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Protecting Lone Workers from sexual harassment in the workplace

Sexual harassment in the workplace can take many forms and is shockingly more common than we realise, equally impacting both men and women.

Statistics show that 83 million people have experienced sexual harassment from the age of 15, with 50% of women and 20% of men experiencing sexual harassment at work. Despite these shocking statistics, many more instances of sexual harassment in the workplace still go unnoticed, unreported and subsequently, unresolved.

Forms of sexual harassment

Sexual harassment can range from mild to more extreme forms and can be written, verbal and physical. These range from unwanted comments and discrimination, emails with sexual content, sexual advances, intimidation, unwanted physical contact and assault. All forms should be taken equally as seriously and dealt with immediately by employers.

 Heightened Risks

Although sexual harassment can occur at any time and in any location, there is a greater risk to lone working employees, particularly when working late, out of hours and often out of sight where signalling for help can be challenging.

Lone workers are also at high risk when undertaking visits behind closed-doors, where they could face volatile behaviour and aggression from clients, tenants and abusive members of the public. Commonly, roles which involve lone workers visiting homes without any attendance include; care workers, charity workers, family officers, NHS staff, surveyors and real estate workers.

There are also lone workers who are required to deal with members of the public under the influence of alcohol and drugs or suffering from emotional issues which can cause a change in behaviour. Without the appropriate care and training, individuals can be left particularly vulnerable in one on one situations.

Consequences of sexual harassment

  • Stress reaction including anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, lowered self-esteem and more
  • Poor company morale
  • Less productivity in staff
  • Creates an environment for sexual harassment to flourish
  • Lawsuits

By violating the dignity of a worker, sexual harassment can ultimately create an environment of an intimidating, hostile and degrading nature.

What can be done?

Sadly, many cases of sexual harassment go unreported due to workers feeling unable to challenge or defend themselves against the perpetrator if they are in fact a client. As a result, as much as 53% of women and 69% of men did not report sexual harassment at work.

Cases of sexual harassment may not be reported by staff if they do not feel confident that there is substantial support from their company put in place, creating a barrier for them to take action.

The effects of sexual harassment are monumental and even as little as one instance can have detrimental knock-on consequences to both the company and their staff if not investigated properly and dealt with. Therefore, this is why it is so important to educate and train your staff.

Educating and training staff can be achieved through a strong Sexual Harassment policy to ensure the workplace is free of discrimination.  Training sessions should also be arranged for employers to ask questions and be as informed as possible on the matter in order to provide reassurance and instil confidence so that they can be prepared and take the necessary response if faced with this situation.

As an employer, you should seek to have a work environment that is understanding and sympathetic to all employees, including dynamic risk assessment training to evaluate risks and how to overcome them.

You should also make it clear who to report incidents of sexual harassment to and reinforce the idea that employees experiences will be taken seriously.

Lone Worker Safety Solution

A safety solution in the form of an app should be highly considered, as it enables a lone worker to signal for help even in difficult situations. This kind of solution can reassure both the company and their staff by providing accurate and reliable safety monitoring through alert functionality and location updates.

Duress alert

If an employee feels threatened whilst working remotely or otherwise, they can raise an alarm secretly and unknown to their attacker by inputting a special duress PIN. This will fool the attacker into thinking the app has been disabled when in fact a duress alert has been raised in the Hub and help can be sent immediately.

Discreet panic

Generated by pressing the phones power button, a user can raise a panic alert swiftly and discreetly from a hidden area, such as a bag or pocket.

Wearable device

The StaySafe app can even be paired with a bluetooth button which can be attached to a lanyard, clothing or worn around the wrist, and used send a panic alert without touching their phone.

While safety measures, policies and training are essential in protecting employees from sexual harassment and assault, a lone worker app is a reliable way of ensuring a lone worker is never completely alone.

Three Reasons to Invest in Lone Worker Safety

It is currently estimated that 22% of the working population can be considered lone workers. With increasing pressures on businesses to enhance profits and productivity, and an increase in automation and new technologies, this number continues to grow year on year.

While lone working allows organisations to operate in a more efficient manner, it brings with it a new set of health and safety challenges. Lone workers are more vulnerable to the risks of violence, abuse, accident and injury since any risks they face, are faced alone.

But should organisations be taking extra care when protecting their lone working staff? This guide outlines three business reasons why you should take lone worker safety seriously; legal, moral and financial.

Read more

The hidden costs of poor health & safety

When discussing the costs associated with poor workplace health and safety, direct costs such as fines and legal costs tend to take centre stage. While fines given to a business following a safety failing are designed to have a significant impact on the business, there are a multitude of ‘hidden costs’ that many forget to consider. Yet these hidden costs can also have a significant, and in many cases, ongoing financial impact on the business.

