Learn 9 safety tips for working in other people’s homes
Do work responsibilities require your team to make remote visits, often venturing into other people’s homes? If so, you and your team may feel apprehensive. It is entirely reasonable to feel this way as these uncontrolled spaces pose a significantly higher risk of occupational violence and aggression.
The unfamiliar surroundings, the encounters with individuals of unknown intentions, and the lack of security measures make employees more vulnerable. We share your concerns and your commitment to safety and security, which is why we advocate for the implementation of comprehensive safety measures and training programs to protect employee well-being.
This blog post aims to provide practical guidance and support for employees navigating the challenges of remote work in Australia. Employee safety is our top priority, and together, we can make remote working a safer reality.
What is remote work?
Remote work is when an employee works from somewhere that is not a central space operated by an employer. This could be an employee’s home or another uncontrolled environment like someone else’s home or a public space.
Advancements in technology have enabled employees to remain connected and maintain productivity whilst in these diverse and unconventional locations.
For remote-working nurses and carers, this entails delivering healthcare and support services directly to individuals in their homes. This is particularly beneficial for patients and clients who have difficulty travelling to clinics, hospitals, and other facilities.
Unfortunately, these varied and uncontrolled environments can result in a higher risk of hostile or violent incidents. Therefore, we have outlined nine remote work safety tips and measures below.
How do you stay safe when working in other people's homes?
1. Be prepared
- Preparation before arrival is crucial. Research the area and gather information about the location you will be visiting.
- Read any notes on the person you are visiting thoroughly.
- Plan your route and know where you will park that is well-lit and safe.
2. Trust your instincts
- If something does not feel right, listen to your gut and prioritise your safety.
- If you arrive and feel uneasy, consider retreating or contacting your employer for guidance.
3. Be cautious on arrival
- Upon arrival, observe your surroundings for signs of unusual or suspicious activity.
- When someone answers the door, politely ask for their name to verify it matches the person you are supposed to meet.
- When entering the premises, be mindful of any potential hazards.
4. Take note of your surroundings
- Be aware of potential improvised weapons in the area and know how to react if you encounter them.
- Always take note of emergency exits and develop an exit strategy in case of any unforeseen situations.
- Check your mobile coverage to ensure you can call for help if needed.
5. Work smarter
- If you are working in pairs, maintain a reasonable distance from each other to cover more ground and be alert to any threats.
- Always allow the client or patient to lead the way through their home.
6. Utilise safety equipment
- Share your real-time location with a friend, family member, or colleague when on an assignment.
- Keep a list of emergency contacts accessible on your phone, including your employer’s contact information.
- Carry a duress alarm device and keep it on you to alert others of an emergency should one arise.
7. Secure your belongings
- Leave personal and valuable items in your locked car to minimise the risk of theft.
- Only take what you need for the task and keep your items well-organised and close to you.
- Always maintain awareness of your belongings.
8. Participate in professional training
- Boost your confidence and safety by participating in programs like De-escalation & OVA Training which involves learning techniques for assessing your surroundings, maintaining a safe distance, de-escalating tense situations, and responding to physical threats.
9. Carry out post-incident processes
- Familiarise yourself with the correct procedures to follow in the event of an incident. This may include filing an incident report and contacting management or colleagues for support.
- Always ensure you receive the necessary assistance and support after an incident to recover and address any potential legal or safety concerns.
How can training help?
Training plays a pivotal role in fostering a cohesive approach to remote work, ensuring the safety of all involved. Understanding safety measures is one thing, but the effective implementation of these measures is another. Resolution Education offers comprehensive training programs to help organisations establish robust policies and procedures for pre-visit, during-visit, and post-visit scenarios.
Our training programs are not only practical but also customised to your specific needs, ensuring an immersive learning experience. We take the time to deeply understand your organisation’s unique work settings, past incidents, and existing policies. This allows us to tailor the training program to align with your requirements and provide practical, real-world solutions and strategies for safe remote work.
Incorporated in the training are a range of critical skills and techniques, including what questions to ask before, during, and after your visits, specific warning signs to be aware of, how to respond to various circumstances, techniques for de-escalation when encountering heightened individuals, and disengagement and protection strategies in case a situation turns physical.
Professional training provides employees with the opportunities to practice these techniques in a safe and controlled environment. This proactive approach boosts employee confidence by enhancing their overall skillset, mindset and well-being when working remotely. By investing in training, your organisation can foster a culture of safety and preparedness that is essential for work in unpredictable environments.
In the often unpredictable remote work landscape, prioritising your safety and well-being is paramount. By putting the safety measures and tips outlined in this blog post into practice, you can substantially mitigate associated risks.
We encourage you to share your experiences, ask questions, and support one another. Building a community of safety-conscious professionals is a powerful way to ensure that we all benefit from each other’s insight and expertise.
Your safety is our primary commitment, and together, we can enhance the safety of remote work for all.
Resolution Education provides training on safe remote working processes and techniques.
To best prepare your team for dealing with challenging situations, consider booking training with us by filling in the form below and engaging in a free consultation with one of our team members.