February 3 2021 - One of the basic necessities we expect from our place of work is to be kept safe and out of harm’s way. And while certain careers, such as working in a warehouse or in law enforcement, will always have a chance of danger associated with it, we still anticipate that our team leaders and employers will do everything they can to keep crime to a bare minimum.
Crime within the workplace can leave us feeling vulnerable and violated. It can cause employees to lose morale and productivity, but it can also cause them to seek a new job in a safer work environment. Whether an employee’s possession has been stolen or there has been a break-in, such criminal activity can rattle us and alter how we view the world and conduct ourselves at work.
As an employer, it is your job to ensure crime is non-existent in the workplace. While it is impossible for you to take on such a monstrous task on your own, teaching employees how they can practice safety measures and how these measures can reduce the likelihood of being a victim of crime can make all the difference.
Read the following guide on the best crime prevention measures that can help reduce crime in the workplace and make a safer environment for your employees.
Regardless of the industry or where your offices or warehouses are located, security cameras should be installed and kept in top working order. Security cameras are a great first line of defence and can not only provide evidence for a crime, but they may stop a potential criminal in their tracks. If a criminal sees a security camera, it can be enough of a deterrent.
Make sure you hire the services of a trusted professional to install security cameras around and inside your workplace. A professional will highlight your office blind spots and suggest the best places for your cameras to be installed. However, you will want to hire a certified professional because they will learn your workplace’s weak spots.
Security cameras outside of the office can protect your workers from criminals outside the building while they are walking to and from their vehicles, whereas security cameras within the workplace can prevent valuables from being stolen.
Alarms keep the inside of your premises, the items within the workplace, as well as the employees working there, safe. If a person who does not have access to the security alarm’s code tries to gain access to the premises, you will be alerted to the security threat. However, make sure to highlight the importance of keeping the alarm’s activation and deactivation code a secret from people outside of the workplace.
Improve security within the workplace by changing the security alarm code once a month. This reduces the likelihood of someone outside of the company gaining access to the building. You can keep employees up to date with any alarm code changes by telling them the code in person so that there is not a paper chain.
Access Control Systems
Not to be confused with security alarms, an access control system is a system that grants custom entry to a specific area. Typically, office workers will be assigned an electric device that is small and similar to a keyring. The worker will be able to swipe a small panel with their keyring, unlocking the door and granting the person access. An access control system restricts access to unwanted guests; however, it also helps track attendance, as each keyring is electronically assigned to a worker.
You will want to stress the importance of ensuring employees keep their keyrings safe and on their persons at all times. If they were to lose their keyring, they will need to alert their superior immediately so that changes and precautions can be made.
Online Security Software
Physical threats need to be countered; however, online threats are also very real and can have a harmful impact on your workers. For example, hackers can gain access to unprotected data and hold the data for ransom. Not only does this harm your business’s operations, but it can also cause stress and upset to your workers. Make sure you have anti-virus software and teach your employees how to differentiate between a harmful, phishing email and one that isn’t malicious.
You can always hire the services of an ethical hacker to test your company’s online security. They will be able to highlight any security gaps and suggest ways to fill them.
Install Lights in the Carpark
Flood lights will highlight a person walking to and from the workplace, but this illumination will make any crime much more obvious and show the perpetrator’s face more clearly. This can be enough to deter a criminal and stop them in their tracks, but it can also make your employees feel much safer when walking to their vehicles in the dark.
Educate Your Employees
You can install the most state-of-the-art security equipment in the world, but if you fail to educate your employees and teach them how to use the equipment and/or software properly, it can cause a hole within what should be an otherwise flawless security system. Plan meetings to teach your employees how certain security systems work, such as any new security alarms or access control points. You should also send tutorials to your workers showing them how to keep themselves safe online.
Educating your employees never stops, however. With new tech comes new responsibilities and potential threats. Sending around reminders to update an app so that they have the most recent patch can be enough to keep crime in the workplace to a minimum.
Walk Together (when dark outside)
There is safety in numbers, so when it is dark outside during the winter months or when employees have worked late, emphasise that they should leave the office together to ensure no one is vulnerable or susceptible to crime.
Open communication can make workers feel safer when coming to you about a potential security threat, so make it known that as a team leader, your door is open for any important issues. Send around an email or hold a meeting detailing the types of issues they can come to you for - you want your workers to come to you if Frank from Sales is making an inappropriate comment, not because Karen from HR has microwaved fish in the kitchen.
Instil that the Workplace is a Safe Space for All
There are many personalities within an office and/or workplace and it is important that all workers understand that not everyone is going to get on. However, this should not stop workers from feeling safe while they are at work. Make it known that it is the employee’s own responsibility to help make the workplace safe and free from crime.
Remember that certain people are more susceptible to crime and specific individuals may need extra care.
Complete a Countering Crime Diploma
A Countering Crime diploma can help teach you about public safety and how you can combat certain harmful issues and diffuse unsafe situations. The intent of this diploma is to instil the best safety practices in a leader so that they can keep their team safe and reduce the likelihood of crime. Such a course can also provide you with the tools to address a crime. Click here for more information on what a Countering Crime diploma entails and how it can help you instil peace within the workplace.
Teach Personal Safety
Learning how to keep yourself safe is typically taught from a young age. Your parents will have explained the dangers of speaking to a stranger and why walking in a large group when dark can keep you safe. However, there are other useful ways to keep yourself safe.
Keep yourself safe at work by:
- Being in control of your work environment
- Knowing the layout of your building (make sure you know where the exits are)
- Never underestimating threats
- Being confident (without being confrontational)
- Trusting your gut instinct (if someone is making you uncomfortable, make sure you bring this up to your superior rather than brushing it off)
- Creating distance between you and the person who is making your uncomfortable
- Taking self-defence classes
Self-defence classes can be a great way to build confidence within your workers while also teaching them the tools to help them diffuse a dangerous situation and combat any criminal activity if it ever presents itself. Book a self-defence class for your team and stress the importance of taking it seriously. The tools your employees use can also help keep them safe outside of the workplace.
Keep Valuables Out of Sight
While you would like to think no employee would steal from one of their co-workers, this is not always the case. Stress the importance of employees keeping valuables on them at all times and not leaving them unattended. They should also keep valuables away from windows as it can entice criminals who may break in to steal any expensive items.
Keep your employees safe by installing proper security systems and teaching them the importance of flagging and communicating any potential risks. A workplace must act as a team if they are to keep one another safe.
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