With no immediate help at hand, lone working by its very nature comes with risks. This past week, we came across a few news stories that demonstrate just how vulnerable lone workers are when things take a turn for the worse.
Scotrail Worker Attacked with Fire Extinguisher
“Neal Mackay, 25, of Alloa, Clackmannanshire, was so out of control that CS spray failed to stop him and he had to be locked inside a train.”
Scotrail worker Stuart Duncan was moving a train at 11pm when he noticed Mackay walking along the tracks at Perth railway station, Scotland. After raising a signal to warn of the danger, he soon noticed Mackay inside one of the carriages of an unoccupied train, removing the pin from a fire extinguisher. Mackay then aggressively approached Mr Duncan and discharged the fire extinguisher directly in his face.
Concerned by the conduct of Mackay, Mr Duncan disabled the doors of the carriage to contain him inside. Numerous station staff and Police then arrived to witness Mackay continue to smash up the train carriages.
Mackay, who acted under the influence of alcohol and claims to have no recollection of the events was ordered to pay £2,400 compensation after wrecking several carriages.
Security Guard Attacked by Local Youths
“Yobs trashed a former market site and attacked a security guard with a broom in Oldham.”
On Monday 1st August, youths wrecked a market site which is in the process of being demolished after claiming it was taking away their ‘chill space’. To prevent it happening again on Tuesday, a security guard was employed to keep watch.
However, at 9pm the youths returned and began throwing missiles at the guard, whilst pulling down surrounding fences. One of the youths also hit the security guard with a broom before Greater Manchester Police were called to the scene.
A statement from the Shaw and Crompton Councillors said “This has been happening for years, but each year the young people’s behaviour has become more anti-social.”
The youths have been ordered to keep out of the entire local area whist officers patrolled the local area for the following two nights.
Shop Worker Threatened with Weapon
“Robber, Jamie Minor threatened lone working shop assistant with weapon before fleeing with eight cans of lager.”
At 5:30am, half an hour after store opening, the shop assistant noticed Minor drop cans of lager on the floor whilst standing next to a fridge. The worker asked if Minor would like a carrier bag, but he did not respond.
When Minor proceeded to the exit, the shop assistant asked him if he was going to pay for his drinks, at which point the 27-year-old pulled a metal object from his pocket and warned the shop assistant not to follow him or he would ‘get it’.
The defendant, who has 39 previous convictions for 93 offences, was arrested after police studied the shop’s CCTV and pleaded guilty to robbery.
This is just a small fraction of the incidents that take place involving lone workers each week, proving just how perilous lone working can be.