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Staying Safe When Carrying Out Home Visits

19 November 2018
 November 19, 2018

When entering another person’s home in a professional capacity, your personal safety must always be your top priority.

Nurses, social workers, housing officers, delivery drivers, carers and maintenance staff are just a few of the roles where home visits are commonplace. However, despite being part and parcel of many people’s everyday jobs, this can potentially expose employees to risk.

Why do home visits carry higher risk?

Quite simply when you are in somebody else’s home this puts them in a position of control. This perception can alter the way you behave and put you on the back foot to start with. In certain circumstances you may be more likely to agree with somebody else or behave in a submissive way. In an unfamiliar environment you might not be aware of the dangers or even how to get away in a hurry if you need to.

The nature of some roles may also have a higher probable risk associated, for example a nurse that visits mental health patients in the community or a housing officer that deals with tenant disagreements. Many of these jobs involve lone working which can make it harder to get help. A worker by themselves is also an easier target for someone wishing to cause harm.

What can you do to stay safe on a home visit?

  • Planning before your visit is important, you must let people know your whereabouts.
  • Don’t go alone if a situation is deemed too dangerous for one person to attend.
  • Remain alert and be observant – get yourself into good habits and develop a routine which includes assessing your surroundings on arriving at the property, at the doorstep, when you enter and throughout the visit.
  • Relax and try to stay calm but remember you are working, so don’t get too comfortable and drop your guard. Some situations can turn nasty in an instant.
  • Always have a backup plan in case you feel uncomfortable. This could be an excuse that you have another meeting to attend. Make it look like people are expecting you so they will be aware if you’re missing.

 

Staying safe when visiting clients