We work with over 100 Housing Associations across Britain, providing 24/7 lone worker support wherever they are.
Reduced staffing levels have made lone working commonplace and the dangers of home visits often hit the headlines following assaults on care workers, including in extreme cases, deaths.
These staff reductions force service providers to send more lone workers into the homes of vulnerable people whose behaviour is often potentially violent.
Care worker Ashley Ewing died in a frenzied knife attack when she was sent alone to visit a paranoid schizophrenic. She was twenty-two. Though rare, her tragic case illustrates the very worst possible outcome when the risks lone workers face every day prove unmanageable.
The Office of National Statistics states there are over 120,000 Housing Officers and Social Workers in the UK, as well as nearly 60,000 Youth and Community workers employed.
So, it’s alarming to hear statistics such as those reported by personal safety charity, Suzy Lamplugh Trust, who reveals that more than one in 10 housing workers has been taken hostage at some point in their career.
Or a survey conducted by Inside Housing that reveals there were nearly 9,000 recorded attacks on housing staff within the space of three years – that equates to approximately six a day (and these are only the ones recorded).
What’s the Cost to the Business?
In the case of Ashley Ewing, her employers were fined over £50,000 plus court costs for failing to adequately protect her. Now, more and more companies are being prosecuted via the Corporate Manslaughter Act, which is designed to make it easier for companies to be found guilty for deaths arising from management failures that constituted a gross breach of their Duty of Care.
The Sentencing Council guidelines state that a Corporate Manslaughter fine should be up to £20 million. But it is no defence for an employer to say that they did not have the time, money or resources to reduce risk.
There is the possibility of courts imposing publicity orders which can tarnish reputations, lower staff morale and in the worst cases, prison sentences for senior managers and those in a position of responsibility found to be negligent.
Of course, this doesn’t include the cost to your employee’s health. Statistics from the Health & Safety Executive report that stress accounts for 40% of all work-related illnesses. Industries that produce the highest rates of work-related stress are human health and social work – with a leading factor said to be work related violence.
How Do I Protect My Lone Workers?
Skyguard’s personal safety service provides lone workers with the backup and peace of mind they need to focus on their work rather than on potential problems. It enables anyone who works alone to summon help rapidly in the event of an incident that threatens their well-being.
Using one of our personal safety alarms or Smartphone software downloads, lone workers can communicate with our Skyguard controllers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. With GPS locating technology, two-way voice communications, memo function and ‘Man Down’ – a fall detector function that automatically raises the alarm in the event of a trip, slip or fall – our personal alarms are the perfect tool to protect your lone working employees in the event of an emergency.
Our clients within the Housing Association sector use Skyguard to protect a wide variety of employees; Enforcement Officers, Rent Recovery Officers, Benefits Assessors, Housing Officers, Surveyors, Community Caretakers, IT and Support Staff to name but a few. Whilst the job roles often face differing risks and each individual may have their own unique personal set of circumstances (such as a medical condition), Skyguard’s service is flexible enough to tailor a solution for anyone.
Skyguard also helps you fulfil your employer Duty of Care and protect your organisation from potentially disastrous prosecution. Skyguard can limit or avoid the huge cost of loss of, or damage to physical business assets by enabling employees to summon fast, effective backup in the event of an incident. What’s more, it’s proven to help increase morale and staff confidence knowing that if they need assistance fast, there is a highly trained professional there at all times to assist them in any emergency.
Still not sure? Head over to our Customer Case Studies page to read real-life stories on how our service protects staff 24/7.
Find out how our personal safety service works, or contact us to discuss your requirements.