An Airline flight attendant posted a tearful video on TikTok describing how an unruly passenger chased her out of the airport parking lot and followed her home.
The safety and well-being of employees is of paramount importance and a duty that all employers must address.
Workplace violence tends to be far more prevalent in occupations that involve prolonged interaction with the general public, especially within confined spaces. An example of this would be staff working in public transport services; road, rail, air and sea.
Read the article here – https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/us-news/flight-attendant-chased-home-irate-30571438#
Once you have read the article, I would ask you to consider the following question:
“was the purpose of her journey linked to a workplace activity?”
An employer’s duty of care goes outside of the physical workspace.
Beyond the confines of the workplace, employers have a responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees during their daily commutes from home to work and back home.
Implementing safety strategies can help maintain employee safety and reduce the likelihood of them meeting or coming across potentially dangerous individuals, especially whilst alone.
What strategies can be introduced to safeguard staff safety and well-being during their daily commutes?
Essential information and instructions equipping staff with the knowledge (options) of what they can do when faced with potential hazardous or dangerous situations.
This can include:
- The provision of clear instructions of who to contact and what to do in the case of emergency situations whilst commuting.
- If waiting on public transport, issue advice and instructions on what to do if recognising potential hazardous situations and where to locate safe spaces.
- If situated in a crowded area, how to identify potential threats and exit strategies by remaining vigilant and making use of their immediate surroundings.
- Reminders about adherence to traffic laws and minimising distractions while driving to significantly reduce the risks of accidents.
Training can be an option to address the risks and challenges that may be faced whilst commuting. Training options include:
- Personal safety awareness – training staff to be vigilant and recognise suspicious behaviours.
- Use of work equipment/PPE – to proactively use their personal safety devices or phone Apps to enhance their safety and personal security.
- Situational awareness – providing guidance and training on avoiding, where possible, community through high-risk areas to further reduce the potential risk of exposure to threats of violence and intimidation.
- Reporting procedures – introducing reporting processes that allow staff to immediately communicate their concerns from potential risks or incidents.
- Staff assistance – where direct support is not feasible, employers can demonstrate their commitment to the safety and well-being of their staff through employee’s assistance processes (ie, a known point-of-contact who is contactable prior to, during and following your commute)!
Other options, where feasible that can be considered are employers offering remote working arrangements, flexible hours working, safe transportation (ie, carpool sharing) and a buddy-buddy system of working.
Employers should provide information and instructions to their employees, equipping them with the knowledge and understanding of actions they can take to avoid or manage potential risks whilst travelling back and forth across community areas.
Whilst direct supervision is not an option, employers can still take very positive steps to support and empower their staff.
Supporting and encouraging staff to commute with colleagues, friends or family can create a sense of security and reduce the likelihood of meeting dangerous or potentially dangerous individuals.
What policies, procedures or measures do you have in place should you find yourself feeling concerned or vulnerable by the presence of someone following, or appearing to be following you, to or from work/home?
Why as an Employer is All this Important to You?
It is a legal requirement for every employer and self-employed person to assess the health and safety risks arising out of their work, which means that if you fail to carry out a competent risk assessment, and an injury occurs, it can leave you liable for the injury; as you will have breached the duty of care you owe to them.
You are also the person ultimately responsible for health and safety in your business, which means that you are ultimately responsible for ensuring that any risk assessments are reviewed to the appropriate standard.
In recent years, penalties for Health and Safety breaches in the UK have steadily risen and the ten highest H&S fines back in 2019 were all over £1 million, so you can imagine what the costs will be to you today in 2023.
If you are investigated and found to be in breach of health and safety law, you also must pay for the time it takes the Health & Safety Executive investigation; and the current hourly rate is around £163 per hour. So, you end up paying to be investigated and (if found guilty) for your own prosecution!
Whilst you don’t need any specific training or qualifications to carry out a risk assessment, you must be a competent person, which is someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience to manage health and safety and this is where we can help you.
The NFPS Level 3 Risk Assessment Trainer Award course
This course will take you through everything you need to know and do to produce risk assessments and at the end of the course when you submit your assessment, we will issue you with a Level 3 Risk Assessor Certificate of Competence.
This is your certified evidence showing that you are competent to carry out risk assessments because you have gone through a structured process of learning and development.
This course is different from any other risk assessment course you will do, because most risk assessment courses focus purely on large manufacturing industry sectors, but not this one.
This course will take you through a section on ‘Risk Assessing Violence in The Workplace’ so if you work in an industry where there is risk of staff being exposed to violence you will know how to risk assess that to a competent standard (no other risk assessment course does that).
Contact us here to learn more – https://nfps.info/level-3-risk-assessment-course/
NFPS also produced a bespoke and very comprehensive online course on the subject of personal safety. Information about this course can be found via this link: https://nfps.info/personal-safety-awareness-online-training/
If this is of interest to you, then you may also wish to know more about our online Situation Awareness course, which has had input from former serving members of 22 SAS: John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman and Richard ‘Ginge’ Johnson.
If you would like any other support, advise or guidance then contact us via the following link to arrange a ‘free’ strategy call or virtual meeting – https://nfps.info/contact-nfps/