50% of Managers Risk ProsecutionTue 29 Jun, 2010
50% of Managers Place Organisations at Risk of Prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act
A recent survey of NHS, Local Authority and Housing sector managers researching the methods and practices for lone working and carried out by Glasgow University shows that less than 50% of business managers understand the current legislation, current industry standards and therefore the potential business impact and relevance of non-compliance. Amongst other key findings it is also clear that managers have very little understanding of the key components required in the design of a robust lone worker solution.
The survey, carried out in Scotland, was commissioned by Argyll the UK’s leading lone worker service provider and at the General Services Association (GSA) 4th annual conference held on 14th June in Edinburgh, Tom Morton, CEO of Argyll, outlined the key findings of the recent survey to the assembled delegates. The GSA is multi-agency in its composition, with members from a wide range of health, education and social care settings, within the public, voluntary and private sectors and from a diverse mix of occupational backgrounds. The Association aims to bring together its members to foster a national and international network of information, support and guidance whilst developing, influencing and promoting best practice in the prevention and management of aggression and violence.
The survey was designed to assist Argyll gain a thorough understanding of current lone working risks and the protection methods in use within the NHS, Local Authority and Housing Association sectors in Scotland and Tom Morton explained how they could use available technologies to effectively control lone worker risk.
Tom Morton reported that technical solutions can offer employers an effective and affordable control method. However, he warned, the Internet is currently awash with a complex array of solutions that comprise device manufacturers, software solutions, mapping or tracking providers and incident response service providers. Couple this confusing choice with a general lack of awareness of the quality or legislative compliance requirements offered by these individual solutions and the conclusion is a difficult decision for middle management and a massive exposure to prosecution under the Corporate Manslaughter & Homicide Act 2007.
He also outlined a possible source of assistance for managers in the form of a new industry standard BS8484 that has recently been adopted by ACPO within their response policy as the minimum requirement for guaranteeing a police response to any lone worker service. BS8484 was developed following a substantial engagement with lone worker industry stakeholders including the security industries, device manufacturers, clients and police. The Code of Practice was published by the BSI in September 2009 and launched simultaneously during the opening of Argyll’s £1.5m purpose built Alarm Receiving Centre.