Safety and Security in a Remote Environment
Today, more workers are working in remote environments than ever before. As we attempt to return to a “new normal” in a world continuing to deal with COVID-19, numerous industries are reopening for business. Many taking advantage of remote working for their employees. Mobile coverage and wifi hotspots have made it possible to work from almost any location.
Most people understand how to protect themselves in the physical world. However, what can workers do to ensure safety and security in remote environments? When working by yourself, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to stay safe. Lone workers can potentially face danger daily, even when working on their own.
Whether someone works in construction, healthcare, or as a delivery driver, they must understand how to protect themselves when working alone. This could be as simple as carrying a mobile phone and sharing your agenda with colleagues.
What is a Lone Worker?
A lone worker is someone who works alone without close or direct supervision. This could include those who work remotely or those who are “on the road”.
For example these careers can include:
- Food delivery
- Mail Services and Parcel Delivery
- Bus/Cab Drivers
and so many others
Lone workers often face unique safety risks, as they may not have anyone to help them if something goes wrong.
Tips for Staying Safe When Working Alone
While some of the tips on our list may feel like common sense, reviewing them is always a good idea. Make a mental checklist of what you do (and don’t do), and consider talking to your loved ones who may be less familiar with these safety protocols.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
When working alone, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings at all times—aware of who and what is around you and any potential hazards. If you feel like someone is following you or something doesn’t seem right, trust your gut and get away from the situation as quickly as possible.
Being aware of your surroundings applies to more than simply walking home in the dark. Being aware means also being aware of your current state. Be cautious about driving after a long day, especially if you find yourself yawning. One small mistake behind the wheel, or even as a pedestrian, could lead to severe vehicle damage or even end your life. If you find yourself growing sleepy, the best thing to do is find a safe place (such as a truck stop / lay-by or motel) where you can pull over and lock yourself down to rest.
In addition to being aware of your surroundings, it’s also essential to have a plan in place in case of an emergency. This could include knowing where the nearest exit in a building is, having a list of emergency contacts, and carrying a personal safety device such as a rape alarm or pepper spray.
It’s crucial to make sure to let someone know when you’ll be working and when you’ll be finished for the day. This way, someone will know if you don’t check in as expected. You might never be in a dangerous situation. Still, it’s easy to talk to others in advance to let them know your routine. Planning like this could save your life if you are in unimaginable or unexpected situations such as being hurt by dangerous chemicals, trapped in a locked building (especially in a hospital that may have limited cell or mobile service), or assaulted on your way home.
Use Personal Safety Devices
Several personal safety devices on the market can help you stay safe when working alone. These include everything from rape alarms to GPS tracking devices. For example, a GPS tracker can be a lifesaver if you’re worried about being followed or attacked. You can wear it on your belt or keep it in your pocket, and if you feel like you’re in danger, you can activate it and call for help.
Rape alarms are another personal safety device that can be helpful when working alone. If you feel like you’re being followed or attacked, activating the emergency button alarm will make a loud noise that will hopefully scare off your attacker and attract attention from nearby people.
Several panic button apps can help you stay safe when working remotely. For example, the Little Green Button app is explicitly designed for lone workers. The Little Green Button app is a personal safety item—a duress button app—that helps lone workers stay safe. If you feel like you’re in danger, you can activate the emergency button and send an instant message with your location to a designated list of contacts. The app also has a check-in feature that lets people know when you’re supposed to be working and when you’ll be finished for the day. This way, if something happens and you don’t check in as expected, your contacts will be able to find out and will know to call for help. Little Green Button also offer a 24/7 around the clock security plan called Lighthouse that brings further protection to lone workers who work shift patterns.
Stay Safe Working Remotely
We live in an entirely different world today. Things that once served as minor concerns for workers and employers are now integral to keeping companies operating efficiently. Unfortunately, this also brings new concerns over keeping workers safe and secure, especially in remote environments.
There are many things you can do to stay safe. Be aware of your surroundings, and have a plan in place in case of an emergency. Personal safety devices (including panic button apps if interested) can help protect yourself and quickly contact others about your situation. Working alone anywhere can be dangerous, even from home. However, utilizing the proper preparation and tools like pepper spray, rape alarms, or a simple duress button on a panic button app can help workers feel comfortable about working on their own in remote locations. Planning ahead may save your life!