Working Alone

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3 min 18 sec
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Ensuring Safety for Lone Workers

1. Introduction

Addressing Personal Safety Risks for Lone Workers

Lone workers often operate in the community or interact with service users without colleagues nearby. It is crucial to consider measures that eliminate or reduce personal safety risks when designing the workplace and work systems.

2. Best Practices and Policies

Key Strategies for Enhanced Safety

  • Ensure hedges and shrubs are well-trimmed, particularly around entrances and exits.
  • Provide adequate lighting in public areas and walkways.
  • Consider the use of physical barriers, bearing in mind their potential to affect aggression and interaction.
  • Reception layouts should avoid isolating staff and allow clear escape routes.
  • Explore options like CCTV, panic alarms, and communication systems.
  • Regularly test panic alarms, establish response procedures, and conduct alarm drills every 6 months.
  • Be mindful of environmental factors that influence behaviour, such as wall and furniture colours.
  • Maintain a comfortable temperature within the workspace.
  • Conduct daily checks to ensure there are no potential weapons accessible in rooms.
  • Control and monitor access to the building.
  • Review work systems to minimize waiting times and reduce the risk of violence.
  • Provide training in customer care and de-escalation techniques to reception staff.
  • Train staff in safe interviewing practices.
  • Display your violence and aggression policy in reception areas.

3. Community Settings

Risk Assessment in Various Work Settings

When lone workers operate in different employers' workplaces or community settings, assessing potential risks and control measures is crucial, similar to when visiting someone's home. Staff must familiarize themselves with security features and have plans for their safety in unfamiliar locations.

4. Ensuring Personal Safety

Protocols for Interviews and Custody Areas

  • Always inform another staff member of your location, the person you are meeting, and the expected duration of the interview.
  • Interviews should not occur without other staff members nearby.
  • Request police presence if a person's behaviour indicates the need for it, particularly in custody areas.