Workplace Security is Everyone’s Problem

Considering that the workplace is where people spend the majority of their day, the environment needs to be as secure as your own home. But who is responsible for workplace security – employer or employee? According to security experts, ADT, security is everyone’s problem.

Theunis Kotze, General Manager: ADT Inland Region,says that in ADT’s experience the most prevalent security issues encountered at business premises are criminals posing as customers, doors left unlocked and keyholders not coming out to the premises to unlock for security when the alarm activates.

“Incidents also arise from insiders leaking information to criminals about the delivery of high-value electronic goods, banking routines or security protocols. Unsecured entry onto the premises by, for example, contractors, is also a big problem.”

Kotze says the first step in improving security at a business is to conduct a risk assessment.

Here are some questions the business should be asking:
• What is our risk potential?
• What is the prevailing attitude toward security at our business?
• Who is responsible for our security programme?
• How are security policies enforced?
• How prepared are we for an emergency, including fire, power failure or disaster?
• What resources are available locally and how rapid are the response times?
• Do our current procedures and systems meet the potential threat?

Once the assessment is done, follow up the findings with a solid plan and procedures, which are discussed with staff. It is very important that staff are involved in formulating the very best security plan for the business. All staff, including those who haven’t been assigned a specific security duty as part of the overall plan, need to be on board and committed to a safe working environment.

ADT makes the following recommendations for employees:
• Carry a panic button with you at all times and don’t hesitate to press it if you suspect something is wrong.
• Know the emergency procedures.
• Take responsibility for who enters and leaves the building. Ensure visitors, including contractors, are escorted to their appointments within the building at all times.
• Report strangers in the building to security immediately.
• Lock all your personal valuables away.
• Never go to the bank to deposit/withdraw money on your own. The business should make use of a drop box or alternative form of banking.
• Ensure all doors and windows are properly secured before leaving.
• Know how to use the alarm system.

While it isn’t always easy for big businesses to control access, smaller businesses must concentrate on this vulnerable area of the premises. Staff should be trained to identify suspicious activity and people and know what to do and who to contact in an emergency.

“If employers and employees work together, the risk of falling victim to criminals can be significantly minimised at a business premises. ADT offers its customers free risk assessments and these are invaluable in identifying weaknesses in security systems,” Kotze concludes.