Personal Safety Training (Meeting off-site or Home Visits)
Meetings off-site, making home visits to clients are usually carried out by lone, mobile or home workers, however please remember when we talk about Lone, Mobile or Home workers, we are looking at someone who does not have immediate help or assistance.So let’s say you have followed all driving tips which we looked at on Wednesday however as a lone, mobile or home worker there are other points we should consider to ensure our personal safety, however I will stress again these tips are only a guide and can never replace actual training.
Before we enter any building or home we should always take notice of the different entrances and exits, because if anything happened within the building and you had to exit in a hurry, you could be disorientated and this would not help the matter.
Think: Are you 100% happy entering this building on your own? If you have no choice why not ring a colleague and ask them to ring you back with a predetermined question to confirm you are ok. Remember this will allow your confidence to grow as someone actually physically knows where you are, inclusive of being aware of your concerns.
Ask Questions: If you are meeting one person within a building or even someone’s home, ask the simple question of are they alone today? This usually makes the person you are meeting point out yes or no, it especially helps if you are on a home visit and someone walks in unexpectedly.
Sitting: I always hear people say have your back to the door or sit closest to the door, in many occasions it has not been feasible to sit close to the door, so I always point out if you observe your quickest route, where no obstacles would obstruct you, this is just as good as being beside the door. Inclusive of sitting in a position ready to move and not overly slouched like the diagram.
Observe & Listen: It is easy to say watch and listen, but what you should be paying more attention to is any changes to levels of conversation and body language positions e.g. is the meeting starting to go down a path where frustrations are heightening? If so maybe it’s time to think of an exit plan, as your presence may be one of the reasons why the situation is changing.
Exit Plan: Everyone should always take the time before entering a building or home to say “if I come out of this building after an incident I will do this……”. One of the best tools to use is the plausible excuse, where you have thought of a predetermined excuse/reason why you need to leave early, (a white lie). However please remember it has to be realistic and stand up to ridicule; this is what we always encourage when carrying out scenarios during our training.
The way we approach training around this subject is putting you in a position to think and then re-act professionally and calmly to get yourself to a place of safety without alerting the person you are meeting with about your concerns.
On visits or meetings it only takes a few minutes to calculate what you would do if something happened, and using the correct tools will always help you to reduce the risk.
Tomorrow we will look at tip on walking and what to think about.
Blog by Will Holland