Security In The Workplace

If we were to rewind to about thirty to fifty years ago, I won’t be writing this article. But with the
incidence of violence as high as it currently is, I see it fit to share these thoughts with you. The bigger the company, the more the security services needed. That is not to say that very small companies do not need security! In fact, every organisation should place a high level of emphasis on security in the workplace.

Perhaps you’ve seen the recent case of a McDonald’s restaurant being criticized for not wanting a
homeless man inside the restaurant, although his meal was paid for by a good Samaritan and he was justifiably dining there. This was perhaps not because of his status as a street urchin, but moreso because of the security risk involved with regard to other diners. I have experienced being in a place of business, where a street dweller would come in to use the washroom and one day, she began to curse the wall and break up some frames hanging onto it. There was no security, so the cashier and some of us customers had to deal with trying to get her out in the gentlest way possible.

One of the saddest experiences I can relay to you comes from the early 2000’s. A client of mine never believed in “wasting” money on security personnel. I recommended at least having buzzers to alert staff when someone was at the door; and then staff would use their discretion to let that person in. He maintained that that would waste staff members’ time and he could not afford it. One day, the ex-husband of one of the employees came in, very angry, with a cutlass. Thankfully, no one died, but staff was traumatized and the employee was chopped. The very next day, my client decided to invest in a security system and a security guard.

Some of the mechanisms which are sure to keep your company safer are listed below:

  • Security cameras. These are deterrents and also give you a record of who’s doing what;
  • Panic buttons. Most financial institutions have these in place, for pressing in an emergency;
  • Training. Just like there’d be a fire drill in the case of fire, there should also be training in case of a security breach;
  • Contracting a security company. There are many from which to choose!

There is also the issue of violence within the workplace. For example, if an employee is disgruntled and becomes physical, how do you deal with that? A risk assessment should be done to identify any probability of violence and provisions should be put in place, just in case. As the old adage goes, “Prevention is better than cure.” In some cases, there can be no cure when there is loss of life or limb.

Lots of love & good vibes, Veoma Ali

Veoma Ali is an Advertising Executive, with a Ph.D in Communications and a Masters in Business Administration.