Housing associations employ an estimated 400,000 people in the UK, many of whom are lone workers delivering essential services, carrying out maintenance and conducting important housing visits. Working with the public, often in their own homes, housing association employees are one of the most at risk groups in lone working.
Lone workers employed by housing associations face risk every day. Whether they are conducting crucial repairs or liaising with residents. Consider the tragic case of Suzy Lamplugh, an estate agent who disappeared while lone working. Every potential risk your staff face is amplified by the fact these tasks are often handled alone.
Risks can include:
Physical and verbal aggression from residents and other members of the public
Accident and injury; slips, trips and falls
Handling of potentially hazardous materials
Working with high-risk equipment while performing maintenance
Attacks to personal and company property
As a housing association you have clear legal obligations to care for the health, safety and welfare of all your employees: be they office staff, plumbers delivering vital repairs or housing officers on the ground.
Exposure to the public, particularly in their own homes, carries with it the risk of violence: as a housing association, you have a duty to minimise and prepare for risk wherever you can and have a safety audit trail that stands up to scrutiny in the event of an incident.
Failure to protect the public and employees on housing association premises or during work you are carrying out can result in severe penalties. Beyond the moral cost of an accident or incident, large fines, damage to your reputation and even criminal charges can result from a failure to adhere to your responsibilities as an employer.
With such a varied assortment of lone working roles, housing associations need a practical, common sense approach to employee safeguarding. Start by conducting a thorough risk assessment and put together a lone worker safety policy. Everyone from maintenance to client facing staff need to understand their rights, liabilities, and have a set of best practices and rules to follow.
Conduct training to prepare lone workers across your housing association for the risks and difficulties they might face while working alone, particularly when interacting with the public.
Finally, consider putting in place a solution to simply and intelligently monitor, safeguard and empower all your lone working staff to do their best work safely.
Safepoint is functional, intuitive and easy to use. Sign up for the iOS or Android app in minutes. Run the guardian portal from any modern browser - no need for installation. Keep your lone workers safe wherever they are, without the fuss.
Smart, effective protection
Safepoint offers smart protection for your lone workers. Task duration, GPS location and safety information is shared instantly. Request help in case of emergency with a silent alarm and alert Guardians when a task duration expires.
Robust management tools
Safepoint helps you meet health and safety requirements and legally safeguard your housing association for the future. Manage your lone workers simply and effectively and make informed safety decisions in real-time.
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