Don't Feel Home Alone: Personal safety is as important as doing your professional duty. When your job is walking out of your front door every day, and through someone else's, you should still feel secure in your territory. And safe in the knowledge that you have support and protection quite literally, at your fingertips.
Varied lone working scenarios
Lone workers in the housing and property markets cover a huge and diverse number of roles, which are often unseen by the general public. From working for inner-city housing associations to inspecting remote rural sites, from a concierge working the night shift to an estate agent valuing a new residence, every day lone workers are dealing with a potentially unknown territory and circumstances. It could be illegal squatters living in the property that is your job to rent out. Or you could be dealing with anti-social behaviour or challenging tenants. No matter how well trained you are, it can be very intimidating if you don't feel safeguarded.
In the UK, it is a legal requirement for organisations to protect staff and contractors who work alone. The considerations are often different for lone workers than for other team members. Employers in all sectors must review the health and safety implications and risks associated with these activities before the work begins.
The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 (along with later amendments), is the central piece of legislation covering occupational safety and health in the UK. This law covers employees, contractors and self-employed workers, and of course, includes lone workers. The UK Health and Safety Executive defines lone workers as "those who work by themselves without close or direct supervision", and this very directly covers a lot of working roles in the housing and property sectors.
Housing Associations, estate agencies and property management firms must all develop sound policies that codify their organisation's rules and regulations around lone working. Failure to do so can carry serious consequences. The Corporate Manslaughter and Corporate Homicide Act 2007, defined the principle that a company can be deemed guilty of corporate manslaughter if there is a 'failure of the management system'. New sentencing guidelines were came into force on 1 February 2016. Sentencing Council member Michael Caplan QC said: "These guidelines will introduce a consistent approach to sentencing, ensuring fair and proportionate sentences for those who cause death or injury to their employees and the public or put them at risk." The first prosecution resulted in the convicted company being fined ten percent of its annual turnover for a period of ten years.
Mitigate against risks
These considerations all demonstrate the importance of developing a thorough and tailored system of lone worker protection. And that's where Safe Hub comes in. Different Safe Hub features give lone workers peace of mind, while simultaneously allowing managers to control risks and meet the requirements of health and safety legislation.
Safe Hub's emergency Red Alert feature is an essential tool to protect workers in the housing sector, where they feel their safety is at risk. For example, if a property manager on site were dealing with an aggressive tenant, Red Alert would put them in direct contact with the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC). Estate agents could utilise our Yellow Alert feature, which allows them to leave information about site visits. And with Safe Check, property maintenance workers will get proactive support from us, with automated prompts to confirm their welfare and wellbeing. Using GPS, highly trained ARC Operatives can then direct emergency services to the worker's location as quickly as possible. We offer a tailored package of support, devices and apps to every company; and we can activate or deactivate protection and monitoring as required. Most importantly of all, in the event of an emergency, we can ensure direct access to emergency services, bypassing the usual 999 call procedures.
We all have the right to go to work and feel safe and supported. Safe Hub is here to make sure that happens.
Contact Lone Worker Solutions and the Safe Hub team today
Post by George Stavrinidis
George is Chief Executive Officer of Lone Worker Solutions (LWS). He believes passionately that everyone should be protected and supported at work. George supports LWS clients to make sure they enjoy the most effective relationship with the team and maximise the effectiveness of their deployment of Safe Hub.
About Lone Worker Solutions
At Lone Worker Solutions, it’s our business to protect employees, managers and shareholders from the risks associated with working alone. This includes the potential hazards faced by staff who work by themselves, remotely, or out-of-sight or earshot of colleagues. When it comes to safety we don't believe in a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach; instead, we tailor our solution to each organisation's exact needs.
About Safe Hub
Safe Hub is an award-winning package of emergency, buddy, proactive, reactive, broadcast and virtual barrier protection for lone workers. Safe Hub supports lone and remote workers on the widest possible array of BS8484:2016 Gold Certified devices including Android, Apple and Windows smartphones, BlackBerrys, standard mobiles, PCs, intrinsically safe devices, specialist personal safety devices and satellite phones.