Today marks National Personal Safety Day, an annual event organised by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust with the purpose of highlighting practical solutions in avoiding violence and aggression in the workplace and everyday life.
This year’s focus is Safe as Houses which aims to promote safe practices for those working in the housing sector.
Research by Inside Housing and Suzy Lamplugh, highlights the need for such an event. A survey of 250 estate agents carried out on Suzy Lamplugh’s behalf, found that one in five estate agents said they had conducted a property viewing where they felt unsafe – this number rose to one in three for female employees. Almost half of those surveyed have been made to feel uncomfortable or uneasy by a client whilst on a viewing and further 7% said they had been threatened.
Suzy’s Code for Personal Safety
To reduce these stats and create safer work places, Suzy Lamplugh have produced a code for personal safety:
- Implement a buddy system (So colleagues always know each other’s whereabouts and contact details. This should include checking in and out when meeting arriving at and leaving the property, including out of normal office hours)
- Have a system in place for colleagues to raise the alarm back at the office in case of an emergency while working alone
- Have a clear procedure to follow if someone does not return or check in when they were expected
- Where possible arrange for viewers to visit the office before meeting them at the property so that colleagues have also seen them
- Offer all staff a personal safety alarm and have discreet lone worker alarms available
- Before conducting a viewing, find out who else will be present in the property (current tenant, contractors etc.) when you visit
- Finally, make sure all staff are aware of and have access to the personal safety measures available
How StaySafe can help
Several housing associations and estate agents, are using StaySafe to provide their employees with a personal lone worker alarm, equip with a discreet panic and duress pin.
“We have had extremely positive feedback from our team who find the app easy to use and now feel more confident when meeting with unknown clients. We were particularly impressed with the range of features the app provides including the discreet panic function and duress pin. Because our employees often work on a one to one basis, these features allow them to discreetly signal for help if they feel uncomfortable or threatened.”
“Employees visit several locations a day so to know when they are checking in and out and to be able to track their location in the hub enables us to know that they are safe at all times, even when travelling between locations.”
“We came across several ‘panic button’ type solutions but StaySafe offered so much more. Most people keep their smartphones close at hand so they would adapt easily to using the app and not forget it in the morning!”As well as having a wide range of functions like GPS tracking and the duress pin, what really made StaySafe stand out to us was that it’s an app.”