Home visit safety

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3 min 27 sec
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Safety Tips for Lone Workers on Home Visits

1. Introduction: Recognizing the Risks

Understanding Home Visit Risks

Home visits by lone workers can entail specific risks, especially in unfamiliar or high-risk areas. Employees must be well-versed in organisational procedures and receive comprehensive training to address these scenarios. It's crucial for lone workers to consider their personal safety and presentation when visiting such locations.

2. Safety Guidelines for Lone Workers

Key Safety Tips

  • Avoid Valuables: Do not carry valuable items during home visits.
  • Conceal Your Mobile Phone: Keep your mobile phone concealed to prevent attracting attention.
  • Minimize Attention-Grabbing Items: Items like briefcases or diaries should be kept out of sight.
  • Pre-visit Planning: Familiarize yourself with the area and the route to your destination in advance to avoid appearing lost.

3. Factors to Consider When Planning Home Visits

Effective Planning for Home Visits

  • Necessity of Home Visit: Evaluate whether a home visit is truly necessary or if the interview could be conducted at the office or another secure location.
  • Accompanying Colleague: If possible, have a colleague accompany you for added safety.
  • Risk Assessment: Assess potential risks associated with the home visit and address them proactively.
  • Information on the Individual: Investigate any history of aggressive behaviour in the person's background. Discuss the best approach with your line manager if necessary.
  • Daylight Visits: Plan visits during daylight hours, preferably in the morning, to allow time to address challenging situations.

4. Communication and Personal Safety Equipment

Ensuring Communication and Safety

Always have a mobile phone or another means of communication available during home visits. Ensure access to personal alarms if they are relevant to your work. You are not obliged to enter a person's home if they appear to be intoxicated or unwell, unless a colleague accompanies you and it is deemed safe.

5. Policies and Procedures

Following Established Procedures

  • Exit Planning: Sit near the exit, be vigilant for potential weapons, and avoid sitting on people's beds.
  • Handling Pets: Request that dangerous pets are kept out of the room during the visit.
  • Abusive or Aggressive Situations: If the individual becomes abusive or aggressive, leave the situation immediately.
  • Mental Health Assessments: Plan who should attend the assessment with you, including the necessity of police involvement.

6. The Three Vs of Visiting

Enforcing Vigilance in Home Visits

Managers should enforce the three Vs of visiting: Vet, Verify, and Vigilance to enhance safety during home visits.

7. Managerial Responsibilities

Ensuring Employee Safety

Managers bear the responsibility of confirming the whereabouts of employees on home visits who have not reported in as expected. The workplace should not close operations for the night until the safety of all staff members is assured.