Every employee deserves to work in a safe job environment. This does not only mean safety from machine accidents, sickness, and work-related injuries, but it includes safety from outside threats. Angry clients, strangers, thieves, dogs, and other potential threats are out there. Are your employees safe from these dangers when they are on the work campus? Are you making employee security a priority? You should be.
Why security is important
This seems like a simple question. Yet, you can never be too prepared. For example; anticipating situations where angered customers become violent, belligerent, or otherwise hostile can go a long way in protecting your employees when an incident actually occurs. Security should not be a concern only in the building itself, but across the work campus as a whole. Are your employees safe when walking to their vehicles after the work day? Is your parking lot or parking structure well lit? The Bureau of Justice Statistics found that 10% of property crimes and over 7% of violent crimes take place in parking lots or garages. Additionally, what is the general state of the surrounding neighborhood; are their known criminals? Is it a high-crime area? What about animal threats? Are there any known hostile animals nearby? Dog attacks are a legitimate threat; especially to workers who spend their day on the go, and out in the field. Ultimately, a workforce that feels secure will be more effective at their job.
Performing a security assessment can help you identify where your security program is lacking. These assessments are offered by security companies such as Kroll and Secure State. A security assessment will outline your current security strengths and weaknesses, as well as implement a plan to better protect your employees and job environment.
Tips to improve security
There are changes employers can by their own discretion. Improving security is all about creating an environment that will deter criminals. There are a number of ways to do this:
- Lighting: This is especially important in outdoor environments. Parking lots and parking structures should always be well lit. Employees who work at night, or leave during later hours are vulnerable to assault, theft, and other crimes. Properly lighting parking areas an effective way to keep would-be-criminals from lurking in the shadows.
- Traffic Tracker: Do you always know who is in the building? Would you be able to go back and check who was in the building, should the need arise? Establishing some sort of visitor log or check-in/out system for your workplace can be beneficial. An electronic system would be convenient and simple to use, and could store the names and contact information of any visitors or clientele. Even a doorbell or door buzzer can alert employees to when someone enters the building.
- Security-friendly landscaping: trees and bushes can greatly improve the aesthetic value of your workplace. However, they can also provide convenient use for criminals. A line of dense shrubs can be a hiding spot for lurking criminals. Trees that are planted near the building could create a ‘ladder’ for thieves to use to gain access to a window. It is important to make sure your landscaping does not create security risks.
- Employee Participation: Perhaps the ultimate key to true workplace security is the participation of all involved. Bringing new security standards to employees and hearing their concerns, as well as encouraging them to double check locked doors, take care of valuables, and heighten their awareness are crucial elements in workplace security. It is difficult to protect those who are not on board with the actions it takes to protect them.
- Maintenance: routinely check to make sure all doors, windows, locks, and other security measures are functioning properly. Sticking locks, doors that won’t latch, and defective alarm systems an all inhibit the security of a workplace. Make sure systems are up to date, doors and locks are functional, and light-bulbs have not burned out.
Workplace security does not need to consist of armed guards, high-tech security cameras, or facial recognition scanners. Creating a safe workplace comes down to using common sense. An environment that is controlled, monitored, and cautioned against crime will go a long way in improving workplace security. Employees should feel comfortable with bringing security concerns to management, and management should always take these concerns seriously. Be secure. Be safe.