Thanks to social distancing laws and practices many more of us are now lone working, leaving our personal safety vulnerable.
Lone working is working without the direct supervision of a superior or manager. A lone worker doesn’t have to be solitary to be considered a lone worker.
The risks of lone working come from:
- The environment-inclement weather, hazards etc
- The public or service users-assault, threats etc
- Their own health-falls, sudden illness etc
Lone workers are in more danger than people who are supervised because it can be harder to call for help if injured or under duress. Following some basic personal safety tips for lone workers and using a lone worker device or app can reduce the risk of a dangerous situation happening, minimise the impact if it does, and ensure help can reach the lone worker quickly if the worst does happen.
Here are our personal safety tips for lone workers.
1) Lock Your Doors
Imagine you are in your car and you stop at traffic lights. It happens all the time. But have you ever thought about how vulnerable you are? Is your door locked or could someone walking past easily get in with you?
Or imagine you are in your home, working away in a backroom or a bedroom. Could someone quietly let themselves in? Although the number of burglaries is decreasing, there were still over 400,000 last year in the UK.
Even remote properties and offices can fall victim to a passing intruder.
Keeping your doors locked whether you are working from home or in your car is a top safety tip.
It only takes an opportunist to try your door and you are suddenly very vulnerable.
2) Keep In Contact With The Office
Whether you are working from home, a satellite office, or out in the field it is a good idea to keep in regular contact with the office or your manager.
In these strange Covid times it is easy to become isolated and not communicate with your colleagues as you would if you were with them.
Make an effort to check in with people throughout the day. That way, if anything should happen, they will notice your absence and be able to trigger the internal safeguarding process.
“Always park your car facing your route of exit, especially if you’re in a cul-de-sac.”David Atkins-Head of Products and Implementation at First2HelpYou
3) Slim Down Your Personal Belongings
Do you carry everything in your bag? Your keys to your house, your address on your driving licence, which is in your purse?
If a thief was to steal your bag, would they be able to work out where you live and get access?
Take some things out of your handbag or rucksack. Only carry around what you absolutely need. Split your possessions out, so maybe your keys are in your pocket and your driving licence is in your glove box.
4) Keep Your Wits About You
Keeping your wits about you is a big part of your personal safety as a lone worker.
When you are walking down the street or through a car park, give your environment your full attention. Don’t listen to music on headphones or look at your phone.
Being aware of your surroundings lets your instincts fully focus on any potential dangers.
You could also learn self-defence skills, such as Jiu-Jitsu, which focuses on neutralising an attack regardless of the size of your opponent.
In your car, don’t have podcasts or talk radio on if it might distract you. Be sure to keep your mind on the road to reduce the chances of you having a crash.
5) Get A Lone Worker Device Or App
A lone worker device or app lets you get help if you need it. It also raises the alarm on your behalf if you are in danger or injured and are unable to call for help yourself.
You can speak to a trained operator to tell them if you need the emergency services or assistance from a colleague.
The beauty of these devices is they have a roaming sim card, which means even if you don’t have good enough mobile signal to make a call, your device will be able to hunt for a signal.
Get In Touch
If you would like to speak to us about the safety of you or your colleagues whilst lone working, then please do get in touch. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0333 7729401.
We will be happy to talk through the risks associated with your role and the best way to protect yourself and your colleagues.