During the pandemic, we’ve written countless articles about increasing levels of violence and aggression affecting the lives of our key workers and healthcare staff. However, it seems that a new pandemic is rising through the ranks – the attack on lone workers.
Back in 2018, the British Safety Council’s crime survey reported that around 150 lone workers are attacked either physically or verbally every day in the UK. There are thought to be between 6-8 million lone workers in the UK currently – so that means approximately 54,750 lone workers are attacked each year.
A lone worker is anyone who is required to work alone during a shift. The circumstances of this are vast, covering anything from shop workers and delivery drivers to security personnel, but these workers are generally considered more vulnerable. Criminals are likely to target lone workers because they are more likely to get away with something of value if attacking someone one-on-one.
In an environment where crime is continually on the rise, employers have a duty of care to ensure their staff are protected. According to the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics, in the 12 months to March 2020, knife crime rose in England and Wales by 6%, with London seeing a larger increase of 7%.
This means that knife crime has risen by 78% from 2015, with offence numbers increasing from 26,974 to 46,265 in 5 years.
We also need to consider that these figures only take into account the reported incidents. It doesn’t take into account any unreported incidents or the actual threat of violence itself.
John Davies, SBRT Ltd Director, said: “Whilst there are no specific regulations governing lone workers, there are several pieces of legislation that relate to their general safety, including the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and Corporate Manslaughter Act 2007. Therefore, employers have a legal responsibility to look after the health and safety of their employees.”
SBRT Ltd is currently running a series of Prevention and Management of Violence and Aggression (PMVA) courses, both for the beginner and the refresher, which would be extremely beneficial to lone workers.
You can read more here about what to expect from PMVA courses at Basis – all of which follow strict Covid-19 guidelines.
You can also contact us if you require further information or would like to make a booking.