If you work alone, your employer has an obligation to help keep you safe but you’re also obliged to help keep yourself safe too. With that in mind, here are five personal safety tips for lone workers.
1) Be Observant
A major skill which will keep you safe is learning how to always know what is going on around you. Observe the environment, the people you are with and take note of their behaviour. Learn warning signs such as a change in atmosphere, body language and tone of voice.
It’s also useful to always have an exit strategy for every situation you are in. for example, if you are entering a house look for your nearest exit, items which could be used as weapons against you and try to sit or stand in places which don’t leave you vulnerable.
2) Don’t Make Yourself a Target
Unfortunately, just by being present in some situations you are putting yourself at risk but that’s not to say you can’t control and manage the level of risk. This is especially important when working with people who have the capability to violent or commit a crime. Monitor your own behaviour and attitude, for example, if a situation becomes tense don’t respond angrily as this could antagonise the other person.
You can reduce the risk of robbery by keeping valuables hidden – for example, if you are a delivery driver, try to keep your phone out of sight and avoid putting temptation in the way of a would-be robber.
3) Always Let People Know Where You Are
One of the most important acts you can do as lone worker is to always let people know where you are. This could save your life in an emergency. It can feel a little bit strange to know that your employer or a colleague always knows your location but it’s not that different to working in a normal office job really – your boss would always know where you are!
So if your job takes you out and about to different locations get used to always reporting where you are. This can be done in a few ways; by phoning or messaging someone for example. Users of our lone worker service are able to easily log their location via their lone worker device when they set an amber alert or quickly update their GPS location by pressing a button.
4) Trust Your Intuition
Most people who have fallen victim to a violent incident or robbery will tell you that in hindsight, all of the warning signs were right there in front of them. So, why did the incident happen? it’s usually because people are scared to listen to their instincts. This could be for a number of reasons; fear of getting into trouble from an employer or worries over how they will come across for refusing to enter a house, for example.
If you ever feel uncomfortable or something is ‘off’ with a person or in any situation, then listen to what that inner voice is telling you and remove yourself from the situation or if you are very worried raise an alarm. It doesn’t matter if it turns out to be a false alarm – better to be safe than sorry!
5) Carry a Panic Alarm or Lone Worker Device
In the event of an emergency, it’s a good idea to have a panic alarm or lone worker device. Traditional panic alarms will emit a loud noise, distracting your assailant and giving you time to escape.
A lone worker device will also distract an attacker and in addition, it will get you the help you need. This could be from a colleague or the emergency services. A lone worker device such as our KIT device will also give you the ability to open two-way audio with someone from our call centre who will be able to record the interaction, reassure you or give life-saving advice.
Think you need a Lone Worker Device?
If you are a lone worker and think that a lone worker device could help increase your safety then you may want to speak to your employer about your concerns and get them to read one of our previous posts on lone working such as this one.