Lone working, are you doing enough?

Lone working, are you doing enough?
Posted 07th October 2019

Suzy Lamplugh's story

On the last Monday of July 1986, in broad daylight and in the middle of a working day, the unthinkable happened. Suzy Lamplugh, a 25-year-old, disappeared during the course of her work as an estate agent while showing a client round a house in Fulham.

Speaking at the time, the late Diana Lamplugh vividly recalled the phone call she received from Suzy’s manager. He said:

'‘Do you have any idea where your daughter might be, Mrs Lamplugh? We wondered whether she could have called into home for lunch. I don’t want to worry you, Mrs Lamplugh …. but Susannah left to show a house to a client just before lunch and she has not returned. We just wanted to check anywhere we could.’"

Diana recalled that it was so unlike Suzy, who usually stuck to the rules and regulations – something must have gone wrong.

At 12.40pm on 28th July, Suzy had left her office – Sturgis and Sons, 654 Fulham Road – taking her house and car keys and a purse with £15 and credit cards, but leaving her handbag behind. 10 minutes later she was seen waiting outside an empty property, 37 Shorrald’s Road, which had only been on the market for one week. At 1.00pm, she was joined by a man (presumably the “Mr Kipper” she had written in her diary) and minutes later they were seen walking away from the house. At 6.45pm, her manager reported Suzy’s disappearance to the police.

Suzy’s body has never been found, but she has been presumed murdered and was legally declared dead in 1993.


If this story fits in with your workplace, consider talking to your manager by implementing some simple controls. Such as:

  • Avoid lone working if you can
  • Ensure that a buddy shares the work
  • Have a suitable means of communication and ensure that everyone is accounted for (especially at the end of a day)
  • Consider using the royal mail to deliver publications instead of employees 
  • Try not to carry out home visits. Ask for people to come to your workplace

Consider measures to reduce aggression while driving

  • Ensure that all doors are locked when you are driving.
  • When stationary, ensure you can see the tyres of the vehicle in front of you. If you can you will have enough space to manoeuvre away. 
  • Do not wear organisation clothing/id badges etc.


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