Lone workers operating in charities and not-for-profit organisations face potentially challenging situations as they enter client homes alone, work in the community, and often out of hours in many locations across New Zealand. Depending on the work the charity carries out, employees may be working in sensitive situations and with vulnerable members of society. Such environments mean that employees can be exposed to a range of environmental and interpersonal risk.
Violence and aggression
Unfortunately, violence and aggression are common within public-facing roles. When working alone and behind closed doors, the risk may be higher, as lone working employees can be seen as easy targets.
Working in locations away from the office which haven’t been risk assessed can expose employees to common workplace hazards, such as trip hazards or aggressive animals.
Travelling on the road is one of the greatest and most uncontrollable risks workers around the world face each day. Travel risks are not always immediately considered, yet many volunteers and employees in the Charity sector spend time travelling between appointments and locations.
If a lone worker suffers a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or fainting, receiving immediate support and alerting emergency services could prove difficult without colleagues nearby.