The safety of Britain’s prison staff hit the headlines earlier this week, with concerns raised surrounding the issue of employees being expected to work alone at a time when some fear an increase in violence is pushing the system to breaking point.
It has emerged that following a change in working practices, contracted prison maintenance staff at HMP Liverpool were required to do jobs alone which had previously been allocated to pairs. Workers carrying out repairs felt this may put them at greater risk as prisoners could potentially steal their tools to use against them in a violent assault.
One former employee commented, “I see it as a bag of tools, somebody else will see it as a bag of weapons.”
It’s likely that this case is not isolated and the problem may be worse than immediately thought, as low staffing levels are reportedly commonplace in Britain’s prisons. Looking at the wider issue raises the question if lone working is appropriate in such a high
When you’re working alone, having a reliable method by which you can call for help is a must. Equipping lone workers with personal safety alarms is a simple and effective way to address this.
With many options on the market, we’ve put together a list highlighting several key characteristics or features that devices should ideally have and how these can help ensure staff are best protected.
Speed and Ease of Activation
In an emergency, getting help fast can be critical. Therefore, probably the most important feature a lone worker device requires, is quick and easy activation. A user must be able to raise an alarm with one button press and it should be very clear how to do this, so that even if someone had never seen the device before they would be able to activate it. Of course, the flipside of this is that an alarm shouldn’t be so easy to activate that it regularly creates false alarms. To avoid false activations, its best to choose a unit that requires a button to be held down
Manufacturing is one of the most widespread industry sectors in Britain. According to the Health & Safety Executives (HSE), the sector employs an estimated 2.5m staff within the UK. The industry is extremely widespread, with its nature of producing goods, different industries can include the production of food, drink, furniture, electronics, plastics, paper and many more.
HSE figures have revealed that between 2012-17, there were on average 22 reported deaths of those working within the UK’s manufacturing sector. There were also more than 3,100 reports of major injuries and approximately 4,100 reports of injuries that kept workers away from work for seven days or more.
One recent case reported to the HSE involved a member of staff at a manufacturing firm getting the sleeve of their coat stuck in a food mixer. With the force of the machine the employee got dragged in which resulted in broken ribs, a collapsed lung and large blood clots.
Another real-life case involved a worker at a plastic manufacturing firm suffering life threatening injuries. After being
Employees, especially those with public facing roles are vulnerable to experiencing assaults within their working environment. The figures for this type of crime have been significantly rising year on year, with little sign of improvement.
When working alone or with no one in close proximity, the risk is heightened greatly. Not only are lone working employees more of a target, they face the problem of not being able to easily seek help if an emergency was to occur.
With the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) yearly reports, it can be identified that in the year of 2016/17 both the retail and the health and social care sectors experienced the highest number of serious staff assaults. Roles within health and social care include community nurses and social workers who are responsible for visiting people’s homes, often alone. Due to the nature of their work they can be exposed to vulnerable individuals. Official figures revealed by the NHS’s safety advisory body found that in the year of 2016-17 there were 70,555 violent assaults on doctors, nurses
As you may already be aware from scrolling through your Twitter feed, today is ‘Random Acts of Kindness Day’, a whole day dedicated to encouraging people to spread a little kindness by doing good deeds for others.
This global event – celebrated each year on February 17th – originated in New Zealand but has seen a massive growth in popularity in the last few years, spreading its message of kindness across the world. The beauty of this particular movement is that anybody can get involved, whether it’s a simple as paying someone a compliment, giving up your seat on a bus, checking on a neighbour or even just smiling at a stranger.
Keeping with the spirit of the day, we thought we’d share a few heartwarming stories from our Incident Management Centre of how people have come to the aid of others in times of need.
Stories from our Incident Management Centre
One of our users happened to arrive on the scene moments after a young boy was struck by a car. Seeing that the boy was in need of