As lone workers, estate agents are at considerable risk of violence and aggression, particularly as they engage with the public in enclosed locations such as houses.
Remember that the properties themselves can come with risk such as in the case of a woman falling down a well during a viewing. The result was not only physical injury but a fine of £200,000 for the estate agency.
Risks can include:
Physical and verbal aggression from residents, buyers, sellers and other members of the public
Accident and injury; slips, trips and falls, particularly when visiting building sites or renovations; structurally unsound properties
Mobile working can mean variable locations without immediate support
Attacks to personal and company property
All estate agencies have clear legal obligations to care for the health, safety and welfare of all their employees: whether that are in the office or out in the field conducting house viewings.
One in five estate agents said they had felt unsafe when conducting a property viewing, for female estate agents this figure was nearly a third. All estate agencies need to take positive steps to help ensure their lone workers are safe wherever they are.
Estate agencies have a duty to minimise and prepare for risk to both staff and prospective residents and buyers, and in the event of an incident, have a safety audit trail that stands up to scrutiny and can be used to improve safety in the future. Growth, learning and reflection are key parts of good health and safety and it’s everyone’s responsibility to help improve and refine these processes.
A simple yet exhaustive lone working policy is a must for all estate agencies. Begin by conducting a risk assessment that accounts for all the risks that your mobile, public facing estate agents might face. Don’t forget that estate agents may also visit building sites for new builds or renovations and can be exposed to risk there.
Conduct training to prepare all lone workers in your estate agency for the risks and difficulties they might face while working alone. Dealing with the public, whether in their own homes or when showing them around properties can result in situations that the proper training can help defuse.
In the tragic case of Suzy Lamplugh, a lack of accountability and lone worker visibility contributed to the end result. With a lone worker solution such as Safepoint, you can monitor the safety your staff and they can easily raise an alarm in the case of an emergency.
Robust management tools
Safepoint helps you meet health and safety requirements and legally safeguard your estate agency for the future. Manage your lone workers simply and effectively, and make informed safety decisions in real-time.
Smart, effective protection
Safepoint offers smart protection for lone workers in the field. Your employees can request help in case of emergency and the app alerts Guardians in the event a task duration expires. Your lone workers are safeguarded wherever they are.
Visibility and real-time updates
Safepoint shares vital safety information including GPS location, battery life and signal strength, instantly keeping Guardians and lone workers updated. Data is only shared during an active task so lone worker privacy is maintained.
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