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Most agents have faced unsafe incidents, according to survey

Some two thirds of agents and other property professionals who have worked alone have suffered an incident endangering their safety, according to a new survey.

StaySafe surveyed over 1,300 lone workers and to uncover the disparities between the opinions of employers and the lone workers themselves.

The research finds that incidents relating to external factors including accidents, ill health, aggression and violence make up 41 per cent of recorded lone worker incidents, with the rest - 59 per cent - involving stress, mental health issues and tiredness.

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It claims two thirds of property professionals and estate agents had reported an incident in the last three years, closely followed by housing and local authorities staff at 65 per cent. 

Manual, traditionally-male dominated industries have higher rates of incidents overall, with 76 per cent of utilities, telco and construction companies experiencing an incident with a lone worker in the last three years.

Charities, social services and the NHS recorded the lowest number of incidents, which StaySafe says may be linked to both the nature of the roles and the increased levels of training in these industries. The research showed that this group conducted the most training with 60 per cent holding briefings on lone working regulations. There could also be an issue with under-reporting in these industries.

The vast majority of companies whose staff were questioned in the study took action following a lone worker incident, usually through improved training or additional protective measures. 

However, a significant minority of companies - 17 per cent - took no action at all. In addition, the research indicates that companies are often overestimating how well they have dealt with hazards or incidents. 

A spokesman for StaySafe says: "When it comes to reporting incidents, companies on the whole are doing the right thing. However, the research shows that health and safety executives can only take appropriate action when they are aware of safety concerns or potential risks and hazards that lone workers may face. 

“It’s clear that there is a high rate of lone worker incidents, many of which are severe, and health and safety executives have to focus on preventing these before they happen by ensuring that they understand the safety concerns of their staff.”

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