible, current, accurate and complete;
  5. There is clear identification of key roles and responsibilities and an escalation process to follow;
  6. Inspection and review processes are identified and followed.

2. Operational Requirements

  1. A White Board, which is:
    • Is in easy view of the admin team;
    • Is used to identify if someone is in the building or out of the building;
    • To show expected time of return to office.
  2. Electronic Calendar:
    • Intended address, Care First ID;
    • Appointment start & finish time.

3. Employee Responsibilities

As per policy guidance (Avoiding Violence and Aggression at Work - employee guidance) all home visits should be risk assessed (see Appendix 1: Home Visit Risk Assessment Checklist) and care first checked for warnings prior to a visit and if particular risks identified a management plan agreed with the Team Manager or person with delegated responsibility. This could include for example, visiting in pairs or arranging a suitable venue to meet away from the person’s home.

The employee will:

  • Consider their own personal safety at all times, avoid unnecessary risks, confrontation or physical intervention and, wherever possible, withdraw from situations where they feel threatened;
  • Contact 999 if they are under immediate or significant risk of violence;
  • Complete a risk assessment (and update) on all allocated cases;
  • Complete the White Board and Electronic Calendar with all relevant information, address and time of each visit and return time of each visit;
  • Will keep Electronic Calendar up to date and accurate;
  • Will contact admin after each visit and to inform of any changes to their plans/changes to timing of visits/determine they are safe;
  • Will ring admin at 4.30pm to update information and determine if need to speak to manager re working out of hours;
  • Will agree a contact plan with the Team Manager/delegated person if working out of hours;
  • Will clearly identify if attending an office base for a meeting and arrange to ring in at the end of the day to confirm whereabouts and safety;
  • Will have their mobile phone charged, on, and will respond ASAP to messages;
  • Will provide the make of their car and registration details. Emergency Contact details. They will update these with any changes;
  • Will where possible avoid planned visits out of hours;
  • Will maintain current electronic records and update warnings;
  • Will keep EDT and care team/core group members informed of any risk.

Admin Responsibilities:

Admin will:

  • Monitor the White Board from 9am to 5pm daily (Monday to Friday);
  • Update the White Board with all new information as given to them;
  • Contact any social worker who has not provided information for the white board. If contact not established the Team Manager/delegated person will be informed;
  • Inform the Team Manager/person with delegated responsibility if they have any concerns about social workers not reporting in within 30 minutes of the identified time. (see escalation plan (see Section 4, Escalation Plan);
  • Retain a file holding personal information about all staff.

Team Managers Responsibilities:

The Team Manager will:

  • Complete the White Board with relevant information concerning their whereabouts and contact details;
  • Maintain MSS and a file holding personal information about staff e.g. emergency contact details, the file will be held in admin office for easy access when required;
  • Identify a delegated Team Manager for that day if unable to fulfill this responsibility themselves;
  • Have their work mobile phone charged, on, and respond to messages ASAP;
  • Discuss and agree contact arrangements with any service users who have markers against their names, or who require clear risk management plans;
  • Agree Out of Hour contact plans with staff members;
  • Carry out spot checks to determine the proper use of the White Board;
  • Follow the escalation plan where there is any cause for concern (see Section 4, Escalation Plan);
  • Ensure Social Workers complete and update home visit risk assessments on all cases;
  • Performance manage staff not using the White Board and Electronic Calendar in accordance with the framework. This could lead to disciplinary action if required;
  • Review CareFirst warnings as per established protocol.

Operational Checks

  1. Team manager to complete spot checks 1 x monthly and ask admin and social workers if they have any concerns.


The Safe Working procedure will be reviewed regularly.

  • First review: 6 Months after implementation of new framework to identify problems/issues and solutions;
  • Adjust framework accordingly;
  • Review annually thereafter.

4. Escalation Plan

Where a Worker(s) has gone on a visit and they have not contacted the office following a visit, the Team Manager or person with delegated responsibility will consider the following guidance to determine the level of response and actions required by them. This is guidance only and the Team Manager/person with delegated responsibility will use their own judgment about following the identified steps. This list is not intended to be exhaustive and other actions may be suitable.

  1. Check the white board and see when last in contact;
  2. Trace steps through the White Board / Electronic Calendar as far as possible and identify when last seen/or heard from;
  3. Ring the persons mobile (work and personal) and leave a message to immediately phone in if they do not answer;
  4. Telephone the service user(s) being visited and ask them if they have seen the staff member/or to prompt to ring in;
  5. If contact is made with the social worker and it is suspected that they are being threatened ask ‘are you all right?’ to enable staff to say yes/no;
  6. Consider the information available about the service user(s) on CareFirst paying particular attention to warnings /other sources for e.g. housing providers;
  7. Consider if there are any particular relevant circumstances about the worker for e.g. are they newly qualified?
  8. Consider if the behaviour is unusual for that worker;
  9. Consider whether there are any environmental factors for e.g. weather conditions which could be delaying contact;
  10. If out of hours contact Emergency Contact provided by the worker;
  11. Contact the police. Provide details of workers car and personal details and details of any home visits.

Appendix 1: Home Visit Risk Assessment Checklist

Click here to view Appendix 1: Home Visit Risk Assessment Checklist.