Guide to services for the retail environment launched by BSIA’s Lone Worker Section

The British Security Industry Association (BSIA) has introduced a guide to lone worker services for the retail sector. Aimed at employers and stakeholders operational in that space, the document highlights the importance of lone worker safety and explains how lone worker devices are helping to keep employees protected from harm.

More than six million people in the UK work either in isolation or without the safety net provided by direct supervision, often in places or circumstances that put them at potential risk. A wide variety of organisations and industry sectors employ people whose jobs require them to work or operate alone, either regularly or occasionally.

Almost by definition, lone working can be both intimidating and, at times, dangerous, so the protection of lone workers involves a two-fold approach not only to provide safeguards, but also to offer reassurance to the dedicated individuals involved.

In the retail sector, the 24/7 nature of many roles means that there are risks faced by employees, particularly those that work late at night or who are receiving deliveries early in the morning.

With an ever-increasing number of lone workers operating in the retail sector, it’s vitally important for employers to be aware of their responsibilities.

Legal obligation for employers

Craig Swallow, chairman of the BSIA’s Lone Worker Section, explained: “Employers in the retail sector have a legal obligation to ensure the safety of their lone workers. This includes making sure that a risk assessment is carried out and that strategies are implemented to provide a safe working environment. Furthermore, employers must ensure that all of their lone workers have the relevant resources, training and information to work on their own on a safe basis and that there are procedures to deal with a lone worker having an accident.”

Swallow continued: “I’m really pleased to see the publication of this valuable guide. The retail sector is a vertical market where there are many types of lone workers facing the risks of verbal and physical abuse as well as slips, trips and falls. The guide provides useful information on what constitutes lone working, how lone worker protection solutions function and the fundamental importance of British Standard BS 8484.”

The guide also outlines what to look for when choosing a system, suggesting that employers seek out solutions that offer device or smart phone applications certified to BS 8484, suppliers who can prove that they’re certified to BS 8484 through audit, suppliers monitored by an Alarm Receiving Centre certified to BS 8484 (Part 6) and BS 5979 (Cat II) or BS 8591/EN 50518 and solutions that fit the lone working application and risk profile of the workforce.

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.

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