Creativity From Within produced this advice to assist in dealing with the important issue of myself working on my own and, in particular, to stress the need for robust risk assessment and risk management in lone worker situations.
This document outlines what Creativity From Within should do to improve the personal safety of lone working.
Lone workers can be vulnerable and at increased risk of physical or verbal abuse and harassment from patients, clients, their relatives or members of the public simply because they don’t have the immediate support of colleagues or security staff.
Creativity From Within defines lone working as any situation, or location, in which someone works without a colleague nearby, or is out of sight or earshot of another colleague. Even staff who work in a building with others may be considered lone workers. Lone workers face a variety of hazards. For more information on the hazards associated with lone working please visit the Health and Safety Executive website www.hse.gov.uk
Creativity From Within must protect herself by reducing the risks of physical and verbal abuse. Creativity From Within can also take a number of practical steps to help improve her personal safety while out and about.
What Creativity From Within has a responsibility under health and safety legislation to take reasonable care of themselves and to cooperate with the multi-disciplinary team.
This responsibility includes making full use of conflict resolution training, training in the use of relevant technology and any other information, instructions, equipment and advice from line managers regarding working alone.
There are still a number of things that Creativity From Within can do to protect their safety:
• Report incidents – incidents and ‘near misses’ provide details about violent individuals, unsafe environments and important information on the risks faced. Creativity From Within takes steps to address these risks by reporting incidents.
• Attend training – Creativity From Within will attend any training provided to help them in lone working situations.
• Follow the lone worker policy and procedures – make sure staff follow local procedures put in place to protect their safety. This includes guidance on the use of their lone worker protection devices.
• Assess the risks to their personal safety – when Creativity From Within is going to be working alone, they should assess any immediate and unfolding risks to their safety. This is called ‘dynamic risk assessment’. Creativity From Within support any decision from the multi-disciplinary team, they make to withdraw to a place of safety if they feel in serious or imminent danger.
• Make use of the Reliance Protect lone worker solution if it is provided – there is now a wide range of technology that can support lone workers as they go about their work
Creativity From Within may provide an alternative to this system but, whichever system is offered, Creativity From Within should make sure they understand and can use it.
Creativity From Within may carry a device that can also capture audio recordings of verbal or physical assault which can be used as evidence in court.
Creativity From Within’s duties as a line manager
• Creativity From Within has a duty to ensure that all relevant policies and procedures are implemented
• Creativity From Within must ensure that lone worker jobs have been properly risk assessed.
• Creativity From Within has a duty to ensure that these she is appropriately protected before entering a lone working situation.
Creativity From Within must ensure that a suitable and sufficient risk assessment is conducted in consultation with the appropriate people. These will include the lone worker themselves, health and safety representatives, and your health and safety manager and risk manager.
This assessment should take into account the type of work, the environment, the patients, for example do they have a record of violence, and any specific factors to the lone worker (for example training and competences). Throughout this process, you should aim to ensure that all risks from lone working are identified and appropriate control measures introduced to minimise, control or remove them.
When looking at ways of reducing the risk you should first look at ways of eliminating the hazard.
For example if the risk is caused or increased by a visit to a person, it may be safer if the person comes to a healthcare environment. Alternatively, it may be safer if the member of staff is accompanied by a colleague during a visit. Inevitably there may be circumstances where staff regularly visit person(s) on their own. If this is the case, control measures must be put in place to reduce the risks.
Control measures should include:
• ensuring that Creativity From Within receive sufficient training, information, instruction and advice
• ensuring that any necessary physical measures are put in place
• ensuring that appropriate technology is made available.
Where the safety of Creativity From Within is threatened, alternative arrangements should be made.
Creativity From Within should hold regular reviews of arrangements to ensure that all measures are effective and continue to meet the requirements of the Creativity From Within. Risk assessments should be reviewed and revised after each incident.
If an incident occurs If an incident occurs, Creativity From Within will ensure that incident reporting form be filled as soon as possible, in line with local policy.
Creativity From Within should also ensure that the multi disciplinary team is informed so that they can take the necessary action, such as contacting the police. Creativity From Within will definately call the police if the situation commands such support
Creativity From Within will ensure that anyone involved in an assault incident has access to a list of relevant contacts or can be referred to the relevant person (for example, occupational health, staff support, counselling or psychological services). This will ensure that they are properly debriefed and receive a physical assessment and proper access to post-incident support. It also allows any injuries to be documented.
Improving safety for Creativity From Within
Sharing information Where there has been a ‘near miss’ or an incident involving a team member, it is essential that Creativity From Within ensures the information is shared with other team members and colleagues who may be visiting the individual concerned, or going into an otherwise risky environment.