Personal safety reminder
Staff personal safety
Following on from a few recent incidents, where one was a suspicious individual that had been seen near one of our trust sites acting inappropriately. Staff are reminded to be extra vigilant in the wake of the recent events. If you work alone, your employer has an obligation to help keep you safe but you’re also obliged to help keep yourself safe too. With that in mind, here are five personal safety tips for lone workers.
1. Be observant
A major personal safety tip for lone workers that will keep you safe is learning how to always know what is going on around you. Observe the environment, the people you are with and take note of their behaviour. Learn warning signs such as a change in atmosphere, body language and tone of voice.
Maintain awareness of surroundings be aware of where you are and what is happening around you. Chatting on a mobile whilst walking will ensure you are not aware.
It’s also useful to always have an exit strategy for every situation you are in. for example, if you are entering a house look for your nearest exit, items which could be used as weapons against you and try to sit or stand in places which don’t leave you vulnerable.
2. Don’t make yourself a target
Unfortunately, just by being present in some situations you are putting yourself at risk but that’s not to say you can’t control and manage the level of risk. This is especially important when working with people who have the capability to be violent or to commit a crime. Monitor your own behaviour and attitude, for example, if a situation becomes tense don’t respond angrily as this could antagonise the other person.
Avoid danger high risk areas - quiet or badly-lit alleyways, subways or isolated car parks. Walk down the middle of the pavement, Don't become a wallflower.
Walk with confidence - do not look like a potential victim.
You can reduce the risk of robbery by keeping valuables hidden – for example, if you are a delivery driver, try to keep your phone out of sight and avoid putting temptation in the way of a would-be robber.
3. Always let people know where you are
One of the most important acts you can do as lone worker is to always let people know where you are. This could save your life in an emergency. It can feel a little bit strange to know that your employer or a colleague always knows your location but it’s not that different to working in a normal office job really – your boss would always know where you are!
So if your job takes you out and about to different locations get used to always reporting where you are. This can be done in a few ways; by phoning or messaging someone for example. Users of lone worker devices and apps can inform the close working group where they are.
4. Trust your intuition
Most people who have fallen victim to a violent incident or robbery will tell you that in hindsight, all of the warning signs were right there in front of them. So, why did the incident happen? it’s usually because people are scared to listen to their instincts. This could be for a number of reasons; fear of getting into trouble from an employer or worries over how they will come across for refusing to enter a house, for example.
If you ever feel uncomfortable or something is ‘off’ with a person or in any situation or doesn’t feel quite right, then listen to what that inner voice is telling you and remove yourself from the situation or if you are very worried raise an alarm. It doesn’t matter if it turns out to be a false alarm – better to be safe than sorry!
5) Carry a panic alarm or lone worker device
In the event of an emergency, it’s a good idea to have a panic alarm or lone worker device. Traditional panic alarms will emit a loud noise, distracting your assailant and giving you a few vital seconds to escape.
A lone worker device will also distract an attacker and in addition, it will get you the help you need. This could be from a colleague or the emergency services.
Below is a link provided by the Derbyshire constabulary this gives you further advice on how to keep yourselves safe whilst out and about.
Tips for staying safe on the street | Crime Prevention | Derbyshire Constabulary
Should you witness an incident:
- Never approach someone if you feel your safety may be compromised, but do let someone know. Never just ignore your suspicions.
- If urgent report to the Police on 999 or 101 if non urgent.
- Please inform the LSMS of your suspicions and complete a datix incident which enables monitoring and further action.
LSMS Security & Emergency Planning Officer
St Oswalds HospitalDerbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust
firstname.lastname@example.org (secure email address)