It is often questioned whether or not it is safe to work alone when working with the public, especially in roles that require you to enforce rules.
A recent incident at Clapham Junction station saw a lone working member of staff assaulted when performing his duties. The victim, who works on the platform at the over ground station requested that the attacker did not board the train with his bicycle during rush hour, unless he was prepared to travel in the last carriage. After the situation escalated, the attacker subsequently became aggressive, punching the rail worker in the face. Detective constable Denis Mahoney said: “The victim sustained several cuts, including one above his eye which required stitches”.
This poses the question as to whether or not lone working is suitable when the risk of assault or attack is relatively high. According to a 2015 investigation by the BBC, there has been a 44% rise in assaults on tube/train workers since 2009. London Assembly worker Val Shawcross mentioned after looking at the figures that “The closure of ticket offices and cuts in staff numbers would leave workers feeling ‘dangerously isolated’”. One transport union said the rise showed staff are at “constant” risk of attack.
Although increasing staff numbers may seem the obvious solution to safeguard lone workers, it would be costly. There are a number of convenient and discreet technologies on the market today that will effectively monitor the safety of employees for a smaller price.
Take a look at Skyguard’s range of devices for the protection of lone workers. Skyguard currently help several public sector organisations to meet their Duty of Care.