As an employer, your employee safety should always be a top priority. 6.8 million people are lone workers in the UK, and with so many of them being health workers and nurses who have visitation appointments at patients’ homes, it’s crucial that they’re prepared for the various possibilities posing a risk to their person.
As many as 150 lone workers are attacked each day in the UK (both physically and verbally), and the majority of workers injured through violence are lone workers. Ensuring that your staff have undergone lone worker training will give both yourself and them peace of mind and practical solutions to impede risk.
When working alone, there are always various risks to consider. With lone worker training, your staff should feel comfortable with identifying, assessing and overcoming risks.
One of the worst-case scenarios in working alone is the risk of having to deal with aggressive individuals. Lone worker training will teach your staff conflict management, so they can effectively reduce the risk by diffusing or removing themselves from the situation.
Your staff will be trained to use lone worker devices, including the ‘Man Down’ feature. These differ slightly from device to device, but a common feature is a panic button and GPS location feature. The ‘Man Down’ feature automatically raises the alarm if an employee falls unconscious through an injury or health condition.
Learning to prepare for meetings and visits is also an integral part of the training. It may seem obvious what to do, but taking key steps to consider risks before making a visit is always good practice. This part of the training includes learning about travel safety.
Lone worker training will also teach your employees how to manage contact with patients, family members and other people they’ll have contact with during their shifts. This includes planning the arrival, interacting with individuals and exit strategies.
The main bit of knowledge your staff should gain through training and be confident in following is their ability to assess and reduce all aspects of risk associated with their job.
What else can your employees get out of it?
The reason for investing in lone worker training for your employees is evident. It’s all about protecting both your workers and those they interact with during their shifts.
However, there are some other benefits of lone worker training. The fact that you’re investing in your staff will make them feel more valued by your organisation. As a result, you should see higher levels of morale among staff, increased productivity and better staff retention. The stats speak for themselves, with 70% of a study’s respondents reporting that training influenced their decision to stay at a job. If you’re interested to find out more about the consequences of turnover and the factors affecting nurse turnover, click on our article.
Overall, lone worker training will raise staff awareness of risk and provide them with the ability to mitigate it. If it’s common practise that your employees work alone, investing in giving them this invaluable training is a no-brainer.