3 Cost-Effective Ways to Help Keep Your Employees Safe
Recently, two Jacksonville, Florida, restaurant workers were robbed at gunpoint by two men while walking to their cars after work. Their cash, credit cards and phones were stolen. Surveillance cameras caught the robbery, but the victims felt a lack of lighting in the area contributed to the crime, and their employer talked to the city council about increasing police patrols in the area.
The victims were grateful they only lost their valuables. Many victims aren’t as lucky, in fact, the Justice Department has published much grimmer statistics. Employers have a responsibility to ensure worker safety on company property. Check these three cost-effective steps you can take to help keep your employees safe in the workplace.
Secure Your Parking Lot and Perimeter
As the Jacksonville case illustrates, company parking lots are one of the biggest safety risks for workers. Securing your parking lot and building perimeter is your first line of defense.
Install ample lighting to deprive criminals of concealment opportunities and make employees feel safer, recommends insurance provider Thomas-Fenner-Woods. Make sure your lighting is adequate to cover all areas of your outdoor perimeter, including corners and building entrances. Keep landscaping features such as trees and shrubs maintained to prevent these from being used as hiding places.
Another step you can take to make your company parking lot safe is invest in a commercial security monitoring service. A hybrid system provides the benefits of technology with a professional guard at a much lower cost than an on-site guard. Guards are professionally trained to contact law enforcement for quick response around the clock, and video is recorded just in case it’s needed by law enforcement later.
Post security and video surveillance signs at lot entrances and around the perimeter to make criminals think twice before attempting anything unlawful in your parking lot. Security notice signs are a proven deterrent to criminal activity, and also provide peace-of-mind to employees and visitors. Mount them on posts, fences or parking garage walls as needed.
Provide Secure Storage for Employee Valuables
Employee valuables such as smartphones, wallets, purses and jewelry can be a target for thieves and a source of anxiety for workers. Taking steps to protect valuable items can deter thieves and make employees feel more secure.
Encourage workers to leave valuable items at home or locked out of sight in their cars. Provide a secure, visible location to store valuables to help protect items that are brought into the workplace. Standard factory locks on desks and file cabinets are easy for thieves to break into due to standard keys and vulnerability to picking, cautions security firm Silva Consultants.
File cabinets used to secure low-value to medium-value items should be fortified with slide bars and high-security padlocks, while high-value items should be stored in burglary-rated files or safes.
Implement Safe Workplace Policies
Make employees feel safe at work by implementing strong policies to protect against workplace harassment, bullying and violence. An effective policy should be documented in writing and communicated to all workers as part of your on-boarding procedure. Specify how workers should report concerns about workplace harassment, threats or other security issues, and include the option of reporting concerns anonymously to a supervisor. Your policy statement should also describe what steps your company will take to protect employees.
The Society for Human Resource Management provides an online sample workplace violence policy you can use as a template. Talk to your company’s legal team about the wording of your own policy.