Maintaining a safe and secure workplace benefits everyone. Employees are likely to be happier and more productive when they’re confident their physical security is taken care of. Customers and clients will have more trust in your business if your premises are protected, and it will be easier for you to keep an eye on your stock, staff, and workplace if proper security procedures are in place.
The exact security measures you’ll need to take will depend on a number of factors. These include your location, the size of your premises, and the nature of your business. Implementing procedures now will help you protect your staff and workplace as soon as possible.
Workplace Security Explained
Workplace security is a broad term that covers everything from access control to violence prevention and health and safety. In fact, it includes any potential threats that could impact on your workforce, customers, clients, stock, digital files or physical premises.
Common examples of workplace security include:
- Preventing violence or threatening behavior in the workplace
- Controlling who enters and exits the premises
- Managing stock to prevent thefts
- Minimizing risk to employees from trips, slips, falls, and other hazards
- Implementing cybersecurity measures to protect digital data
- Installing alarm systems to alert employees to fire, intruders, or other emergencies
The best and most effective way of improving workplace safety is to introduce a set of procedures for all staff to follow. For example, you could require all staff to use key cards to access the building, install an alarm system to protect the premises outside of normal working hours or train employees on how to properly deal with sensitive information.
The Importance of Workplace Security
Workplace security is important for a variety of reasons, and all businesses operating in the US have a legal duty of care to keep employees as safe as possible. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), ‘Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace that is free from serious recognized hazards’. OSHA has developed guidelines to help employers meet this requirement and improve workplace safety procedures across the country.
As well as being a legal obligation, creating a secure work environment is important because it improves employee morale, increases productivity, and prevents injuries and incidents in the workplace. If employees feel safe and happy, they’re less likely to quit. Reducing staff turnover can help to boost your bottom line. What’s more, security breaches, both physical and digital, can cause a lot of disruption and cost a lot of money. Addressing these security issues before they cause serious problems will help you prevent financial losses and keep your business running smoothly.
Keeping Your Workplace Safe and Secure
Creating and implementing a comprehensive security plan is the best way to improve employee safety and keep your premises secure. You’ll need to carry out a full risk assessment before creating your company security policies. This will help you identify the specific security threats affecting your business and your employees. Introducing regular training programs will help you to realize your workplace security plan as quickly and as effectively as possible. While many of the steps you take will be particular to your premises, there are some measures that can be universally applied to almost all workplaces. These include:
Implement a Badge System
A badge system is a simple and effective way of controlling who has physical access to the premises. In a badge system, employees – and sometimes visitors – are required to use an ID card, key card, or phone to gain access to secure areas. This type of security system can be implemented in a number of ways. You could use it as a general way of controlling who enters the building, or make it more specific by allocating different badges to different floors, wards, or work areas. Access can either be controlled by security guards or by a digital entry system. Introducing this type of security procedure is an easy way of ensuring that only authorized personnel are on your premises. It’s also a good way of keeping out any individuals you know to be violent, aggressive, or otherwise unwelcome.
Provide Appropriate Tools to Employees
If you’re looking at ways to improve cybersecurity, you’ll probably need to invest in a range of specialist tools and equipment. These tools, like encryption software, VPNs, and anti-virus software, will help to protect your online files and sensitive information. Specialist security training may be required to ensure staff know how to use them properly.
Record All Visitors
This is another simple but important workplace security procedure. If you have a log of everyone who enters and leaves the building, you’ll know exactly how many people are on the premises at any one time. This information can be crucial in case of fires, floods, gas leaks, earthquakes or other manmade or natural disasters as it can aid any rescue attempts and help you keep track of your employees. Recording all visitors to your building is also useful when it comes to reducing thefts and workplace violence. Many people will be deterred from committing violent or criminal acts if they know their name has been logged. If they do become aggressive or break the law when they’re on-site, identifying them should be easy.
Install Video Surveillance
Installing video surveillance on your premises will help you to monitor who comes in and out and act quickly if there’s a medical emergency, accident, theft, or instance of workplace violence. Place security cameras in areas like stairwells that are difficult for office security personnel to monitor. If you store sensitive information in your workplace, it may also be a good idea to point cameras at your front desk, file cabinets, and computers. As well as being a deterrent, a video surveillance system can help you to identify and catch culprits if an incident occurs. The footage can also be used as evidence in the event of an arrest or prosecution.
Maintain Physical Security
High-tech solutions like access control systems, CCTV, and digital software can help to keep your employees and premises safe. But it’s often physical security that makes the biggest difference when it comes to preventing unwanted visitors. In fact, taking stock of all physical access points is an important part of any security audit. Securing doors, windows and other access points will help to keep your premises safe. Limiting access to one main entrance will further help you control who comes in and out. Consider installing an alarm system to alert you if any doors or windows are opened without permission.
Provide Panic Button Solutions
If a visitor, guest, patient, customer, or employee does become violent, or if there’s a slip and fall, accident, or other type of emergency, it’s important that your staff members can get help as quickly as possible. Panic buttons are portable personal alarms that can be triggered in case of emergency. They provide security personnel with the user’s exact location, allowing help to reach them fast. Providing panic buttons to workers will ensure any injured customers or staff members receive first aid quickly. They can also help to prevent assaults and allow staff to summon backup if they feel threatened. If providing adequate staff support isn’t possible, there are also solutions that alert 911 when activated.
Best-Practices for Ensuring a Safe and Secure Workplace
Often, the most challenging places to keep safe are those that the public has the right to access, like hospitals and healthcare centers. There are many procedures hospitals and healthcare centers can implement in order to improve workplace safety These include:
- Installing video surveillance
- Providing panic buttons
- Improving physical security
- Issuing ID cards to staff members
- Following Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards
You can identify other effective ways of keeping employees safe by carrying out a risk assessment of your premises. Talking to staff about security concerns is another good way of pinpointing important safety issues.
Investing in a comprehensive security program will help to protect staff, boost employee morale, minimize disruption, and help your business’s bottom line. Learn more and find out how panic buttons can help protect workforces of all sizes by taking a look around or getting in touch with a member of the ROAR team today. Request a Demo.