Lone Working

If you are a lone worker, it is important that both you and your employer give particular consideration for your safety. 

Customer-facing roles

  • Ensure you have a means of communicating with others if an incident occurs, e.g. a covert panic button. 
  • Some form of emergency alarm system should be in place which will enable you to summon assistance if necessary.  Is it tested? Do people know how to respond? 
  • Make sure that any cash is kept out of sight. 

Working from home 

  • Try not to advertise that you work from home to prospective clients. 
  • Consider setting up a buddy system with someone so they know your plans for the day. 
  • Think about asking your ‘buddy’ to call you 10 minutes into any meeting with a new client to check that you are ok and feel comfortable with them. Have a predetermined code word ready in case you want to summon help. 
  • If clients have to come to your house, use rooms that do not disclose personal information about you. 

Lone working out and about 

  • Give some thought before you arrive as to what exit strategies you could use if you felt uncomfortable or threatened. 
  • Conduct your own risk assessment on the door step before you enter unknown places. If you feel at all uncomfortable or unsure, make an excuse and leave. Trust your instincts. 
  • Be mindful of the fact that if you are entering someone else’s territory, your presence there may be unwanted and/or pose a threat. 
  • As you enter an unknown location, make a note of how the door opens  so that you can leave quickly, if necessary. 
  • Give the client an idea of how long the meeting will take and try to adhere to this. 
  • It is important that a tracing system is in place that enables your employer/colleagues to know where you are and who you are with at all times. 
  • Risk assessments should be carried out by your employer to identify any risks related to the people, environment or tasks involved in your job. 
  • You also need to be able to make quick risk assessments yourself, which can help you decide how safe a situation is and what action you should take to avoid danger. 

Canvassing and Campaigning 

To remain safe while out canvassing and campaigning, remember:


Look confident 

Avoid risk 

Never assume it won’t happen to you 


  • Ensure you have a ‘buddy’ and they know the estimated time and route of your round. Ensure they have your contact number and that you contact them when you have finished or if your plan/route changes. 
  • Have a procedure in place for your buddy to activate if you cannot be contacted, including contacting your next of kin and taking other steps to locate you such as contacting your organiser. 
  • Consider carrying a personal safety alarm, which can be used to shock and distract an attacker giving you vital seconds to get away. 
  • If available, consider carrying a lone worker device which can be activated if you need to call for external assistance covertly. 
  • Have an alert system in place to covertly raise the alarm with colleagues, such as making a phone call to ask them to check the ‘red file’ if you need immediate assistance. 
  • Always have a charged phone with your organiser/buddy’s number and the numbers of at least two other canvassers in your area. 
  • Avoid carrying valuable items such as laptops. 
  • Plan your canvassing route.  Google Street View is particularly useful for identifying landmarks in an unknown area.

Act to avoid risk and danger 

  • Always canvass in pairs or groups. This may mean working opposite colleagues in a street but always in sight and sound of each other. 
  • Try to use well-lit routes and consider carrying a torch. 
  •  Avoid higher risk areasRemain alert and avoid distractions such as your mobile phone or headphones. 
  • If you think you are being followed, trust your instincts and take action. Act confidently, cross the road, turning to see who is behind you. If you are still being followed, keep moving. Head to a busy area and if you believe you may be in danger, call the police – DIAL 999. 

Never assume it won’t happen to you 

  • Never enter a stranger’s house, even when invited. Always remain on the doorstep and out of arm’s reach. Ensure you have a clear exit. 
  • If someone is aggressive or confrontational do not engage; politely end the conversation and leave that address. Report this to colleagues so they avoid same situation. 
  • Have a list of excuses prepared to help you leave any situation quickly. 
  • Beware of dogs even when they appear friendly. Dogs are territorial by nature and if they feel they need to protect their family, they can become unpredictable. 
  • Trust your instincts. Do not knock on a door or enter a garden or driveway that you feel uncomfortable about. 

What to do if you feel unsafe? 

Remember ReLATE 

  • Remain calm. 
  • Leave the environment if you feel at risk, informing your campaign manager or buddy that you are changing your plan. 
  • Alarm: If someone will not let you leave, or is threatening aggression, set off your alarm next to their head to disorientate them, drop it to the floor and get away from the aggressor. 
  • Tell someone what has happened as soon as you can. 
  • Emergency; in this situation always call the police, and let someone know what's happening. 

Click the link below for a downloadable card offering some personal safety tips to keep yourself, your staff and volunteers safe while campaigning and canvassing during the general election. 

General Election Advice Card