Lone Working Sectors
Lone workers span many sectors, facing different risks and creating different health and safety challenges. Our bespoke solutions ensure that wherever your staff work, they will be protected.
69 percent of those who responded to the survey said they have been verbally assaulted while doing their job, with some even taken hostage, punched and kicked, or in some cases, attacked with a weapon.
Those in public facing roles are particularly at risk. Workers such as ASBO Officers, Arrears Collectors, and Tenant Liaison Officers all face risk of abuse and attack when entering people’s homes – or slipping, tripping or falling whilst travelling between appointments.
Mobile workers such as caretakers and maintenance workers may face additional risks, for example working at height or in adverse weather. Some of our lone worker devices offer a Man Down function which can automatically raise an alarm in emergency situations.
All of our solutions provide a Red Alert function, which enables operators to listen in to situations and record any verbal abuse.
As well as slips, trips and falls, distributing high-value goods also puts drivers at risk from robbery — either on the move or when loading and unloading at distribution centres.
And for those who drive vehicles around border controls, threats can include attacks from stowaways, or risks associated with migrants — for example, sitting on axels in a bid to illegally enter the UK.
Staff within the transport industry often face physical and verbal abuse, with much of it linked to alcohol. Ticket inspectors, bus drivers, train drivers and transport engineers are just a few examples of workers who may be at risk. Transport for London alone had 1,745 incidents of assault occur in over just nine months.
Lone Working in Utilities
From gas engineers or field sales reps visiting people’s homes to service engineers maintaining supply in remote locations, lone workers in this sector face many different risks.
As well as trips, slips and falls there are threats involved in working in hazardous environments, or when dealing with the public, requesting payments, working at night and travelling to appointments.
The Identicom 877, Twig Protector and our lone worker app (Android) are all popular devices with lone workers in this sector. They all have a Man Down function, which automatically raises an alert even if the user is unable to.
Charity staff may work alone, often during unsociable hours, in situations that involve looking after vulnerable people, or collecting money.
They face risks including robbery, attacks from people who may be in their care (for example those suffering from mental illness or addiction) and risks associated with travelling alone, such as accidents and falls.
Demonstrating a commitment to keeping volunteers safe can help to retain their services and attract more volunteers too. It also means that paid staff can get on with their jobs without having to worry about the wellbeing of their volunteers.
Healthcare & NHS
Lone workers in this sector include community-based workers such as doctors, nurses and midwives, security and maintenance staff, and reception staff manning desks out of hours. A large number of staff also work nights.
Many of these workers spend time in people’s homes or on the road travelling between them, putting themselves at risk of accidents and aggressive or abusive situations.
A Royal College of Nursing study revealed three quarters of respondents who worked alone in the community had been subject to physical or verbal abuse, and 2012-13 data collected by NHS Protect showed a rise of almost six percent in physical attacks on health service staff in England.
Social workers often have to deal with emotionally charged situations and traffic wardens face aggression on a day-to-day basis. Care staff also face risks and market inspectors, or planning officers on site visits, can face resentment from the public too.
It’s not just risks faced in the community either – a 2013 study by Community Care showed social workers and care staff are as likely to fall victim to attacks during meetings in an office as they are on home visits.
Risks of trips, slips and falls are also prevalent when workers travel to and from appointments.
Lone workers in this sector are exposed to risks in situations such as opening and closing stores; handling cash and banking; supporting warehouse, delivery and distribution operations, and dealing with customers who may be aggressive or confrontational.
Research shows that more than 20,000 shop workers are physically attacked each year and an even greater number are exposed to threats of violence and verbal abuse.
This type of abuse can be recorded by activating the Red Alert function on any of our personal safety devices.
Task-related risks facing workers such as those on a building site or in maintenance include adverse weather, and working at height or in hazardous environments.
In these types of environments, the Twig Protector is ideal due to its durability, and the ability to be ordered in the intrinsically safety ATEX version.
Public facing lone workers in the house building industry, such as sales and show home staff, face specific risks too. They include slips, trips and falls and road accidents, and social risks associated with dealing with people, such as aggression and abuse.
Research has shown nearly one in three estate agents have been the victim of abuse whilst conducting viewings and 16 percent have felt intimidated.
The case of Suzy Lamplugh, the estate agent who disappeared whilst on a viewing in 1993, highlighted the risks faced by lone workers in this industry and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up in her memory. We now work with them to offer personal safety training to workers across the UK.