You Don't Need to be a Lone Worker to Be Working Alone

Specific reference is often made to lone working and the need for enhanced safety training or devices to better protect lone workers.  Indeed this is an area of training that Maybo covers and our Chairman, Bill Fox is speaking at the Lone Worker Conference in November. However, many of us who work in a team or from a permanent base don’t consider ourselves to be lone workers, but can find ourselves alone, without colleagues close by and facing the same potential personal safety risks as lone workers.

Teams in social or care settings or public facing staff working in large rambling sites, those who work shift patterns or work from a satellite location can very easily find themselves facing a potential conflict situation without the backup of colleagues.  Sometimes the very fact that a worker is alone presents an opportunity to the verbal or physical attacker and because this lone situation is likely to be unplanned, it can leave the worker vulnerable to risk.

Risk assessments of roles or working environments should identify the potential for workers to be alone, but if carried out during the day with a full complement of staff it may not be immediately evident that with one person on holiday, one off sick, one temporarily relocated and another attending to a service user in another part of the building a worker would be alone.

Personal safety and conflict management awareness training is valuable, even for those perceived as being at low risk of exposure to verbal or physical abuse. It highlights some basic safety actions, such as leaving exit routes, being able to spot trigger signs early and calming and defusing techniques to resolve the issue or buy time until help is available. Whatever the working circumstances emergency contact procedures should be in place and communicated to all. It is helpful for workers, made aware of the risks, to identify areas or activities that apply to them and mentally pre plan their actions, should they find themselves alone in their place of work.   



Posted by Maybo on June 10, 2013


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