Lone Worker Tips for Real Estate Agents

Tim Bates, the Captain of the Detective Division of the Rome, NY Police Department in the USA has written a column in the Rome Observer with advice for real estate agents/realtors. The article comes in the wake of the recent murder of a real estate agent in Arizona.

Last week in Arkansas, real estate agent Beverly Carter was reported missing when she did not return after showing a home to a potential client. Tragically, her body was found a few days later and a suspect is in custody, who is believed to have targeted Mrs. Carter because of her profession and because she at times worked alone.

This tragedy should serve as a reminder to all real estate professionals or anyone else who may work in a field where they can be left alone with strangers, that it is important to always take extreme caution and follow procedures to help insure your safety.

In this day of social media and the ever growing internet, many agents use business networking sites to make and maintain contact with potential clients and colleagues.

If you utilize any sites like these, or have a profile that you give out in any other forms such as pamphlets or business cards, there are a few rules you should follow.

Never give out your home address or phone number, or give any clues that might allow someone to figure out where you live. Use either your agency address or a PO Box, and voicemail system. If you publish a profile picture, do not wear expensive jewelry or other costly accessories, and make sure there are no identifying or personal details visible in the background…

-Captain Tim Bates, The Rome Observer

The full article can be read here >>

Arizona Real Estate Agent Found Dead

Real estate agent found dead early Tuesday morning

Mrs. Carter was found deceased early Tuesday morning Source: Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office/MGN Online via WorldNow

An Arizona real estate agent named Beverly Carter was found buried in a shallow grave early Tuesday morning, September 30. The discovery came after she had been reported missing the week earlier following a showing of a home in the nearby community of Scott. Following the disappearance, Mrs. Carter’s husband went to the house looking for her, only to discover her vehicle still there and the door to the house left open.

Arron Lewis was arrested on Monday in connection with her disappearance. According to Lt. Carl Minden of the Pulaski Sheriff’s Office, the suspect admitted to the kidnapping but refused to divulge the location of the body.

[Update] ABC News has reported that Arron Lewis, when asked why he had targeted Mrs. Carter, had this to say:

“Because she was just a woman that worked alone — a rich broker,”

This incident demonstrates the risks that Real Estate Agents face each day.

Read the full WorldNow story here >>

Read the full ABC News story here >>

Kentucky Lone Worker Dies During Septic System Repairs

Lone Septic Worker Passes Away

A lone contractor working on a septic tank was found dead on Thursday. It is not known how long he had been dead before being found. Image courtesy of WDRB.com

An independent contractor working alone was found dead on Thursday September 25, 2014 after he had been attempting to perform routine maintenance of a rural septic system in Fern Creek Kentucky. The man was reportedly found stuck in an 18-inch pipe with his feet sticking out.

“We don’t know how long he had been there…”

–Deputy Coroner Jack Arnold

The victim has not been identified and foul play is not suspected at this time.

Read the full story at WDRB.com >>

Offshore Oil Worker Fatality

A UK offshore oil worker passed away following an incident on the BP-operated Unity Platform on the North Sea. The worker was performing routine maintenance on the normally unmanned platform when he fell.

An investigation is underway into the incident.

Read the full article here >>

Article on Work Alone Legislation

An article posted on Canadian Occupational Safety outlines the importance of putting into place a program to ensure the safety of workers who may find themselves alone or in isolation during the course of their work:

“…in jurisdictions where legislation does not specifically require the development of policies and practices, an employer should still be conscious of its broad duty to take reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of its workers. This “catch-all” obligation has particular application where a health and safety risk is identifiable and attributable to the fact that a worker works alone.”  — Carissa Tanzola

The article discusses briefly the importance of solutions such as so-called “buddy systems,” check-in systems, and electronic monitoring to remain constantly aware of the safety status of workers. You can read the full article here.

Related Articles:

Three Things You Should be Doing to Improve Lone Worker Safety | OH&S Magazine: Do you have a false sense of security? | Why Relying on PPE Alone is Killing us

“How One Wrong Act Leads To Eventual Harm”

Our friends at EHS Safety News America have posted an article sharing the video below along with some excellent information and tips on improving overall workplace safety.

The video is a powerful reminder of the risks and the costs associated with unsafe behavior in the workplace. Be sure to check out the full article at EHS Safety News America.

[Video] Safety is Personal: An Employer’s Story

A compelling video by WorkSafe BC demonstrates the importance of doing more than simply documenting a set of safe work practices. Ensuring that your business is actually putting best practices into effect can make the difference between arriving home safely or being rushed to the hospital.