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LONE WORKER PROTECTION DIVERSION TACTICS


As a new service is launched into the market aimed at helping lone workers stay in control of their phone calls, Health and Safety Consultant, Bob Smith, who runs, RS Safety Consulting from his home in Aylesbury, explains how he manages his working day on the road while


making sure he never misses an opportunity. After almost 30 years in the financial services industry, where I had worked my way into a health and safety role at Nationwide Building Society (following many years on the shop floor as a branch manager and retail manager, jobs in premises and facilities, then business continuity and disaster recovery) I found myself in the uncomfortable position of facing redundancy.


My working life had been spent in the bubble of a large organisation with all the trappings of support on tap and,


importantly, someone always right behind me answering the phone. In 2008, I made what felt like a bold move to go it alone and set up my own health and safety consultancy. Reputation is everything in this business and I knew I was entering a competitive marketplace. I was fortunate though, and my client base grew pretty quickly, mainly through recommendation (I try to inject personality and some fun where I can into health and safety training to make it memorable) and I was beginning to pick up some large and varied contracts across the UK.


I hadn’t fully anticipated how difficult it would be working alone, juggling the day job of providing workplace and classroom-based training while managing the administration and everyday running of the business itself. I realised that I was missing opportunities as I couldn’t answer my phone while I was in meetings or out training, and yet it wasn’t feasible for me to employ a receptionist. I had tried it, but the phone didn’t ring often enough or at the right times to make financial sense. Voicemail was impersonal and people generally don’t


I HADN’T FULLY ANTICIPATED HO DIFFICULT IT WO BE WORKING AL YET IT WASN’T FE FOR ME TO EMP RECEPTIONIST.


36 www.tomorrowshs.com


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