Lone Worker Security for Home Healthcare Workers
The healthcare and social assistance sector is extremely high risk so it's important for organizations to keep their workers safe. Find out how.
Healthcare workers who provide in-home care services are a vital part of the US healthcare system. They provide medical care, emotional support, and companionship to patients who are unable to leave their homes due to chronic illnesses, disabilities, or old age. However, these workers are often at risk of physical harm and other dangers when working alone in patients' homes.
Home healthcare is a high-risk role
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), healthcare workers are at a higher risk of workplace violence than workers in any other industry. This is echoed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics which reported 623,100 work-related injuries and illnesses in the healthcare and social assistance sector in 2021 nationally – significantly higher than in any other sector.
Why are home healthcare workers high-risk?
In-home healthcare workers are particularly vulnerable because they work alone and often care for patients with complex needs, some of whom may be prone to confusion or aggression. The risks include verbal abuse, physical assault, robbery (sometimes for prescription drugs), and sexual assault.
Examples of assaults on home healthcare workers
Unfortunately, there are many real-life instances of assault on home healthcare workers. One of the more well-known cases occurred in January of 2012 when five men kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 53-year-old home healthcare nurse as she was preparing to visit a patient. This heightened an already growing fear for safety among healthcare nurses everywhere.
Healthcare organizations should take steps to ensure worker safety
Healthcare organizations need to take steps to ensure worker and patient safety and security. One such step is to provide them with lone worker safety devices. These devices are designed to be carried by the worker and used to discreetly call for help in an emergency (Red Alert - Panic Button). When the Red Alert button is pressed, the device calls the Emergency Dispatch Centre where operators will listen in to the incident and quickly send the appropriate support e.g. notifying the emergency services or the worker's supervisor.
What are the benefits of a lone worker safety solution for home healthcare workers?
Lone worker safety devices can provide several benefits to home healthcare organizations including:
- Peace of mind for workers: By having a safety device, workers can feel more confident and secure while performing their duties, knowing that they have an easy way to call for help if needed. In the event of an emergency, the device can be a lifesaver, enabling prompt intervention and reducing the risk of harm.
- Improved reputation and quality of care: Lone worker safety devices can help to ensure a culture of safety in your organization. By investing in the safety of employees, employers can demonstrate their commitment to providing a safe work environment and attracting and retaining skilled workers. This, in turn, can improve the quality of care provided to patients and reduce the risk of absenteeism and turnover.
The importance of protecting workers who provide healthcare services in people's homes cannot be overstated. These workers play a critical role in the US healthcare system and deserve to feel safe and secure while performing their duties. Providing them with a lone worker safety device is a cost-effective and practical way to enhance their safety and well-being. By taking steps to protect in-home healthcare workers, we can ensure that they can continue to provide the high-quality care that so many patients rely on.
Find out more
For more information about how lone worker safety devices can keep your home healthcare workers safe, please take a look at our lone worker security solutions or contact us using the form below.