Looking after lone workers in the retail and leisure sectors
Lone working in retail and leisure
The retail sector alone is a massive contributor to the UK economy, with an estimated 2.77 million workers making it the biggest private-sector employer in the country. Coupled with the other elements of this sector, there is a huge number of workers who regularly work alone or out-of-sight of colleagues within this headline number. Many of the risks associated with this sector focus on interaction with the public – as well as the physical risks associated with the repair of vehicles. But more specifically, lone workers may be handling money, which will add risks to their job, in particular the threat of being attacked or intimidated by thieves. This makes emergency and proactive support all the more important for these workers – which Safe Hub is able to provide through a number of features and devices.
Shop workers face dramatic rise in abuse
Retail Crime Survey shows violence rising by 40% year-on-year
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), wholesale and retail trade had a higher than average rate of injury in 2016/17 compared to other sectors of the UK economy. The injury rate of 2,250 per 100,000 workers in the sector was around 20% higher than the average across the economy.
While detailed figures as to the cause of these accidents are not readily available from the HSE, it’s likely that many of these injuries will have been caused by slips and trips, and by accidents during deliveries. For the latter group of injuries, it’s also likely that many of those affected will have been lone workers. Whatever the chief cause of these injuries, Safe Hub can mitigate their effects by getting injured lone workers the help they need as quickly as possible.
Recent figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) identified a significant rise in violence against staff in the sector. Its latest annual Retail Crime Survey suggested retail staff saw levels of violence and abuse rising by 40% year-on-year in 2016. The biggest increase was in aggressive and abusive behaviour, as there were 51 incidents of violence and abuse per 1,000 staff.
The staff surveyed suggested that their experience of an inconsistent police response underpinned a growing sense that offenders are able to act with impunity. What’s more, a large proportion of aggressive incidents are thought to be linked to the act of shoplifting, and abuse is particularly likely to occur when a confrontation takes place around an attempted theft. And with the increasing number of major supermarket brands having small local outlets, there has been an increase in coordinated robbery attacks in certain parts of the UK. All of these issues can be directly addressed with Safe Hub, as workers can reach our Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC), which has priority access to emergency services.
Safe Hub scenario:
Closing the premises at the end of the night
A restaurant manager might be the last left in the building at the end of a busy evening shift. Staying late to perform a stock check and cash up, it might mean they are left alone for a while, depending on the restaurant’s circumstances. While inside and cashing up, the manager clearly faces risks from being in an empty building at an anti-social hour. And then they’ll potentially be leaving the restaurant premises hours after the rest of the staff have already left for the night, putting themselves at risk of attack or aggression from a thief or mugger.
Safe Hub can address all these concerns and mitigate all these risks, if the manager has access to one of our dedicated devices or apps. While they remain on the premises, Safe Check offers a periodic welfare check to make sure that the manager is out of harm’s way. As they’re exiting the building and locking the door or lowering the shutters, Red Alert can provide vital emergency support should the manager feel vulnerable (in addition to any other security measures that the restaurant might have). And for added levels of comfort, Worker Down can respond reactively to any impact registered on the manager’s device or smartphone app.
Case Study: Berry Bros. & Rudd
Lone Worker Solutions has deployed Safe Hub at specialist wine suppliers Berry Bros. & Rudd. We’ll be safeguarding the company’s delivery drivers via our advanced smartphone app. This offers a full range of emergency, proactive and reactive support.
Berry Bros. & Rudd has chosen to deploy the Safe Hub App to protect its delivery drivers, who operate from the company’s Basingstoke warehouse. As the warehouse stores over 1 million bottles of wine and spirits, drivers are often responsible for transporting stock of significant value to retail and trade customers.
Berry Bros. & Rudd were particularly attracted to the periodic welfare check provided by the Safe Check feature, giving peace of mind to drivers on the road. Safe Check allows lone working drivers to confirm their status via an automated response at pre-set intervals.