Whether it’s nightshift at the hospital, a filling station or factory, extended shopping hours have increased the exposure to risk for employees. Reduced staffing levels for late-night trading and problems with drunken customers has exacerbated the problem, leaving people feeling vulnerable and therein reducing employee wellness.
Who is most at risk?
For retailers, opening and closing of the store are identified as particularly risky times. Closing a store late at night is much worse than closing in the early evening. It also means that night shift staff have to travel to or from work at later hours, when access to public transport or even use of their own cars may be more risky.
24 hour operation of petrol filling stations, often with single staffing, is a target for criminals, particularly where the petrol station attendant is required to sell other goods apart from petrol.
Females and staff who are key holders who are called out in the middle of the night if the alarm has gone off also feel particularly vulnerable.
What to do to protect your staff
Employers should provide well lit access to stores and offices for staff who are opening or closing or who have to enter or leave the premises during the night.
Key holders should not be expected to enter the premises on their own.
If there are problems with public transport for staff working the night shift then the employer should ideally provide transport.
Car parks should be well lit at all times that staff are expected to use them. Where possible night staff should be allowed to park where there is easy access to the workplace and where their cars can be monitored by security staff. Bushes, shrubs and other obstructions which may provide a hiding place for assailants should be removed.
Where possible, staff should not be expected to work on their own at high risk times, for example, in late opening stores, off licenses or petrol filling stations. If it cannot be avoided then extra precautions will be needed to make sure that they are protected and can call for assistance in an emergency.
Arrange a presentation from our Guarding Division so that you are kept up to date and know what the potential hazards are in your environment.