Stepping into someone else’s property can be intimidating at times, especially if you are alone. Many lone working roles require staff to carry out home visits by themselves – for example community nurses, housing officers, carers, social workers and those doing repairs.
We have assembled some tips on how to make home visits safer for lone workers.
1. Plan your visit beforehand
Be prepared. If you are going somewhere new, check out the location prior to your visit so that you are familiar with the area. This helps you get to safety quicker if need be. If possible, it’s also a good idea to find out more about the person you are visiting. Therefore, you’ll be more prepared and aware of potential issues before you arrive.
2. Park your vehicle as nearby as possible
If travelling by car, park somewhere that enables you to make a fast exit. Choose a well-lit area, away from driveways or anywhere that you could be blocked in. Also, make sure you reverse in so it’s easier to maneuver out.
With the warmer weather on the way, you may be thinking about taking a trip abroad. If you’re planning a holiday or travelling to another country for work, there are a number of precautions you should take to help keep yourself and your valuables safe.
Our friends at Sainsbury’s Money Matters blog have produced a useful infographic (below) with advice on looking after your money when abroad. We’d also like to take this opportunity to share a few personal safety tips of our own.
Remember, it’s important to have fun and enjoy yourself, but keep the following advice in mind so that you’re prepared.
Do your research, find out where the nearest embassy is and make a note of this.
Know your destination so you are aware of any unsafe areas and crime hotspots. Check for official travel advice from the Foreign Office about the place you are visiting.
Inform your bank where and when
The feeling of being watched is something that most of us can relate to experiencing at some point. Thankfully in the majority of cases this is often just down to an overactive imagination, but what if your fears were correct? Worse still, what if you were being followed?
In this frightening scenario, instinct can play a key role. It’s important to trust your senses and keep a calm head to protect yourself and get to safety as quickly as possible. We have produced some advice on how to tell if you are being followed and what you should do.
Stay calm and in control of your fears
If you suspect someone is trailing you either on foot or by vehicle, your first thought may be to panic and speed up to try and lose them. In fact, this could actually make matters worse and put you in more danger, especially if you are driving. Instead slow down and take a deep breath. Note how the person responds, do they adjust their pace to match or hang back?
Lone worker solutions are available in a variety of shapes, sizes and forms ranging from dedicated standalone devices to personal safety apps for smartphones.
When making a decision on which is the best fit for your own particular requirements, it’s important to consider:
– Who are you looking to protect?
– What situations are they likely to be in
– Where are they going to be working?
– When are employees working alone?
– Why do you need to protect lone workers?
Who are you looking to protect?
Lone workers are defined as those who work in isolation from others, without close or direct supervision. This encompasses employees that work alone in premises, home workers, staff based externally or working outside of normal hours.
There are an estimated 8m lone workers in the UK, with over 70% of the countries’ workforce finding themselves working on their own at some point. Lone working also includes employees who stay late in the office or travel to meetings.
What situations are they likely to be in?
Some roles will come with a greater level of risk, so
As of today, BS 8484:2016 the updated standard for lone worker device services has replaced the previous version from 2011.
First published at the end of summer last year, the new standard is a major revision which encompasses several modifications including greater transparency in reporting and tighter Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for improved response times. There is also now comprehensive coverage of lone worker smartphone applications.
BS 8484:2016 provides an important benchmark by which to compare lone worker solutions. To meet its requirements an organisation must first successfully undergo a rigorous audit. Only then can alarms be escalated directly through to local Police control rooms using URNs (Unique Reference Numbers) and receive priority response bypassing the 999 system.
Earlier this year Skyguard became one of the first companies to be successfully audited and gain BS 8484:2016 certification, ensuring that the lone worker products and services we offer are approved and accredited to the highest possible standards.
James Murray, CEO of Skyguard commented