Only one in three workers feel safe in their own workplace due to steps taken by their employer.
That’s according to a survey commissioned by security systems provider Expert Security UK, which polled 2,000 people with the question ‘has your employer taken actions to ensure you feel safe in the workplace,’ with an overwhelming response of ‘no’.
And a further 62 per cent admitted that their employer had taken some steps, but not nearly enough to make them feel ‘safe’ within the working environment.
So, what is a safer working environment? Danny Scholfield, Managing Director, Expert security UK, has provided tips for employers to learn from:
1. Car park
If your business has one, then your car park will be the first point of contact for your employees and customers, so it’s essential that it is secure. One of the best ways to deter crimes outside is by improving visibility, so that means ensuring that pathways, doorways and entrances are well illuminated. Eliminate as many shadowy areas as possible as these are ideal spots for attackers to hide. Consider installing emergency phone lines in easy to reach places; employees will feel safer knowing they can access help quickly and easily.
Of course, one of the biggest deterrents when it comes to any criminal activity is CCTV. Knowing they are being watched and that any footage could be used to identify and prosecute them can be a powerful way to discourage people from acting maliciously. They can also be huge tools in helping staff members feel safe.
Start by installing good quality CCTV cameras at entrances, exits, gateways and doors. A poor quality camera may do the same in terms of acting as a deterrent, but in the event that you need to use the footage, it’s important that details can be seen clearly.
3. Your business premises
Your next step should be to protect the premises of your business. Where necessary and applicable, use gates and fences to secure potential entry points and ensure that you have strong locks and fob systems in place where only staff members can gain access. You could also consider installing motion detectors and alarms that not only sound locally but can alert the authorities if a breach is detected.
4. Online safety
In today’s online world, cybersecurity is also an incredibly important step to take when ensuring that your employees feel safe as so many threats now exist digitally. You might consider investing in a training course for your staff that goes over the basics of cybersecurity, such as phishing scams, how to tell the difference between secure and insecure connections, making sure downloads are safe from viruses, and using strong passwords.
5. Workplace harassment
It isn’t just outside threats that employers should be aware of. A great deal of harassment and bullying can go on inside the walls of your business, even if you don’t know about it. Even verbal bullying can create tension between staff members and, if left unchecked, it could escalate to physical violence.
Start by making strong policies against workplace harassment and bullying a top priority for your business’ security policy, whether that means writing new policies altogether or updating existing ones. Consider sending your management team to training seminars that focus on anti-bullying and equality in the workplace, as these are the people who often see problems first but don’t necessarily have the skills to tackle them. Make sure your final policies are communicated to all staff members so they are aware of them, know what to do in the event of an incident, and feel confident that you will support them.
If all five points are prioritised and actioned, it is a great starting point to ensuring your workforce are well looked after, feel safe and work happy, so that you don’t run the risk of having only 1 in 3 feel 100% safe.