Don’t hold back from working night shifts. Here are some tips to ensure your safety.
Women have always been advised not to leave their homes after it gets dark. For a long time, they followed this advice. Working women ensured that they were home by 7 pm. In fact, the Shops and Commercial Establishments Act, 1961, and the Factories Act, 1948, were amended quite recently allowing all women to work night shifts. Some states like Karnataka even banned night shifts for women, ostensibly to control instances of crimes against women.
Despite these challenges, a considerable number of women in India are opting for night shifts. If you are one of these courageous women, here are some tips that’ll help you ensure your safety:
1. Download safety apps
Today there are apps for anything and everything – including ensuring your safety. Apps like My Safetipin, and bSafe allow you to seek help and alert people when you are in an unsafe location or situation. Here are a few ways these apps help you:
– Suggest nearby police centres and stations
– Send messages, current location, and call emergency contacts
– Warn you about ‘unsafe spots’ based on other women’s feedback
– Suggest safe routes to your destination
– Help your emergency contacts track your movement
Above all, be aware of your surroundings. If you sense something suspicious and are alone, use one of these apps to alert the watchman, your manager, colleagues, family, and friends.
2. Avail of the pickup-and-drop facility
Every organisation that asks its employees to work night shifts is required to provide them with a pickup-and-drop facility – a driver, in a vehicle hired by the company, picks up the employees from the office and drops them home. If your company hasn’t been providing you this perk, talk to your manager immediately. This facility ensures that your company takes full responsibility for your safety till the time you reach home.
Also, ensure that there’s a security person present in the vehicle until the last employee is dropped home. Note the number of the vehicle or just take a picture of the number plate and send it to your family members. If possible, choose well-lit streets to travel at night.
3. Carry all your identity proofs
The police usually have patrol duties at night. There’s a chance that they might intercept your vehicle, as part of a routine check. In such situations, an identity card provided by your company would prove to be very helpful. You can show it as proof that you work night shifts. An identity proof also helps you in unforeseen situations where passersby can identify you and contact your kin immediately.
Hence, ensure that you have at least some of the following identity proofs on you at all times:
– Company ID
– Aadhaar card
– Voter’s ID
– Driver’s license
– PAN card
4. Keep emergency numbers handy
The government and police force have many emergency numbers that can help put citizens directly in contact with the concerned person in the system. They have a special emergency number for women in case they need immediate assistance. While some of these numbers are state-specific, there are some that work in every corner of the country, such as 100 (police control room), 101 (Ambulance) and 1091/1090 (National Commission for Women).
Safety concerns are a major reason why many women refuse to take up night shifts. Ensure your safety with these tips and you won’t have to think twice about working late into the night at the office. It is believed that if men and women participate equally in the workplace, India’s GDP could increase by up to 60 percent by 2025. Such is the impact women’s contribution can have on the workforce.
This article was first published on TomorrowMakers.