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How do you ensure your staff are safe whilst lone working?

Interview with lone working expert and Scottish Factoring Network Conference speaker, Seamus Corry. 

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Seamus Corry, a lone worker of many years, will lead a workshop entitled ‘Working Alone – Keeping Safe’ at this year’s Scottish Factoring Network Conference. The workshop will raise awareness of safety issues whilst working alone and will highlight ways in which organisations can ensure the safety of their employees whilst lone working. 

SFHA Business Development Intern Mollie Stephen spoke to Seamus to get an insight into his work before the conference.

How did you start advising organisations on safe lone working?

Seamus: I have worked in training for 21 years and been a lone worker for many of them. I have worked with many organisations, including the public and private sector, and it surprised me how many organisations lacked knowledge on keeping safe when lone working. 

I started educating management teams and carried out some research and reading. I found that more and more people were lone working, whether it be working out with the office or working for themselves. The ways in which people were working were very varied. I found the main question was: ‘how do organisations look after their staff when lone working?’. 

I spoke to SHARE to see whether I could come up with a training programme for housing associations to show them what it means to be a safe lone worker, and it all started from there.

What has been your most rewarding job/project?

Seamus: I would say the most rewarding thing I’ve done is work all over Scotland – working the length and breadth of the country to raise awareness on safe lone working and introducing levels of understanding when it comes to keeping safe when working out of the office or for yourself. I feel it’s very rewarding walking away from an organisation knowing I have educated the key issues to staff and their management.

What is most challenging about your work?

Seamus: The most challenging part of my work is ensuring I am giving the best fitting training packages to organisations. No two packages or training sessions are the same, so I need to make sure I hit the mark every time and assess what is suitable for that organisation so I don’t let them down.

Finally, what does the future hold for you and your work?

Seamus: I want to be bigger and deliver to a wider audience. I have plans for my training packages to tap into the North East and North West of England, before spreading nationwide. My goal is to create a one-stop shop on how to keep safe when lone working and to deliver my services to housing associations throughout the country.

This year’s Scottish Factoring and Network Conference is taking place on 6 December at the Grand Central Hotel in Glasgow. Prices start at £229 for SFHA, GWSF and SHARE members and cost £319 for non-members. 

The event will feature sessions that highlight and offer solutions to relevant issues happening today, including the implications on factoring in light of the Grenfell fire, how to use communications and social media to get the most out of your organisation, sinking funds and how they could be used in Scotland, and much more. To book a place, or to view the full programme, please visit the SFHA website.