Establishing a safe working environment for lone workers can be different from managing the health and safety of your other employees. As an employer, you have a legal obligation to protect your employees at work, which includes assessing the risks lone workers face and putting measures in place to control, reduce or avoid these risks. When you protect your employees from risk of violent assault and injury, you are also protecting yourself from personal prosecution.
As an employer, you should carry out a risk assessment to determine what risks your lone workers may be facing. Risk assessment is a process of identifying what hazards exist in the workplace and how likely it is that that they will cause harm to employees and others. The results will provide valuable information to reduce risks, especially in difficult environments, and is the first step in deciding what prevention or control measures you need to take to protect your employees from harm.
Lone workers will also learn from each other’s experiences. If a housing officer has encountered a problem with a certain tenant this should be shared amongst the rest of their colleagues. Do you have the resources to setup conversations between your staff or develop a reporting system that is accessible to all of your employees?
You may find that the risks uncovered in your risk assessment can only be controlled or reduced by investing in lone worker solutions, such as a lone worker apps, lone worker portal or personal alarms. And while searching for the right solution may initially be daunting, we’ve put together a list of 5 reasons why you should get in touch with a lone worker solution provider today.
1. Employers have a duty to provide a healthy and safe working environment
And lone workers are not the exception. Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, employers are required to take steps to provide a safe working environment for their employees. Failure to do so could result in fines or prosecution.
2. A safe workforce is a happy workforce
Would you want to come to work everyday knowing that there was a chance you could be injured, attacked or, in a worst case scenario, killed? Employees who feel safe will not only be more able to carry out the duties of their role, but will feel happier knowing that their employer cares enough about their welfare to take steps to protect them.
3. Mobile phones are not a solution without a dedicated app
While providing your employees with mobile phones can be helpful, they won’t necessarily provide lone worker protection without a dedicated lone worker solution app. A lone worker solution app will have a designated panic button on the app will override the mobile’s keypad lock and, using GPS tracking technology, you will be able to pinpoint an employee’s exact location should an emergency arise. The alarm will also connect to an Alarm Receiving Centre, who can determine whether the situation is a true emergency and connect to emergency services in that location.
4. Lone worker solutions are more accessible than you think
Lone workers are typically categorised into two types, ‘low/medium risk’ and ‘medium/high risk’. Those who are classed as ‘low/medium risk’ may not require the same solution as those who are classed as ‘medium/high risk’. Your lone worker solution provider should work with you, based on your completed risk assessment and your employees’ duties and needs, to determine which solution is right for you and your workforce.
5. Incidents can be costly
The Heath and Safety Executive estimates the cost of a single physical assault to cost an organisation in excess of £20,000. Forward thinking businesses view lone worker solutions as a type of business insurance, which can protect them against costly litigation that would apply if the business had no precautionary measures in place.
Don’t let personal safety be taken for granted. By taking sensible precautions and investing in lone worker solutions you protect, not only your employees, but you as an employer.