Lone working happens in all industries. In construction I am thinking of site visiting, administration after hours and lone contractors specifically.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust, set up following the awful disappearance of a young estate agent in 1986, were recently at the ExCel Safety and Health Expo.
Code for the Safety of Lone Workers
It is easy to think of what happened to Suzy Lamplugh as a totally different set of circumstances to those found in construction, manufacturing or even off shore.
People do work alone and some distance from the nearest available help. By definition the general public are kept away from many of our workplaces. Sometimes the places we work are pretty isolated.
Suzy’s Code for Personal Safety says organisations should:
‘- Implement a buddy system (so colleagues always know each other’s whereabouts and contact details. This should include checking in and out when meeting arriving at and leaving the property, including out of normal office hours)
– Have a system in place for colleagues to raise the alarm back at the office in case of an emergency while working alone
– Have a clear procedure to follow if someone does not return or check in when they were expected
– Where possible, arrange for viewers to visit the office before meeting them at the property so that colleagues have also seen them
– Offer all staff a personal safety alarm and have discreet lone worker devices available. Before conducting a viewing, find out who else will be present in the property (current tenant, contractors etc.) when you visit
– Finally, make sure all staff are aware of and have access to the personal safety measures available’
Looking Beyond the Threats in Specific Industries
Generally our sort of work has a reputation, one that it is hard to get around even when we read the above. Not all construction workers, oil workers or engineers are tough to the point of fighting two burglars who wander onto a site. Our workers are not immune to sexual assault ( sorry to those who haven’t heard- I mean both sexes) none of us are immune to falls or other accidents or finally medical emergencies.
Going through the points in the code our work is covered by all of them at some stage. In addition there is that responsibility to watch out for those working for you. If push comes to shove and horrible people hurt your staff questions may well be asked about assessments that should have been made.
Stay Macho by All Means but Heart Attack!
We could debate all day as to who is vulnerable or who could take on a young Mike Tyson (probably no-one). a medical emergency can happen to anyone, end of debate. So even if you can’t see such and such as being vulnerable in any other way then the above code covers tragic sudden illness.
If I can help with any of the above then please contact me in the comments .