The recently terminated “Graham Dwyer” case brought to light a big problem about which most Irish employers have been burying their head in the sand. Namely, it is regarding how, as an employer, you could be inadvertently sending one of your employees into a situation much more fraught with risk is often appreciated.
It came out in the trial that Mr Dwyer had planned to set up a fake viewing with a young auctioneer in South Dublin. Horrendously he had planned to rape and kill the person in question. Thankfully, it never came to pass. But it could have.
Even in Ireland, showing complete strangers around empty and sometimes secluded properties on a daily basis, does pose an element of risk that most people reguarly take for granted. Estate agents need to start evaluating what kind of levels of risk that they are exposing themselves to. Albeit way back in the eighties, the terribly sad case of Suzy Lamplugh is a prime historical example of why estate agents are at a high risk factor in their work line. Suzy went to show a property in the south of England, and never returned.
Some of the basic questions that should be asked as part of having a thorough lone worker policy are: Do your colleagues know where you are going? Do they know who you are showing the property to? Do they know what time you will be back? Will they remember if you don’t return on time. How well do you know the potential buyer? Have you conducted a vet on them? More often than not, these answers will be negative…
There are a number of precautions that should always be taken in order to minimise the risk exposure. For example, let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. Ideally, have a list available of all the people that you are planning to show around the property.
However, we all know that with the seemingly relentless pace of life these days, it is hard to remember to do all these things and to have a third party to remember to check if everything is okay with you if you do not arrive back on schedule. In short, people are getting on with their lives and no one is perfect.
Here is a recent article from Evoke.ie that demonstrates how RE:SURE GO could form a thorough part of your company’s lone working policy.