Who’s In Your Speed Dial Telephone Numbers?

Subject to which survey you read, there are:

  • Between 123 and 205 daily assaults on lone workers
  • Between 44,850 and 74,750 attacks on lone workers per year, and
  • Between 159 and 266 daily instances of verbal abuse on staff

Working remotely offers flexibility and freedom, but it also presents unique challenges, especially in emergency situations.

Whether you’re working from a remote cabin in the woods or an mobile office in a remote area, knowing how to raise the alarm and what to do until help arrives is crucial for your safety and well-being.

When to raise the alarm

In line with the health and safety executives’ definition of a ‘reportable incident, being that of…

‘Any incident in which you feel abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to your work’ is a reportable incident.

As the plan is to feel empowered to act before the situation goes wrong, and therefore if you are concerned for your safety one of your many options needed is to be able to raise the alarm.

Who to Call

In an emergency, knowing who to contact can make all the difference. This may include local police, fire department and/or others.

If you’re working in a remote area without a cell service, consider investing in a satellite phone or emergency beacon that can transmit distress signals to emergency responders.

Expectations from respondents

When you call for help, clearly communicate the nature of the emergency, your location, and any pertinent details. Depending on the situation, responders may instruct you to take specific actions while help is on the way. Respondents are expected to dispatch appropriate assistance to your location as quickly as possible.

Actions Until Backup Arrives

While waiting for help to arrive, it’s essential to prioritise your safety and take appropriate precautions:

  • If you’re in a hazardous environment, seek shelter or move to a safer location if possible.
  • Move away from the immediate area towards a position of safety (ie; surrounded by other people)
  • Preserve your energy and resources, especially if you anticipate a prolonged wait for assistance.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

The type of PPE you should carry or use depends on the nature of your work and the potential hazards you may encounter. When working remotely, consider carrying the following items:

  • PPE – make sure you are carrying and/or wearing any issued item(s) of PPE.
  • Emergency blanket – provides warmth and protection from the elements in case you’re stranded outdoors.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp – essential for navigating in low-light conditions or during night-time emergencies.
  • Communication devices: Carry a fully charged cell phone, satellite phone, or two-way radio to call for help if needed.
  • Navigation tools: Maps, compass, or GPS device can help you determine your location and plan your route to safety.

In hazardous environments or situations where personal safety is at risk, additional PPE may be necessary.

Being prepared for emergencies while working remotely is essential for your safety and well-being.

Know who to call, communicate effectively with responders and take appropriate actions while awaiting assistance.

By staying vigilant and proactive, you can mitigate risks and ensure a swift and effective response in times of crisis.

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