The risks facing lone working Estate Agents was made a national concern after the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh in 1993. An Estate Agent from Fulham, Suzy went missing after attending an appointment with a client and was never found. Other cases of attacks and disappearances of Estate Agents emerged, and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust was set up by her parents to highlight the risks people face in the profession and to offer advice, action and support to minimise those risks.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 dictates that employers have a duty to ensure the safety and welfare of their employees (so far as is reasonably practicable). Every organisation with five or more employees is required to have a Health and Safety Policy.
The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations requires every organisation in the UK to undergo a pro-active process of risk management. Organisations must assess risk, create safe systems of working, communicate these to their employees and monitor and review their systems on a regular basis.
If an employer does not have policies and procedures in place, they need to identify the risks that employees might face and implement systems to reduce or eliminate these risks. These needn’t be complicated or expensive, but simple steps such as knowing the whereabouts of all staff at all times and the identity of who they are with.
The single most important factor when tackling the issue of personal safety for employees is communication and making sure that everyone is aware of the risks, processes and procedures that are in place.
Staff should be involved in establishing and instigating the procedures and should be encouraged to discuss any issues they have or report any concerns. With a lone working policy, procedures and lone working devices in place, Estate Agents can be confident that every precaution is being taken to ensure staff safety. This will benefit the health and well-being of both the employees and the organisation.
Estate Agents are in the very unusual position of sending individuals, and in many cases women, to empty buildings to meet complete strangers. Employers should always consider the possible implications of this.
Peoplesafe can provide enhanced security for lone workers via a range of devices. The use of a dedicated personal safety device or an application on an existing smartphone can help mitigate the risks they face. We work closely with all of our clients to determine the most effective lone worker protection. Whatever device or service is selected, your employees will benefit from:
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