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News

UK faces increased personal threats to lone workers

British Security Industry Association (BSIA) : 22 May, 2013  (Technical Article)
Research from the BSIA shows increased likelihood of Lone Worker Security demand in the UK as violence and threatening behaviour continues to increase in the country
UK faces increased personal threats to lone workers

Demand for lone worker protection services by the UK’s transport sector is set to increase this year as employees face continued risk from physical violence, armed robbery and verbal threats, research carried out by the newly-launched Lone Worker Section of the British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has revealed.

More than six million people in the UK are classed as lone workers, working either in isolation or without direct supervision, often in places or circumstances that put them at potential risk.

According to members of the
BSIA, those facing particular risk within the transport sector are drivers, including those working in long-distance HGV road haulage as well as LGV or local delivery drivers. However, those working on the railway network, at marinas or on buses and coaches also face significant risk.

To help lone workers to assess the risks they face and summon aid should an emergency occur, the private security industry has developed specific lone worker devices equipped with mobile phone technology, which connect employees quickly and discreetly with an emergency response system that has direct links to the police.

Patrick Dealtry, Chairman of the
BSIA’s Lone Worker Section, comments: “Transport companies are under increased pressure to provide protection for their lone working employees, with a growing demand from insurers bringing about an increased awareness of their legal duty of care obligations and the implications of the Corporate Manslaughter Act.

“In the transport sector, many of the security measures already in use safeguard the vehicle rather than the individual, and many companies are now coming round to the fact that making sure employees feel safe while going about their day-to-day business should also be a key factor in their decision to implement a lone worker protection policy. Lone working can be intimidating and at times dangerous, so the protection of lone workers offers reassurance to employees that they are effectively safeguarded.”

To help transport companies make informed decisions when sourcing a lone worker service, the
BSIA has produced a guide to lone worker services for the transport sector, which includes information on best practice, employers’ legal obligations and relevant British Standards. The guide also includes real-life examples of where lone worker solutions have helped transport companies to reduce the risk faced by their employees.

The guide was produced with advice from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, a registered charity set up to campaign, educate, and support people to help reduce the risk of violence and aggression for everyone.

Rachel Griffin, Director of the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, comments: “Personal safety is an important issue that should be taken seriously at work by both employers and employees. The effects of violence and aggression, which can include verbal aggression, threats, intimidation and harassment - can be damaging to the victim both physically and psychologically. It can also lead to low morale, high absenteeism, and a decrease in productivity. Therefore it pays organisations to make sure that they have strategies in place to help ensure the safety of their employees.”

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