The California Department of Industrial Relations has issued Guidelines for Workplace Security. They believe, “Workplace violence has become a serious occupational health problem requiring the combined efforts of employers, employees, labor unions, government, academic researchers and security professionals. The problem cannot be solved by government alone.”
Between 2000 and 2004, homicides were the leading cause of work-related deaths in California. During that same period, work-related homicides that involved a gun accounted for nearly 80% of all the deaths in the state.
You may have a legal obligation to safeguard your employees, and may have to demonstrate that you are taking steps to do so. Many businesses have taken that important first step of hiring a security company to provide onsite guards.
Other actions you can take include:
- Installing brighter lighting in your parking lot,
- Issuing photo ID badges to employees,
- Furnishing coded key cards for building access,
- Providing training on workplace safety.
With these steps in place, you can prove you are proactive about safety and security.
More importantly than physical security additions, it’s important for employees to understand criminals. They will, after all, strike when it best suits them.
Your employees need to understand that they might be targeted when coming and going from the office, in elevators, seldom used stairwells or quiet parking structures. Security guards can’t be everywhere.
When everyone is aware of suspicious behavior and trained to lookout for it, the likelihood of averting criminal attacks becomes higher.
Personal doesn’t end at your property line, though. In today’s world, there are many employees that work from home, or telecommute. The “safety mindset” that you’re trying to create applies to these employees, as well.
Often, because they are not traveling to an office, work-from-home employees believe they are insulated from work-related safety risks. This belief can make telecommuters complacent. Because their productivity is important to your business, their home security should be, as well. Make sure these employees are included in your training with content appropriate to their situation.
Some safety topics that should be addressed include:
- Understanding that crime is a planned process and helping employees recognize pre-crime surveillance behavior by criminals;
- Understanding the “victim-selection” process, and stopping it;
- Recognizing threats;
- Situational Escalation versus De-escalation;
- Developing strategies for employees who open the business early, or close it late;
- Safety in elevators, parking lots and other areas;
- For those employees that travel, selecting the right hotel room and travel safety;
- Recognizing and avoiding domestic violence spill over into the workplace;
- Dealing with questionable strangers in isolated environments;
- Working from home;
- How to deal with erupting violence at a client’s facility.
To ensure the safety of your employees and customers, management must commit to taking safety steps and providing employee training. It will require the day-to-day involvement of managers, supervisors, employees and labor unions.
American Security Force’s consulting services can help assess the security threats your business faces, and develop a custom plan that ensures your employees safety and security. Call today at 877-722-8585 to set up an appointment.