Workplace Security Risks

Workplace Security Risks

When it comes to workplace security risks and safety there is no doubt that the average person expects to have a safe work environment. In fact the OSHA General Duty Clause 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)1 requires that: Employers are required to provide their employees with a place of employment that “is free from recognizable hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees.” That being the case how safe do you feel at work?

Unsafe Workplace

An interesting survey conducted by CareerBuilder® clearly demonstrates that many employees that do not feel safe in their workplace. The reality is that almost a quarter of workers do not know what to do in the event of an emergency! This aligns with my findings over the years.

Employee’s Role in Workplace Security Risks & Safety

Employees have a critical role in workplace security risks & safety and yet one of the most often stated responses that I get during a security risk assessment is that employees do not know what is expected of them or what they should do during an emergency. I have even had security officers say that they are not sure what to do. Really?  Can this be possible? Absolutely!

When this comes up I make a point of determining the root cause of these statements.

In one recent case where security staff told me that they were uncertain on how to do their job, or what was expected, it was determined that management had in place all of the information that the security staff would need, yet the security officers did not have access to it.

There was yet another time when the security staff was operating under policies that they were not allowed to see or read; yes, you read that right!

The fact is that there are some very respectable emergency management and security plans in place in many businesses, some of which are best practices, but if that information is not shared with the staff how can we really expect them to respond in an appropriate manner?

Workplace Security Risks

Since there are more businesses out there in today’s world that do not have a security staff on duty, businesses really rely on their management and staff to manage their security. If done properly that can be very effective, but if you are not sharing your plans with staff you may be increasing your risks, and therefore your liability exposure.

Even those businesses that have security officers on duty know that the officers cannot be in all places at all times, and they too understand the importance of training all staff in their role of safety & security, or at least we hope that that is the case.

The best means in which to determine how your staff feels is to ask them. I cannot begin to tell you how many times management has been taken aback by my findings and asked; how did you get staff to tell you that? Simply put; I asked them.

If you assume that staff knows what their role is with security or responding to an emergency you might be wrong. If you have not put in place a training program that includes an annual refresher to ensure that employees know what to do, your organization may be at risk. There is no way to predict how an employee will react if they have not been trained to the point of memory reflex, as history has proven that many people will react or respond in ways that cannot be predicted.

Follow this link to read the OSHA General Duty Clause 29 U.S.C. § 654, 5(a)1

John White

John White

In 2002, John was awarded the designation of Board Certified in Security Management; Certified Protection Professional (CPP) by ASIS International the largest international security professional’s organization. Over the past 39 years, John has gained experience in numerous disciplines including, but not limited to: courtroom testimony, loss prevention, physical security, investigations (both civil and criminal) and security risk assessments. John’s professional experience includes honorably serving in the United States Military, serving as a police officer/training officer/supervisor, owned and operated a private investigative agency, served as a security executive for a university and two medical centers and worked as both an internal security consultant and an independent security consultant.

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