Any business with lone workers needs to have procedures in place to protect employee health and safety. This is especially important if the job role requires any potentially risky tasks, such as using a ladder, using power tools or working with livestock. Even without these additional risks, there is a safety consideration for lone workers which employers are duty bound to cover. Staff members, who may be locking up the premises alone at night, face the risk of mugging or being forced to let intruders in to the building. Staff members who have to walk a distance from the premises to their car or a bus stop also face these risks, so employers should do all they can to ensure the safety of their staff.
There are a few simple steps that employers can take to improve the safety and security of lone workers. Firstly, having a well-lit exterior and a nearby car parking space for staff reduces the risks posed by them having to walk anywhere that is badly lit at night. Shadows and dark spots are where criminals hide, so if there is bright security lighting, perhaps with motion sensors, this can deter would-be robbers from attacking your staff as they leave.
People who lock up businesses late at night, or even just after everyone else has left the area, are at risk of attack, so having a watertight lock up process helps improve security. We have systems that can alert the business owner or a nominated person to the alarm being set; this means they know when this happens and also who locked up. When there is a high risk of crime these systems let you know that your business is safe overnight, and that your staff is also safe. An internal procedure whereby that last staff member contacts the business owner to let them know they are home, tightens up this process to keep everyone safe and confident.
CCTV should also be a consideration. While you can take all possible precautions against crime, there’s no way of completely eliminating it. Having a CCTV recording of a crime increases the possibility of the criminal being caught and prosecuted, and can help your staff feel safer as they know they are being recorded leaving the building, should something happen to them. If you use a lock up process similar to what we describe above then you can also monitor the CCTV feed to ensure your lock-up employee has reached their car safely, so you can relax knowing everything is safe and ready for the next day.
People working alone during normal business hours may be at a lower risk of becoming a victim of crime, but accidents in the workplace do happen, so it is important that employees expected to work alone have a means of communicating with the main office should anything bad happen. Mobile phones are a good way of achieving this, but in areas where the signal is poor, a two way radio transceiver (walkie-talkie) could be used instead. If possible, having CCTV coverage of areas where people work solo can be a great way of ensuring the safety of your staff at all times. Checking in that people are working and doing so safely means a lower level of stress about what is happening out of sight, and ensures that any accidents or bad working practices are picked up quickly and addressed.
At P&R Alarms we don’t just do burglar alarms, we can supply, install and service all the equipment needed to enact a lone worker safety framework from lighting to CCTV and monitoring systems. If you have a business where people routinely work alone, whether that’s during the day or late into the evening, you have a duty of care to provide your employees with everything they need to ensure their personal safety. As a bonus, these measures also help improve the overall security of your business premises, so everyone’s a winner. Get in touch with us today on 01905 799949.