During these uncertain times, we at the Suzy Lamplugh Trust understand that employers and employees are adapting to this challenging context, including working remotely, or in the case of key workers, continuing their day to day job in more demanding and difficult circumstances. We have put together some tips for employers and employees to help keep them safe during this new working environment.

Employers

Suzy Lamplugh Trust acknowledges what an extremely difficult time this is for employers at the moment and is seeking ways to support organisations in any way we can. We know that many charities and businesses are experiencing the most stressful and daunting time in relation to finances and employee wellbeing. We would urge all employers to continue dialogue with employees about the changing risks they may face, especially on the frontline as key workers, as part of routine risk assessments and mitigation to keep staff safe.

Follow our safety tips for keeping employees safe while they work at home as they are now lone-workers;

  • Ensure they each have a work colleague or buddy they can check in with at the start and end of each day
  • Ensure you have an open dialogue with your employees so that they can raise any concerns about risks they may be facing
  • Maintain a culture that prioritises workplace personal safety to reassure your employees that they have your full support

Employees

Suzy Lamplugh Trust condemns all violence and aggression in the workplace, both on and off-line, and urges respect for all frontline workers at this extremely difficult and stressful time; no worker deserves to experience violence and aggression for simply doing their job.

If you are experiencing increased levels of violence and aggression as a key worker still doing your job in these extremely difficult times you can follow our 5 tips for de-escalating and defusing situations until you can safely exit the situation;

Listen​ – this assures the person you are taking their concerns seriously

Empathise​ – this helps the person see you understand their situation

Acknowledge/Ask questions​ – to find out exactly what is making the person angry

Paraphrase​  – to show the person you have really understood their concerns

Summarise – to highlight the key issues they have raised

Have a plan in place for safely exiting the situation or a way of covertly raising the alarm and calling for help.

Make your employer aware of all the risks you are facing and report all personal safety incidents to help address risks for colleagues.

Lone workers

For those of you now unexpectedly finding yourself working from home, did you know you are a lone worker? A lone worker is anyone working out of sight and supervision of your colleagues. Employers still have a legal duty to keep you safe whilst working at home – and employees must follow all safety policies and procedures provided to them. For example; have you got a buddy system in place? A buddy system is a system where an allocated colleague checks in with you regularly to make sure you’re safe at the beginning and end of each lone working day.

Follow us on Twitter for lots of advice about how to stay safe as employers and employees in these unusual and difficult times: @Live Life Safe, or contact us about our training and consultancy work on training@suzylamplugh.org. Read more about Suzy’s Charter for Workplace Safety here.