Workplace Safety While Operating with Minimal Staff
April 7, 2020
COVID-19 has brought many challenges around the globe, one of which is business and school closings. If yours is one of the essential businesses allowed to remain open during this time, you might be faced with the challenge of operating with minimal staff. In some cases, it’s more difficult to maintain safety protocols and avoid lurking danger with a skeleton crew. This week’s blog was written to help you remain safe while operating with minimal employees.
Panic alarms (also called duress alarms, panic buttons, and hold-up alarms) are typically thought of for the banking and retail (convenience store) industries but can be helpful in a variety of settings, including:
- Receptionist’s desks in building lobbies.
- Security stations and checkpoints.
- Shipping/receiving areas.
- Customer service counters.
- Check-out counters and cashier’s stations.
- Rooms where cash or other valuables are received, processed, or stored.
- Executive office suites.
- Places where encounters with the public are likely to occur.
When operating with minimal staff, there isn’t always another employee around to call for help should an emergency arise. A panic button gives your employees autonomy in calling for help plus peace of mind.
Monitored Video Surveillance
Since panic alarms require a visual confirmation from a person, it becomes necessary to think beyond our own line of sight. When possible, face a monitored high-def video camera toward each panic button. That way, a real-time recording is provided when the button is pressed and your 24/7 monitoring center can call for immediate help.
Getting expert advice on camera placement through your building(s), both inside and out, is also extremely important. Consider a huge warehouse with only one or two employees present; there are plenty of places for criminals to hide and never be found until the last person locks up for the night. A trained security professional can assess your specific layout and find those vulnerable areas with which to secure with monitored surveillance cameras.
Managed Access Control
Speaking of hiding intruders, control who has access to your business or organization with managed access control. Increase safety for employees by allowing business owners to specify building access based on the person, time, and location. This is perfect for the lone ranger in a big warehouse or isolated employees in a building working after hours.
With a shrunken staff, you may not have the time or resources to manage an access control system (or train and retrain as employees leave), which is where the “managed” part comes in. Letting professionals manage it for you allows you to maintain full control over building access without any of the hassle. A full-service security company administers all programming, cardholder database management, and reporting services, giving you a secure facility without having to become an access control expert. You want a company that will make all of your requested changes for you within eight business hours and also one that will host the servers and databases, too.
Security Officers & Mobile Patrol
Security officers offer a physical presence that’s irreplaceable. We already know that criminals like to take the path of least resistance so, when teamed up with electronic security, physical security can act as another effective crime deterrent.
But, there is more to them than that. Security officers can be used as temporary spot checks or on a more permanent basis depending on your needs. They can walk your employees to their cars at night and mobile patrol officers can do drive-bys. No matter which route you go, knowing someone is there to provide rapid response and 24-hour dispatching can give you that confidence you need to know your employees are safe, especially when you can’t be there.
It probably goes without saying but we’d like to emphasize the importance of getting all of your employees on the same page, especially while under stressful circumstances. It’s critical that everyone knows and abides by your safety protocols in order for them to be effective. Knowing how and when to use the panic button, for example, is important to review repeatedly so that, should an emergency occur, you’ll have confidence that each and every employee will act accordingly. We also recommend printing out any new policies and procedures due to altered schedules and staffing challenges and hanging them where everyone can see them.
As you navigate uncharted territory, we hope to provide you with the tools to keep your business operating as safely as possible. Please contact us to talk out any concerns or challenges you have. We are now offering FREE security consultations. You do not have to go it alone. We are here for you!