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Retail sector lone worker guide

British Security Industry Association (BSIA) : 22 June, 2016  (New Product)
The BSIA is providing assistance to the retail industry with a guide published to detail lone worker safety systems
Retail sector lone worker guide

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has launched a guide to lone worker services for the retail sector.

The guide, aimed at employers and stakeholders in the retail sector, highlights the importance of lone worker safety and explains how lone worker devices are helping to keep employees safe.

More than six million people in the UK work either in isolation or without the safety net provided by direct supervision, often in places or circumstances that put them at potential risk. A wide variety of organisations and industry sectors employ people whose jobs require them to work or operate alone, either regularly or occasionally.

Almost by definition, lone working can be both intimidating and at times dangerous, so the protection of lone workers involves a twofold approach; not only to provide safeguards, but also to offer reassurance to the people involved.

In the retail sector, the 24/7 nature of many roles means that there are risks faced by employees, particularly those that work late at night or receiving deliveries early in the morning.

With an ever increasing number of lone workers operating in the retail sector, it is important for employers to be aware of their responsibilities. Craig Swallow, Chairman of the BSIA’s Lone Worker section, explains: “Employers in the retail sector have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their lone workers. This includes ensuring a risk assessment is carried out and that strategies are implemented to provide a safe working environment, including their approach to/from their place of work. Furthermore, employers must ensure that lone workers have the relevant resources, training and information to work on their own safely and that there are procedures to deal with a lone worker having an accident or being on the receiving end of verbal or physical abuse.”

“I’m really pleased to see the publication of this valuable guide; the retail sector is a vertical market where there are many types of lone workers facing risks of verbal abuse, physical abuse as well as slips, trips and falls. The guide provides useful information on what constitutes lone working, how lone worker protection solutions work and the importance of British Standard BS8484” adds Swallow.

The guide also outlines what to look for when choosing a system, suggesting that employers look for systems that offer:

• Device or smartphone applications certified to BS8484
• A supplier who can prove that they are certified to BS8484 through audit
• Monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre certified to BS8484 (part 6) and BS5979 (Cat II) or BS8591 or EN50518
• Solutions that fit the lone working application and risk profile of your workforce
Members of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section will be exhibiting the latest in lone worker protection technology at the Safety and Health Expo, part of the Protection and Management Series, at London’s Excel from 21st – 23rd June.

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