Make keeping employees safe your business

All employers have a duty to provide and maintain a safe working environment for staff, according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act. This includes that the nature of the business and how it is conducted does not put staff at risk in any way.

Charnel Hattingh, National Marketing and Communications Manager at Fidelity ADT, says proper physical security systems in a workplace show commitment to employee health and safety.

She adds that business-related crimes continue unabated and points out that keeping large amounts of cash on the premises is a definite risk for everyone working there.

Photography by Jeremy Glyn for CFPR/ADT in October2018.

“We continue to see businesses being targeted during opening and closing times. If they know there is something worthwhile to take, a small window of opportunity when a staff member is vulnerable is all criminals need.

“To avoid being targeted, business owners need to prioritise safety and get security in place which is linked to an armed response service,” says Hattingh.

Businesses are encouraged to scrutinise their security, from the perimeter inwards – or, better still, have a risk evaluation done by a reputable security company.

Hattingh explains that good security starts with your perimeter and should be peeled back, like the layers of an onion, right to the core.

The layers of security are:

  1. Perimeter. Walling, palisade fencing and gates are deterrents and can be even further protected with systems like electric fencing, security beams, CCTV and security guards which monitor vehicles and people coming in and out.
  2. Parking. Moving inwards on the property, the next zone which will need to be secured is the staff and customer parking area. Here, CCTV is a valuable asset too and you can also use security guards to patrol the area.
  3. Entrance. The front door is probably the most vulnerable area of a business premises. This is a hot zone because if a criminal makes it through the front door they are there for a reason and unlikely to leave without what they came for. Front entrances should be protected with security gates which work on an intercom system and staff should be equipped with panic buttons linked to armed response.
  4. Interior. Inside the workplace, staff need mobile and fixed panic buttons, access to emergency telephone numbers and a clear emergency plan to follow in the event of any scenario (fire, hostage situation, violent attack, medical emergency or robbery).

There must also be a proper security solution in place for opening and closing times. Support from a guarding or armed response service provider is a good extra layer of protection for staff who are undertaking this on a daily basis.

But, is security 100% the employer’s responsibility?

Hattingh says no. Staff can’t leave their crime-prevention sense at home.

“Almost any crime that can happen at home or in a neighbourhood can happen in the workplace. Staff need to be as vigilant and security conscious at work as they are at home,” she says.

“We don’t like to think bad or violent things can happen to us at work, but the reality is they can – if the workplace is not secured and employees are not security conscious. Many incidents at business premises can be avoided or have a different outcome with improved security systems in place and staff being more security savvy.”

All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to info@after12mag.co.za

Leave a Reply