There are very real risks for people who are working on their, particularly if they’re in a public facing role and especially if they need to visit people in their homes. Some significant concerns surround the lone worker being vulnerable to crime when travelling or that they may face aggression from the people they are working with.
The good news is that both individuals and organisations can improve their confidence and safety by having the correct training in place, following company procedures and working as a team.
At Lookout Call we’re passionate about using our experience to protect lone workers. Here’s a list of our top lone worker personal safety tips to help you and your employees stay safe.
1. Let It Go
If someone grabs your mobile phone or bag, let it go immediately. Your safety is far more important than your belongings. Struggling with an assailant will aggravate the situation. Wallets, phones, iPods and anything else you may be carrying are replaceable – you are not.
2. Public Transport
Whilst waiting for a bus or train, make sure you stand with lots of other people and once you’ve boarded, sit near the driver or in a busy carriage.
3. Consider the Worst
If you are public facing and working on your own, don’t wait for aggression to come to you before you think about your personal safety. Plan for and consider the worst case scenarios.
4. Trust Yourself
Do you visit clients in their homes? Trust your instincts. Is there something in your gut telling you not to enter a property? Is there someone you visit who makes you suspicious or uneasy? People often regret not listening to these feelings. If something feels off, it usually is.
5. On Foot
It might be necessary for you to walk through different areas for your job. If a motorist bothers you whilst you are walking, turn around and go the opposite way. Continue doing this as often as necessary. If the motorist exits their vehicle, call for help or dial 999.
6. Car Safety
Park your car in a way which enables you to leave quickly in an emergency. Before you return to your car, make sure your keys are ready and you lock your doors as soon as you’re inside the vehicle. Try not to carry valuable items in your car, but it’s necessary (your sat nav for example!) then be sure these items are hidden from sight before you leave your car.
7. Be Alert
Be aware of your surroundings and of the people around you. If you’re wearing headphones, don’t turn them up so loud that you can’t hear outside noise. Avoid using your mobile phone too as this can be a major distraction.
8. ICE ICE, Baby
In Case of Emergency (otherwise known as ICE) is a scheme that allows first responders such as the paramedics or police to access your next of kin details on your phone. You save a relative or friends number under ‘ICE’. If your phone is password protected, then consider making yourself a screen saver with your emergency contact details.
9. Safety Mantra
Before leaving the house, repeat the following phrase to yourself: ‘Keys, money, phone, plans to get home.’ There is little worse than being stranded without cash or your phone.
10. Meetings and Visits
Only take essential items into a meeting or to visit a client. Is it necessary to take your laptop or other valuables? When you’re meeting someone alone, position yourself between the other person and the door so that you have an exit route if needed.