“Hot Safety Tips for Working Adults”

Since our founding, WWAV’s work to address the structural environment of HIV vulnerability in New Orleans has taken us to the streets.  For twenty-two years, we’ve worked alongside women in New Orleans’ street-based economies, strategizing with them on the everyday and long-term strategies for promoting their health and wellbeing. We’re excited to share some of the “Hot Safety Tips for Working Adults” that guide us and the women we support!

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Hot Safety Tips for Working Adults

How safe is your work? Wherever you work, it is important to:

Tell someone where you are going and how long you will be gone.
Think about an escape route in advance, in case of danger.
Look for well lit, open and secure areas in which to work.

Assess your clients:

Make sure you can see them clearly.
Engage in small talk to assess any potential risk.
Always go on your ‘gut instinct’.

BE AWARE & ALERT AND YOU WON’T GET HURT
What is ‘gut instinct’?

If you get bad vibes, feel uneasy or get butterflies, your gut instinct is telling you something is wrong…DON’T GO WITH HIM!
Trust your judgment at all times.
Even a regular can still turn ugly. TRUST YOUR GUT INSTINCT USUALLY IT’S RIGHT.

Attitude is important

Confidence at work can save your life.
Never show that you feel intimidated, frightened or ‘out of control’.
Try to stay positive and in control.
Take time out if work gets stressful.

BE STRONG, ALERT & ALWAYS ASSERT
Working Alone. Try to work in pairs. If you have to work alone:

Never let the client know you are alone.
Let them think that you have a friend that knows where you are.

WORKING ALONE? CARRY A PHONE.
Any signs of trouble

Make as much noise as possible. This frightens people away. Yell, scream—GET OUT! GET AWAY!
Run and scream “FIRE” as loud as you can.
Run to a busy street and get help.
Create a HUGE scene to get attention.

Carry a personal alarm

Loud noise scares people and attracts attention.
Carry a whistle or personal alarm.
Remember, any sign of danger, yell and get help!

If forced to fight

Turn fear into anger. Get really angry.
Use whatever you can as a weapon. Use your stilettos, bag, sharp ring, belt buckle or anything that will inflict pain.
Strike vulnerable areas of the body—eyes, throat, nose, fingers, balls, knee, feet—these hurt the most.
Create as much noise as possible.

If attacked and are at risk

If you can run, shout and set off alarms. Put distance and obstacles between you and the attacker.
If you can’t get away, fight with anything to protect yourself. Kick, bite hit with anything, be aggressive, scream and shout.
If you can’t run or fight, try not to show fear and try to talk your way out.

If weapons are involved

Stay out of attacking range.
Use an object, such as a bag or shoe as a shield to protect yourself.
If you can run, get out and scream “FIRE”—this gets attention.
Try and keep your vital organs away from the weapon.
Use anything around to throw at the attacker. This will give you time to get away.

IF YOU ARE ATTACKED, REPORT IMMEDIATELY TO THE POLICE AND WWAV—IT CAN SAVE LIVES.

The above tips have been adapted with the permission of SWOP NSW. www.swop.org.au

 

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