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What can I do about personal safety?
Your employer should make sure you have safe working arrangements, and help you to set up reliable routines to let someone at work know whom you are meeting, and when. If you are self-employed, make these arrangements with a reliable friend.
Homeworkers should never meet with clients in their home. If they have to meet with colleagues or clients, this should be done in the office or a public building.
Homeworkers should also never give their address or personal telephone numbers to non-employees.
The Suzy Lamplugh Trust offers this advice:
- Find a buddy. Fax or e-mail them every day with a list of the time and place of your appointments and travel plans. Contact your buddy between appointments. Practise these arrangements until you and your back-up partner are sure what is expected.
- Set up emergency routines for calling for assistance, such as code words or a panic button.
- Make safe arrangements to meet new clients, preferably in a busy public place. Avoid situations that could be difficult. Never assume it won't happen to you.
- Do not ignore your instincts. Have a few polite phrases prepared to turn away any client you feel 'wrong' about.
- Ask yourself about the message your home is giving. Are you obviously alone, or are you giving a sense that others are around? Are you sending out business-like signals and being clear about your boundaries?
- Make sure you can get out easily.