Workplace tends to expose you to more hazards and attacks compare to what is obtainable while in your home. Although some companies prioritize office safety, many are still not showing enough commitment to their employees’ safety.
Employees are at the mercy of their employers reason being that office security structures are often not within their control. They have no choice but to conform to structures that make little or no provision for their safety.
Whether you’re an employer or employee, you needn’t worry as you’re about to discover what it takes to maximize office safety.
In this article, I will be sharing with you some safety precautions that are essential to office safety. My main focus will be on the impacts of job design on employees’ safety in workplaces.
Alright! Let’s go.
JOB DESIGN AND OFFICE SAFETY
Job design relates to the specification of contents, methods and relationship of jobs in order to satisfy technological and organizational requirements as well as the social and personal requirements of the job holder.
Here are eighteen precautionary measures that are needful for employee’s safety.
STAFF NOT TO WORK ALONE IF POSSIBLE:
There are times when working alone are unavoidable such as when employer cannot afford more employees.
One of the things that may increase an employee’s risk is the duration of time he spends alone. Also, non-availability of communication gadgets in isolated workplace may prevent him from getting timely help.
The best solution is to employ more additional staff if that’s not feasible, his employer should consider other option such as work schedule modifications.
MODIFICATION OF INQUIRIES UNIT:
Mobile apps are good alternatives to some inquiry desks if you ask me. When you create room for crowd in front of customer service desk, you are invariably creating problem for your staff.
If you modify the inquiries unit, you will succeed at reducing job violence and unnecessary time wasting that often result in confrontation. A customer expressing his anger via phone will not be able to assault your staff.
EXPERIENCED STAFF REQUIRED:
Make sure you engage experienced staff to handle difficult assignments or customers. If you are keen at curbing job violence, you need experienced staff that doesn’t need to leave his desk before providing solutions to problems. Assign tough responsibilities to them and save junior staff from any form of abuse from senior staff or customers.
MINIMIZE CASH HANDLING:
Employer should introduce structures that will minimize cash handling and ensure its department enjoys both physical and virtual access control.
Reducing cash handling may come in form of accepting payments via POS or making payments to creditors via direct bank transfers.
UNAUTHORIZED ENTRY CHECK:
It is important employees check to know if there was any illegal entry overnight before attempting to open the entry door in the morning. This is needful for companies that don’t have security guards to watch over your premises while you are away.
Also, make sure you restrict customers from accessing sensitive areas so as to prevent them from assaulting your staff.
Employers should provide panic buttons for their staff especially the front desk staff.
Panic buttons allows staff to alert security guards or colleagues of impending danger. Alert from the front desk may be enough to give away the intruders who could have succeeded in carrying out their plans.
Company’s restroom must be carefully secured. It mustn’t be a place where criminals can hide with the aim of committing crimes unnoticed during office hours. This doesn’t mean that security camera should be installed in restrooms as that may trigger privacy issues.
Securing your restroom will prevent intruders from making it a hiding place in their quest to perpetrate crimes after office hours. Also, it’s a way of providing safety for staff that normally waits behind to clear his table.
PREVENT ACCESS TO POTENTIAL WEAPONS:
It is good to beautify your office with flowers but make sure you keep them away from where they could be used as weapons. No serious police officer will ever place his pistol on the table when interrogating a criminal. If you are serving violent set of customers, avoid keeping potential weapons within their reach.
This does not apply to offices where high profile people transact businesses.
PROVISION OF EXTERNAL LIGHTING IS A MUST:
This is very essential especially if your staff don’t close until after dark. You can’t afford to expose them to criminals who are good at taking advantage of darkness.
Also, a well-lit environment will be needful to aid some security cameras that are not good at capturing objects in the dark.
BUY ORIGINAL CLOSE CIRCUIT TELEVISION:
You need good security cameras to effectively monitor your office both internally and externally. This is because an unsecured business environment is nothing but death trap to employees.
If you are skeptical about some camera’s reliability, buy from sellers who are offering warranty on their products. Also, you can read more about security camera here so as to avoid making wrong choices.
PROVISION OF SECURITY GUARDS:
Unlike homes where an individual could employ guard dogs, your best option as a business owner is to employ security guards. The most conventional way to curb people’s excesses is to employ well trained guards. They will always ensure orderliness and restrict access when necessary.
You may want to check out a detailed article on importance of security guards to employee’s safety here. Also, it will give you more insights into the relationship between office safety and productivity.
MAKE CUSTOMERS COMFORTABLE WHILE WAITING:
You can’t be too courteous when dealing with customers who are waiting on queue. Time they say, is money hence any customer on the queue is invariably paying additional money for your service.
Make sure you provide convenient and waiting environment for your visitors.
Having said that, the fact that you provide good waiting environment doesn’t mean customers time shouldn’t matter to you. Make sure you don’t waste their time for no just reason. Above all, make sure they know why they have to wait.
CASH HANDLING PROCEDURES:
This is very important most especially to companies that deal majorly in cash transactions and movement.
The cash handling structure mustn’t give room for senior staff to unnecessarily harass their subordinates. A junior staff doesn’t have to suffer emotional trauma or abuse in the course of discharging his or her duty.
WORKING EARLY AND LEAVING LATE:
An employers should appropriately train staff and let him know the importance of working early as well as the dangers of leaving office late.
