LONEALERT’s Sales & Marketing Manager, Mathew Colley, was invited on to BBC Radio Essex to discuss lone worker protection following the murder conviction of a man who killed a debt collector visiting his home.
Geoffrey Hutton was jailed for life last week after being convicted of the murder of Tina Cantello, who had visited his Essex home regarding a loan payment.
Following the sentencing, Mr Colley was invited on to Sadie Nine’s BBC Radio Essex programme to talk about the risks facing lone workers, and the lone worker protection solutions available.
Giving advice to lone workers, Mathew told the programme: “Always follow your instinct and carry out a risk assessment before you go into a property.
“In this day and age, it’s very difficult to get away without working alone and going into certain situations but make sure you are doing so in as safe a capacity or manner as possible.
“We deal with a lot of organisations that have people going into see a person in their homes - whether it be once or on several occasions - and I would say to treat each incident as if it is the first.
“We are meeting people at their most vulnerable so whilst we may have got on absolutely fine a few weeks ago, they may be in a different place mentally this time and their reaction will be different.
“When entering a property or working alone, make sure somebody knows - or that a system like ours knows - where we are going and how long we anticipate being there - to allow somebody else to offer assistance if it is needed.”
LONEALERT was launched 11 years ago specifically to ensure the safety of maintenance workers carrying out work on properties alone during the Christmas period and has since grown beyond recognition as the number of lone and remote workers grows.
Mr Colley told the radio program about the extensive range of lone worker protection devices and solutions now available, ranging from the simple text-in service that makes use of a user’s mobile phone to check in and out of appointments, automatically triggering an escalation process if they fail to confirm safely leaving an appointment, to more advanced devices that can automatically detect falls, as well as discreet devices with dedicated panic alarms that can call for immediate assistance in times of need.
He added: “Our system will not stop people from being attacked unfortunately, as much as we wish it could, but what it would do is mean people are notified as quickly as possible so that help can be sent immediately.
“It was the tragic case of Suzy Lamplugh in 1986 that really started triggering awareness of the risks of individuals, particularly females, face when working alone.
“Employers have to look at their duty of Care for their employees and to do everything in their power to ensure they return safe and well to their families.”