Employee satisfaction is a much debated and examined aspect of modern employment, but employers should also be considering how safe their employees feel.
A recent survey conducted into whether employees support workplace monitoring and tracking suggested 54% felt it was acceptable in a drive to keep them safe – demonstrating popular support for the systems that help to keep them safe.
Surveillance in the workplace can be an emotive subject. Monitoring security can easily be seen as snooping and to some extent as an invasion of privacy. The counter argument is that in a place of work the employer has a right to monitor security and that this is actually a benefit for the people that operate there. In a climate where businesses are not only at risk from criminals, but also potentially terrorism, it’s important to realise that employee safety needs to be paramount for any conscientious employer.
Protecting against intruders
Businesses will always face the threat of intruders, it’s part of the risk from dealing in valuable items or services. Equally, it’s a real threat to those that work in caring professions such as the NHS – sometimes even from the clients/patients themselves. Personal safety is a key factor in many workplaces. Increasingly there are more politically-charged threats, such as the terrorist attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris early last year, which provided a stark reminder of this.
Well-integrated access control, surveillance and security systems help to address these potential threats. Ensuring that the security team knows who is entering and leaving the premises means they can act on a potential threat, either dispatching a security patrol or if need be sealing entrances to stop an intruder gaining easy access.
Anti-passback detectors, people counters and anti-tailgating technology helps to ensure that intruders can’t just sneak in alongside authorised staff. Being able to halt intruders outside the premises makes it much easier to protect your team and valuable assets from these dangers.
Protecting outside areas
One of the biggest danger areas for employees can actually be the outside of a business’ premises, such as a car park for instance. Even with outside lighting, these can be intimidating places, especially for employees on their own – particularly during the darker winter months. Most people have experienced the nervousness of crossing a lonely car park during darkness!
Ensuring the integrated security systems cover this will be a great relief for staff. Knowing that the security team will be instantly aware of any issues will encourage staff use the facilities fully (to work outside normal hours if required, for example). It is also an attractive proposition when your business is recruiting to demonstrate that employee safety is a prime concern.
Many organisations rely upon lone workers, be it staff inspecting remote railway facilities or medical staff operating around a large hospital site for example, often at all hours of the day. It would be very easy for lone workers to succumb to an accident or attack without anyone being made aware they need help. It isn’t always practical (or cost-effective) to send human teams around to check on the safety of these lone workers in person, which is where a well-integrated network of surveillance and access control systems offer a highly accurate and reliable alternative.
CCTV and surveillance software can track the movements of the worker and access control can ensure they are tracked (and timed) whilst they do their rounds. If the worker is delayed or doesn’t use access control when expected, the system can automatically generate different levels of alert (depending on the situation).
Automated systems safeguarding employees
The days of passive security systems have gone, modern security systems can react to a situation more quickly and more reliably than a remote security operator. Having these systems in place means your employees can feel safe and will offer you peace of mind that not only is your valuable team secure, but you also cover your corporate responsibility for their safety whilst in your care.
Undoubtedly, in some cases greater surveillance can be seen to be eroding employee privacy - but safety has to be an overriding consideration. When introduced subtly and sensitively, surveillance systems can offer a great reassurance to employees that their safety and security is being considered and that they are able to get on with their work (as well as coming and going at either end of the day), without having to worry that they may be unduly vulnerable to the potential dangers of the modern world.
If your company could benefit from improving your workplace security and employee safety contact our specialist UK Sales team today on 01202 723 535, or click here to submit a contact form.