When you have a business and employees, safety and security are critical to everything you do. You need to have corporate security plans in place to make sure that you’re protecting everyone onsite, including your clients, from risks. You also want to make sure you’re creating an environment that generally promotes safety.
When your employees feel safe and secure, and you have a specific plan in place for making sure they are, it’s going to improve your employer brand and worker productivity, as well as loyalty.
The following are general tips to keep in mind as you get started creating more concrete safety and security plans for your business.
Develop a Safety Program
As an employer, there are a few realizations you’re going to have to come to. The first is that your business is at risk in many ways. That’s true for every business. The second realization that should guide your decisions from there is the fact that you are responsible for ensuring the safety of your employees and your customers.
As far as general safety, many injuries and even illnesses in the workplace could have been prevented.
The more employees you have or, the more complex your business is, the more comprehensive your safety and security plans will need to be.
Any safety or security plan should include the following elements:
- Your employees should understand the commitment to safety. Managers should be setting an example.
- Your employees should be involved in the program and should provide input.
- Know what OSHA regulations are, as well as any other regulatory guidelines that apply to your workplace.
- Know what hazards exist because that’s the only way you’re going to be able to prevent them.
- Create accountability from the top-down as far as workplace safety and following guidelines.
- Make sure that at least one staff member has first-aid certification in case any emergencies should take place
Along with coming to terms with the fact that things can happen in your workplace, including active shooter situations, below are some steps to integrate and keep in mind with your security plan, which is different from a safety plan.
- Teach awareness. The biggest thing criminals use is surprise. By training your employees to recognize unusual behaviors, you can take that away from them.
- Talk to an expert who can help you create specifics for a security plan. For example, law enforcement or former law enforcement official can be a good resource. They can teach you about security or you can hire a company to provide protection.
- Make sure you have plans for different situations. For example, your plan for how your employees should deal with a violent person on the premises is different from a natural disaster. All plans should be written, widely available, and your employees should be trained on them.
- Regularly have security drills. Aim for once a quarter or at least every six months. A security plan has no value if it can’t be implemented.
- Identify employees who will serve as good security leaders. These are people who will coordinate in the event of an emergency and take on more responsibilities if something does happen. Not everyone will be cut out for this role.
- Consider investing in a basic self-defense course for your employees. Not only can this improve your workplace safety, but employees will view it as a workplace benefit and a representation that you’re willing to invest in them.
Specific Elements of a Security Plan
As you’re creating employee security plans, there are two broad steps you have to take. First, you have to do a risk assessment, which should include a safety audit.
As part of your safety audit, create a checklist. You can, when doing an audit, look at possible criminal attackers, such as from the general public or former employees. You can also consider emergencies that would require the evacuation of the premises, like a natural disaster or a fire. You should also think about employees who might be out in the field and potentially going into areas that are high-crime or risky home settings.
Once you’ve done an audit, then you can start to put in place prevention strategies. During your audit, for example, you should have started to think about which doors are accessible, how they’re used, and how employees should monitor the points of entry.
Finally, don’t forget about the value of technology in keeping your business and everyone on-site safe and secure. Cameras and security systems can go a long way to deter certain behaviours.
Photo credits: eOffice