Are my staff at risk?
Being an estate agent or a sales rep doesn't appear to be a dangerous job at first glance, however being a lone worker comes with the need to have a certain level of protection. If you have members of staff which work alone at any time of the day or night they are classed as a lone worker.
This could put staff members in a vulnerable situation and at risk from violence, verbal abuse, illness or injury.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust
The vulnerability and risk of lone workers was made a national concern after the disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh in 1993, a 25 year old estate agent from Fulham. Suzy went missing after attending an appointment with a client and was never found. Other cases of attacks and disappearances of estate agents emerged and the Suzy Lamplugh Trust was formed to highlight the risks people face in their profession and to offer advice, action and support to minimise those risks.
Home Office Advice - Lone Worker Safety
The law requires employers to consider carefully, and deal with, any health and safety risks for people working alone.
It is not illegal for people to work alone and it is often safe to do so however there are certain risks which should be considered. Workers have a responsibility of care for themselves and others during their work activities.
Who are lone workers?
- A person working alone in a fixed abode, i.e petrol station, workshop or office.
- Someone who works past regular hours, i.e cleaners, security staff, maintenance staff.
- Mobile workers, service workers including postal staff, social and medical workers, carers, sales or service reps, engineers or installation workers.
How can you control the risks?
- Involve workers when considering their activities and risks
- Put in place control measures to reduce risks, for example carefully select
- Provide instruction, training and supervision
- Where a lone worker is working at another employer’s workplace, inform that other employer of the risks and the required control measures
- If a person has a medical condition, are they able to work alone?
- Is there a risk of violence or aggression
Further information about health and safety can be found in the hse working alone publication