Expert Answers to Biz Questions
Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.
Top Security Risks for Lone Workers
Many professions require people to work alone, so it’s not uncommon for someone to operate independently or away from their co-workers. While this is a common practice, it still comes with a few special requirements. At the top of this list is the implementation of efforts to ensure lone worker safety.
Lone workers tend to face a lot of threats and risks as they try to get their job done. The fact they’re alone makes them more vulnerable to certain threats. This is why it’s crucial that employers ensure their security.
To better understand why there’s a pressing need for lone worker safety, you might need to get to know first what the most common threats are to these professionals.
Violent Physical Assaults
A lot of lone workers interact with the general public to accomplish their tasks. This automatically puts them at risk of violence, as altercations tend to arise in every workplace that gets in contact with clients and customers. The risks further heighten for professionals who work with distressed and unstable individuals, as well as those with a history of violence.
The National Association of Social Workers states that about 30% of social workers have experienced physical assault at some point in their careers. Retail workers who man shops during the graveyard shift are also especially exposed to such dangers. In fact, almost 50% of the deaths of retail employees are attributed to physical assault.
Verbal Assault and Threats
Just because some people didn’t get physically aggressive it does not mean that some lone workers have nothing to worry about when they’re verbally threatened or abused. These incidents can escalate over time, especially if the lone worker holds a position of power or influence over the other party. Their dynamics can cause resentment and provoke verbal abuse.
This is just as serious as physical aggression because it can really do a number on a person’s psyche. If the danger isn’t addressed properly, they might not be able to perform their tasks properly.
Those who work completely alone may be safe from physical assault from others but being by themselves can also put them in danger. Some accidents can cause serious trauma and even death if they’re not rescued and treated right away.
As some lone workers operate separately from their co-workers, they might not be able to get immediate help if they get into an accident. This can easily turn minor accidents into a more serious one, as time is always of the essence when it comes to addressing injuries. Without having anyone around, getting help quickly can be difficult.
Accidents that can Take Place While Traveling
The act of traveling from one point to another also poses threats to lone workers. The commute can make you vulnerable to thieves and other kinds of aggression from other passengers. Not having a co-worker with you can make you defenseless in most situations.
If you have your own vehicle, however, you’re still at risk of driving accidents. Road mishaps can take place and have you involved while you’re on the clock.
These are just some of the most common safety issues lone workers face on a regular basis. Some professions face more threats, so it’s very important for employers to identify them right away. This will help address the issues immediately and minimize its effects on employees.
By achieving this, businesses can minimize their liabilities and ensure better performance from their employees. It’s a win-win situation for everyone, so it’s very important for employers to pay close attention to this aspect of workplace safety.
Copyright 1995-2018, Idea Cafe Inc. Downloads are for personal use only, not for resale to others, and may not be reprinted in any form without written permission from Idea Cafe Inc.