If any staff is fond of working after dark, his employer should find ways to stop him. Such staff requires some form of training on quicker ways to complete daily tasks and.
MANAGE WORKING IN ISOLATION:
I mentioned this earlier but will like to add some points here. Proper training will sure prevent lone workers from some dangers.
Employers should provide security cameras and personal alarms to employees who cannot but wait till after dark before leaving office. This will aid the employee in making informed decision before criminals could gain entry.
Having said that, no amounts of security structure is capable of saving a lone worker if he suffers health attacks. A man suffering from heart attack may not be able to use any security gadget in moment of crises.
RESPONSE TO SECURITY BREACH:
Precautionary measure doesn’t guarantee safety hence, the need to train employee on how to respond to security breach. Is any of the staff competent enough to apply first aid treatment?
All employees should be trained to know when to alert the security guards or their colleagues in other department when the need arises. You need prompt and informed response to stop hazards from spreading.
MONITORED PERSONAL ALARM:
Staff who is more prone to attacks should have access to personal alarms. This will not only help in preventing hazards but also, reduce perils in time of accidents.
Also, use of alarm should not be limited to security breach but also, to alert colleagues whenever there’s any safety concern.
Your business may be open to everyone but that doesn’t mean you should not consider access control in some specific area. As a matter of fact, there are few businesses that cannot but employ it in its entirety. It doesn’t matter which of the categories your company belong, you still need access control.
Also, if your staff is unnecessarily exposed to hazards, you need to put up some control measures in order to deter criminals.
Additionally, access control should be enforced internally. They should control who accesses where and what within the organization.
Furthermore, non-employees should not have access to sensitive information areas.
Does Workplace Security Extend to Clients’ Homes?
So far, we have focused on workplace hazards and how to prevent staff from them. Let us now consider how to secure any staff that goes out on official assignment. How can management ensure his safety in client’s homes? You will agree with me that he’s not out there for personal gains but to represent his company.
HOW TO STAY SAFE WITH CLIENTS IN THEIR HOMES
There are times when it’s needful to visit a prospective or established client in his home. There’s no instrument with which to measure his character hence, the need to thoroughly investigate his before visiting him. Chances are that the very gentle man you’ve been dealing with all these years may be a rapist.
Below are needful safety steps if you choose to visit a client in his house.
Do proper background check on the prospective client to know if he has any criminal record and extend same to others sharing apartment with him.
Check the community records as well:
In order not to walk into problems, check to know how volatile his community is. Although your host may be harmless, you just have to be mindful of his environment so as to stay safe.
The essence of this is to ascertain whether current venue is safe or there is need to change it.
Get your supervisor involved:
Make sure your supervisor or any of your bosses is aware of your engagement. This is needful so as for him to know how to monitor your safety while you are away.
Also, tell him your findings about the person and his environments as that will guide him in making informed decision about your meeting.
Pick new venue if the need be:
Have you rhetorically asked to know why a client who’s living in porous environment wants you in his house? If you are not convinced enough, politely insist the venue be changed but if he insists you come over to his house, let go of him.
Go there within official hour:
On no account should you be in a client’s house outside official hour. Let your office know your plans and let them have all information about the prospective client. This will enable them to know where to direct their search in case there is any problem.
Do not go there alone:
Don’t be deceived by the number of years you’ve known any man because you never can tell who he is at home. Make sure you go there in company of a colleague so as to avoid being helpless in critical situations.
You can still cancel the meeting at the gate:
In case you suspect something strange on getting there, don’t ignore whatever you mind says to you. No matter how promising a deal seems to be, always put safety first.
Call your office on arrival:
Call your office on arrival to let them know you got there safely and let your host be aware of the call. The primary purpose of your call is to let him know other people are aware of your visit to his house.
Let him take the lead:
Let your guest take the lead while you tail him but not the other way round. This is to avoid a situation where a criminal can grab or attack you from behind. Remember, you can’t be too cautious especially if you are visiting for the first time.
Meanwhile, make sure you note potential escape route as you are going in.
Mind your seat location:
Do not sit at a disadvantaged position when offered to sit down. You should position yourself where you can still manage to escape if you suspect a sinister motive.
Avoid Drink sharing:
Do not let your host feel you are unnecessarily suspicious but resist any temptation to accept drinks from him. Reject drink offer but be as polite as possible to avoid making him feel slighted.
Look out for potential weapons:
If there is any potential weapon close to your meeting point, leave as soon as you can.
Don’t forget to be smart:
Make sure you are smartly dressed and if possible avoid high heel shoes. Do not wear anything that could hinder you from running if the need arises..
Avoid invitation to treat:
Do everything within your reach to avoid going there wearing expensive jewelries. Also, do not expose your wallet’s content as that may attract attack from a hungry host pretending to be businessman.
Importance of First Aid in Office Safety
The importance of first aid in office safety cannot be overemphasized. No amount of preventive measure can prevent accidents from happening most especially in hazard prone terrain. If you are working in risky environment, you sure need basic first aid knowledge.
Your training on first aid is not necessarily for self-help but to be able to help others in time of need. There are times when delay in medication could be costly hence, the need for staff to equip themselves with basic first aid knowledge.
With good knowledge in first aid, employees will be able to assist one another whenever accident occurs in the course of discharging their duty.
Also, there will be someone to attend to a colleague who requires immediate medical attention as a result of unannounced health challenges.
Kindly share your thoughts in the comment area and lets create a safer world together.