Read more

Managing and Monitoring Remote Workers

A remote worker is anyone who works away from a fixed work base, such as an office or work site. Remote workers may work in small groups or on their own, and their roles are likely to require travel to different locations.

Typical jobs requiring remote working include:

  • Comunity and mental health workers
  • Mobile mortgage managers and business bankers
  • Travelling salespeople
  • Insurance assessors
  • Field service engineers
  • Maintenance/repairmen
  • Surveyors
  • Landscapers

Read more

Lone Worker Monitoring Service

Lone worker monitoring

Lone worker monitoring refers to the practice of monitoring the safety of employees who work alone or out of sight and sound of colleagues.

There are a number of systems that can be used to monitor work alone employees, many of which will use a method of check-in, and in some cases, location tracking and emergency alerts.

Read more

Three Reasons to Invest in Lone Worker Safety

It is estimated that 22% of today’s working population can be considered lone workers. With increasing pressures on businesses to enhance profits and productivity, and an increase in automation and new technologies, this number continues to grow year on year.

While lone working allows organisations to operate in a more efficient manner, with it comes a new set of health and safety challenges. Lone workers are more vulnerable to the risks of violence, abuse, accident and injury as any risk they face, is faced alone.

But should organisations be taking extra care when protecting their lone working staff?

This guide outlines three business reasons why you should take lone worker safety seriously; legal, moral and financial.

Read more

Shields Environmental protect lone working telecoms staff

Telecoms supplier, Shields Environmental have switched from a manual check-in system to StaySafe’shields-e logos easy to use app to ensure their staff are safe whilst they work and travel in the field.

Shields Environmental provide services and equipment to the telecoms industry. Their team of lone workers carry out electrical installations on sites across the UK, often travelling between busy cities and remote locations working at height and with electricity. Read more

StaySafe receives updated British Standard BS 8484:2016 accreditation for safety

Following an independent audit by the National Security Inspectorate (NSI), lone worker safety solution StaySafe has been approved for the provision of lone worker device services in accordance with the updated British Standard BS 8484:2016.

BS8484: 2016 supersedes the original BS 8484:2011, which StaySafe was awarded in 2015, and defines stringent guidelines regarding lone worker devices. A BS8484 accreditation is only awarded to solutions that are deemed to be fully compliant with current safety legislation and practices.

StaySafe monitoring service

StaySafe is an app and surrounding cloud-based monitoring service which tracks a lone worker’s location via GPS and alerts their manager if they do not check-in within a specified time.

The app works on iPhone, Android and Windows and offers a wide range of functions including panic button, check-in, GPS tracking, man-down and duress alerts. If an employee activates the app’s panic button or fails to check in, alerts are automatically triggered on screen and via text and email, allowing an employer to take immediate action. Monitoring can be done in-house via an online Hub or outsourced to one of StaySafe’s monitoring and response partners who offer 24/7 services.

British Standard of approval

Don Cameron, CEO StaySafe added; “achieving BS 8484:2016 status means we remain one of the handful of lone worker safety devices available in the market that meet the stringent British Standard of approval. It is a core part of our business to be independently recognised as having a solution that is fully compliant and of the highest quality as there is nothing more important to us than ensuring people’s safety”

If you would like to talk to us about StaySafe and how BS8484 applies to the Australasian market, please get in touch using the form below, or feel free to call on 0800 GET SECURE (0800 438 732):

Your Details

How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or let us know how we can help you protect your lone workers.


1 in 6 wouldn’t report a workplace hazard

A new survey published by Accident Advice Helpline, has revealed that hazards aren’t always being reported in the workplace. 1 in 6 said they would not report identified workplace hazards despite 25% admitting that they or someone they worked with had been harmed at work.

When asked why, the respondents gave the following answers;

  • 29% said they didn’t have the time
  • 24% felt the hazard didn’t affect them
  • 23% said it wasn’t their responsibility
  • 23% didn’t know who to report a hazard to
  • 13.2% worried about getting in trouble
  • 7.5% were told not to report an issue

Read more

Creating a positive safety culture

Humans by nature are highly influenced by our environment and those around us. When entering a new workplace, we are likely to adapt to our surroundings rather than go against the flow, even if it means ignoring the rules that are in place.

This is why creating a positive safety culture is crucial in establishing lasting behaviours in our staff. If the majority of our colleagues are behaving safely and following rules, the rest of the workforce are likely to follow suit. Read more