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All the Leaves are Brown?

It’s that time of year again, the days are getting shorter, the mornings darker and the weather a lot colder; Saturday evenings in the beer garden are but a distant memory.

This drastic change in season affects the type of risks we face, both environmental and social. It’s key that when we carry out our day-to-day duties we stay vigilant and dynamically assess the environment as it continues to change.

The colder seasons offer a whole host of extra environmental risks for lone workers to consider, for a number of reasons; the change in weather brings more rain, snow and ice, leaves are falling making surfaces wet and slippery and there’s less daylight.

According to a U.S. Department of Labor report, slip, trips and falls make up most general industry accidents, making up about 25 percent of all reported accuidents each year. These type of accidents can obviously happen year-round, however, autumn and winter conditions create a more hazardous environment will increases the risk of worker injuries.

Issues to consider during the winter months:

  • Lighting
  • Wet and decaying leaves
  • Rain water
  • Ice, frost, snow
  • Salting

Fewer daylight hours can increase the potential for aggressive situations, arising from social interaction - potential verbal abuse or physical attack for example. With dimly lit streets and alleyways it may be time to reconsider visiting the last client of the night or even changing your way home to a more public route. Whatever the threat, as a lone worker it’s time to start reviewing your risk assessment process.

As an employer, you have a duty of care to your workforce. A great way to do this is by providing information about risk and delivering appropriate training on how to deal with any potentially dangerous situations. By doing this you’re ensuring you’re meeting your duty of care and decreasing the risk of an incident.

As a result of this increased risk during the colder months, it’s important that your policies and procedures are up-to-date. Lone worker policies and comprehensive training can be invaluable when it comes to protecting your staff; a well-informed and aptly trained team significantly reduces risk. However, for those times when training is not enough, there are other options.

The SoloProtect ID is the latest release from SoloProtect, and with improved functionality, it further enhances the ability to deliver a leading lone worker solution via upgraded technology.

SoloProtect ID is designed as an identity card holder in order to be discreet and easy to use. It contains mobile-phone technology and enables a dedicated Emergency Dispatch Centre (EDC), in the event a worker requires assistance.

A SoloProtect lone worker solution is designed to fit a range of personnel, and can support you whether you face social risk or environmental risk.

If you encounter a social risk situation, where you feel your safety is threatened, at the push of a button, a trained SoloProtect ARC Operator is listening to an abusive or violent situation on your behalf, and recording audio for future use if necessary.

On top of that, if you encounter an environmental risk situation resulting in a slip, trip or fall for example, the Incapacitation function ensures you’ll receive the necessary support.

Companies have a duty of care to safeguard their employees when their jobs take them away from the workplace, or out of sight. This becomes even more important when the colder seasons are upon us. Without lone worker protection, an organisation could experience serious financial reparations, it risks accumulating negative brand perception which will ultimately affect its ability to attract the best staff and customers.

Autumn brings with it greater and distinctive risks, and these need to be carefully considered. Therefore, whether your employees are likely to encounter social risk, environmental risk or both, it's important to meet your duty of care and look after their wellbeing.

References
https://www.smflegal.com/2017/01/31/oshas-new-slip-fall-rule-now-effect-increases-workplace-protection-fall-hazards/
http://www.cintas.com/ready/healthy-safety/common-workplace-accidents-during-the-winter/

 

 

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