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Lone working speakers

The lone worker safety conferences put on in recent years by Nicole Vazquez (pictured) of Worthwhile Training stress that employers have a duty of care to lone workers – however they are defined – for health and safety, and welfare, besides security reasons. That’s if anything more true in 2020 due to the pandemic-forced sudden roll-out of home working by banks and other service sector firms, and reflected in Nicole’s Lone Worker Safety Live online conference, free to attend, on Tuesday afternoon, October 13.

After introductions, its first speaker at 2pm is Barbara Hockey, Head of Vulnerable Workers Team, at the regulator the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), who will go over the HSE’s approach towards managing the risks to vulnerable workers during coronavirus. She will offer a preview of a new HSE video, ‘Protecting Lone Workers’.

Even if a retail worker is not the only employee on duty in the shop – and some high street retailers, such as betting shops, do have such lone workers – if that employee does not have a colleague within hailing (or shouting) distance, that could be defined as lone working. The Co-op has changed its approach to lone working; as featured in the October 2020 print edition of Professional Security magazine, in its two-page report on body-worn cameras. Jayne Crowe, Investigations and Security Manager, Co-operative Group will report.

What is the potential impact of Covid-19 on the health and safety world? That’s then the question for Matt Trigg and Nigel Heaton, of consultancy Human Applications. The mental health (in a word, well-being) considerations for long term lone workers, and those who manage them, are the subject for Leyla Okhai, of Diverse Minds UK Ltd.

Last but not least, a panel will discuss if technology can play a part in this new way of working? The panel invited is Alicia Mather, of First2Help You; Craig Swallow, of software firm Vismo; and Chris Allcard, of Reliance Protect.

Nicole Vazquez stresses that you can pop in and out for the sessions that are most relevant to you, or listen to the whole afternoon, as you wish. The online event replaces the planned London physical conference, put off like other such events due to the pandemic. Organisers hope to run the conference in October 2021. Visit

HSE background

HSE has inspectors visiting workplaces checking they are ‘COVID-secure’. As HSE says, businesses need to put in place workplace adjustments to manage the risk and protect workers and others from coronavirus. Businesses can do this by following five practical steps:

1. carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment
2. develop increased cleaning, hand washing and hygiene procedures
3. take all reasonable steps to help people work from home
4. maintain 2m social distancing where possible
5. where people cannot be 2m apart, manage transmission risk.



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