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KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-newssince 2002
28th January 2021


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Did you hear about the woman who went missing for two days last week, who had become trapped in a lift? As if that ordeal weren't bad enough, rumour has it that she had to drink her own urine as she was becoming dehydrated and she thought it might help. I know people who do that for health reasons but I just can't get my head around the idea somehow, trapped and dehydrated or not...

The reason I mention this is that the woman is a cleaner, & she's not the first cleaner - and won't be the last - I've heard about who's become trapped while working alone or moving from one part of the job to another. It occurred to me that the people at the sharp end of our industry - the thousands of kitchen and bathroom fitters and maintenance/repair specialists - are often isolated when they work.

After all, a sensible householder will choose to vacate at every opportunity, surely, over trying to function at home when there's hammering, drilling and the sound of electric tools cutting and grinding through wood and metal?

An installer's/repairer's work isn't easy - often it's carried out in enclosed spaces and many of the items being fitted/repaired will be heavy and of a size that makes manoeuvreing them for work before being dragged into place, somewhat difficult. Accidents will and do happen. If you're alone in a property and are conscious and close to your phone, you can make a call; but if not, how can you summon help? Is it just a case of waiting until you're missed in the hope that someone will get to you before it's too late? Just imagine lying on a cold (and possibly wet) floor with a slipped disc, dislocated shoulder or with your arm wedged and immovable under something heavy, like a washing machine...

I've written about lone worker tracking and monitoring systems in the past and was wondering whether anyone in our industry uses them for safety reasons, rather than just to keep tabs on the workforce to ensure they're actually working? For small or sole businesses, the expense would be too great, but how about those who are members of a trade association? Are there any schemes I wonder, whereby associations offer the possibility of tracking and monitoring members for the enhancement of worker safety?

If not, is it something you'd like to see put in place?


Jan Hobbs



9th May 2019

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