VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 4 POSTED ON: 4/12/2009
Security to the Front, Security to the Front Counter for Safety With the onset of vandalism ( such as the pipeline explosions in British Columbia), workplace violence, or just plan risk management in making sure employees are competent before entering a worksite, not only for their safety but for others working around them, company managers are putting in control measures in work place safety. All sorts of businesses around have begun to take practical steps to protect employees from potentially dangerous situations. These include: Using “panic buttons” for employees to activate during distressing situations Locking doors and using physical barriers to prevent movement through facilities Strictly enforcing alcohol policies Contracting security companies or using security personnel to deter criminal elements Awareness training from local police departments or downtown business associations Using surveillance cameras Newer problems include an increase in stalking or harassment of employees from either customers or former companions, and generally more “acting out” in the workplace by disgruntled employees. Training and solid policies are a great tool for giving employees technique-based information that can reduce some of these risks. In a typical training session an employee might learn to diffuse an insistent or irate customer by focusing on remaining calm, finding ways to help the customer save face, and addressing the customer’s concerns immediately or else taking his or her contact information and promising to follow up through a supervisor or manager. It depends on what the culture is within your organization. Companies need to create a culture of respect. That not only protects the employee’s rights to privacy, but enhances the work place safety of its employees and worksite. When it comes to workplace security safety try to put the employee first, make sure they’re not placed in uncomfortable situations. Employers should: 1. Conduct a risk assessment to identify the types of possible violence and the probability of injury to employees 2. Second conduct a risk site assessment on the work being done, ( like worker doing work in a H2S environment) you wouldn’t want any non-trained person even close to that area, without the proper training 3. Security is part of egress and prevention, what controls, security tags, lock outs or just plain locked areas do you have, who can enter them and when, under what conditions, how is this recorded. Are there further risks like police security checks, alcohol-drug testing, it all part of the companies security plans. 4. Develop and implement a violence prevention program (if risks exist) in co-operation with their company’s joint health and safety committee 5. Ensure all workers understand the risks and have the knowledge to help prevent violent incidents. New employees must be trained in safe work procedures and all staff must be made aware of hazards as soon as they are identified Who is at risk in a workplace security setting? The simple clean answer is everyone. Everyone who works at the site or office, including visitors is subject to a uniform policy (including visiting family members). We all think of security and high risk safety in fields were people work in the following factors: Contact with the public Exchange of money Delivery of passengers, goods, or services Having a mobile workplace (such as a vehicle) Working with unstable or volatile people Working alone or in small numbers Working late at night or during early morning hours Guarding valuable property or possessions Not so! Security goes further in looking after all employees, not only because of theft or violence issues, but for worker competence in operating equipment or speciality areas like labs. But also in risk management (are the workers competent) to be in that area, work in those conditions, know the firefirst aid risks, or just egress if something goes wrong, hence always caring your security passes and qualification cards with you at all times, you never know when you will be challenged for your competency in security to a area or site. All supervisor and management teams need to clearly develop, mark and portray not only for due diligence issues the following, but to allow employee clear direction to action when things are at risk. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Establish violence prevention policy and standards. Conduct a risk assessment. Control violence hazards through workplace design and work practices. Educate and train your workers on how to prevent violence. Regularly inspect your workplace and review your program to ensure standards are maintained. A comprehensive security prevention assessment should ask: What is your target potential? What is the prevailing attitude toward security? Who is responsible for the overall security program? How is security policies enforced? When was the current emergency preparedness plan developed (including fire, power failure and disaster)? What resources are available locally and how rapid are the response times for fire, police and ambulance? What kind of physical security systems and controls are presently used? Do the available security resources, policies and procedures meet the potential threat? Here is an example of one area of security in the workplace Ensuring Workplace Security: Taking a few precautions can make your workplace a safer place to be. Your Own Belongings Never leave handbags on desks or wallets in coat pockets in your absence. Take them with you. Never leave your purse or wallet tucked behind the counter in the restaurant or store or nursing station where you work. Smart thieves are also quick. If a locker is provided for you at your workplace, use it. And lock it. Keep the key or combination on your person or in a secure place. If there are no lockers, join with other workers in ensuring that a safe place is provided for your personal belongings. Always keep money in a safe place. Don't leave even the petty cash in an unlocked drawer during the day. And at night put it in the safe or remove it from the building altogether. Be careful with keys. Keep them in a safe place. Don't put spare keys in unlocked desk drawers. Lock them up. Deposit them in the bank if it seems advisable. (But please don't put the spare key to the safe in the safe.) Lock windows in your absence. It's so easy to forget, especially in the summertime, and a thief can come and go in a couple of minutes. Don't let yourself, your co-workers, or your employer get ripped off through carelessness. Better yet, get your co-workers and employers together to discuss how you can best ensure the security of all property and staff. But the Pages of Workplace Security should not just be centered on violence or theft! Ensure that everyone knows and follows existing safety measures, fire procedures, and escape routes. Plan emergency exits. Know about safe places and pay phones. Know who is responsible for building security and who to contact in an emergency. Consider having locked washrooms. Always place purses and valuables out of sight. Install a communication or buzzer system at the reception desk and in isolated work areas. Ensure receptionists have more than one exit from their workstation. Make sure there is a clear exit route from the service desk to the door. Know staff in other stores and businesses; be aware of their schedules. Make sure that back doors or secondary doors are locked. Pre-program phones to 911 or local police emergency number. Install phones in isolated area such as storage rooms. Have an alarm installed that rings in the workplace and a neighbouring business or household. Install good outside lighting and check all lighting before it gets dark. Ensure the service desk is visible through windows and is well lit. Develop a buddy system for employees to get to cars or bus stops after work. Your Visitors Never assume that a stranger wandering in the building is a member of the staff. Even "Can I help you?" can discourage the dishonest without interfering with the legitimate visitor. And if the stranger was wandering because he or she really did need assistance in finding something or someone, you have been helpful. Never allow anyone to remove equipment without checking first. Never leave callers alone in the office. Check by telephone to see in someone can see him or her. Don't go away. Don't disclose confidential information to a stranger. No matter how important the person may seem, always report such requests for information to your employer. (That nice-looking person may be "casing the joint".) So as you can see it not about the boss, evading your privacy, or why do I need to wear those stupid security tags to enter my work area. It’s about protecting me, the employee, in absolute safety from the beginning of the work day to the end of my shift. Are the people I am working for or with a risk, how does that affect my safety and what risks does it involve, is it companywide, provincial legislated like worker competence, or is it greater (federal) like proper handling or shipping dangerous goods, finally is it global like crossing borders or doing business in a different county.
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