Working alone

31 July 2019

Working alone puts people in a more vulnerable situation than usual. Though we hope your personal safety will never be an issue, it is sensible to take precautions.

Whether working alone at your Methodist church or while visiting others, the personal safety of your employees and volunteers should be paramount.

Assessing the risk

It is important to check the arrangements you have in place. You can do this by identifying situations where people are required to work alone and may be at risk (e.g. alone in a church, maybe locking up after an event or service). You can then decide if the precautions you have in place are adequate.

Times to be cautious

While incidents of assault are thankfully rare, physical or verbal attacks can have serious impact on those involved. Extra care should be taken:

  • After dark or early in the morning
  • In the community, particularly where people are emotionally or mentally stressed
  • With people who are under the influence of drink or drugs
  • Handling valuables or cash. 

Work place accidents

While there is no one else around activities such as; using access equipment (for example, a portable ladder) or lifting heavy objects can present additional hazards. It’s important these tasks are approached as a team to avoid injury, or at least while others are present in case something does go wrong.

Personal safety tips

  • Before putting yourself in a vulnerable situation such as inviting someone into your home, think about how you could react if assaulted or what you would do to raise the alarm. 
  • Always consider potential escape routes so you know in advance how to remove yourself from a situation.
  • If visiting or meeting someone, make sure others know where you are going and what time to expect you to return.
  • Have a mobile phone on you.
  • Consider whether you should have a personal attack alarm.
Remember: it is ok to put your safety and the safety of your family above the needs of others.
To ensure your personal safety, Methodist Insurance offers this simple advice about what can be done to minimise risks you face, take a look at our personal safety plan.
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