Safe and Well Newsletter - May

Personal safety at work

I wanted this edition to focus on Personal Safety, something that is all to easily taken for granted! As I revisited this theme I was reminded of the high profile case of Suzy Lamplugh. Although this case was some time ago now it still serves as a timely reminder to be aware of and plan for your personal safety. As we rely on our mobile phones for so much it is tempting to think that we have our personal safety covered! Because going to and from work is routine we can become complacent.

The following extract is taken from the Suzy Lamplugh Trust website, and is a brief account of the case:

‘On the last Monday of July 1986, in broad daylight and in the middle of a working day, the unthinkable happened. Suzy Lamplugh, a 25-year-old, disappeared during the course of her work as an estate agent while showing a client round a house in Fulham.

At 12.40pm on 28th July, Suzy had left her office – Sturgis and Sons, 654 Fulham Road – taking her house and car keys and a purse with £15 and credit cards, but leaving her handbag behind. 10 minutes later she was seen waiting outside an empty property, 37 Shorrald’s Road, which had only been on the market for one week. At 1.00pm, she was joined by a man (presumably the “Mr Kipper” she had written in her diary) and minutes later they were seen walking away from the house. At 6.45pm, her manager reported Suzy’s disappearance to the police.

Despite a police reconstruction and extensive media coverage during the press’ 'silly season', no information was forthcoming on Suzy’s fate. As her mother wrote five years later, “there has not been a single trace of her. Nothing. Just as though she has been erased by a rubber”. Suzy’s body has never been found, but she has been presumed murdered and was legally declared dead in 1993.

Diana and Paul Lamplugh founded Suzy Lamplugh Trust in 1986 following the disappearance and later presumed murder of their daughter Suzy. At the time very little research had been done into personal safety and the term was rarely used. Paul and Diana became the foremost experts on personal safety and Diana travelled throughout the UK raising awareness of the subject. They have both since passed away but their work goes on through the Suzy Lamplugh Trust.’

I would like to invite you to follow this link:

The Suzy Lamplugh Trust still campaigns to raise awareness of personal safety and their website has many useful resources that you can share with colleagues and your employer, such as:

  • Personal Safety at Work: A Guide for Everyone

  • Personal Safety at Work: Lone-working

  • Stalking: what to do if you are being stalked

  • Personal Safety for Young People

They also have a recommended Charter for Workplace Safety, including key themes such as:

  • Embedding a workplace personal safety culture

  • Implement adequate risk assessments

  • Provide adequate reporting procedures

  • Provide personal safety training

  • Implement a tracing/buddy system

  • Systems for colleagues to covertly raise the alarm

  • Procedure if a colleague does not return or check in when expected

  • Ensure staff share contact details of the person they are meeting

If you are at all concerned about your personal safety at work please raise this with your employer. Also make sure you aware of your employers Health & Safety procedures and follow them, they are there to protect you.

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