The Importance of Physical Security in the Workplace

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A workplace should be a place of productivity and safety, but too often that’s not the case. The presence of physical security is a proven method for deterring and defusing hostile situations that can end in catastrophe. Various factors contribute to increased volatility in our society today, making a holistic security approach essential to workplace safety. Disciplinary measures or terminations can fuel resentment in staff members who express themselves aggressively, for example, and establishments dealing with cash or valuable goods are particular magnets for crime. 

This guide will list go over workplace security scenarios, advise managers on how to mitigate them, and offer the best solution for professional armed/unarmed security.

The 4 Kinds of Workplace Security Threats

Violent acts range from a physical altercation to breaking the lock on a fence. Violence need not even be physical, since verbal abuse and threats also qualify. Workplace security incidents fall into four broad categories, and businesses must take steps to guard against each potential instance.

  1. Type 1

This is an incident of violent criminal intent in which the perpetrator has no connection with the business or staff. This type is common in conjunction with shoplifting, trespassing, and robbery, and it can result in harm to property, people, or both.

  1. Type 2 Event

These are customer-centric security incidents that involve violence during day-to-day business operations. Some examples of a Type 2 event would be health workers targeted by patients and angry relatives, or cashiers pressured for money in a holdup.

  1. Type 3 Event

This includes internal security incidents caused by former or current employees seeking to harm the premises or its staff. These incidents typically involve an extreme grievance on the employee’s part directed toward colleagues or supervisors and may even include firearms or other weapons.

  1. Type 4 Event
workplace personal relationship argument

Personal relationship issues can easily spill into the workplace. A Type 4 security breach involves an employee suffering outside aggression or violence being followed into their professional environment by their victimizer or attacker.

Having physical protection in place during any of these events can make all the difference in resolving them with a minimum of drama. In many instances, the simple presence of security measures such as cameras and guards can be enough to prevent an incident from occurring, meaning that the workplace wins either way.

Why Physical Security in the Workplace Is Essential

physical security

Physically protecting people and property at work is no longer just the realm of a paranoid employer. In a recent study of more than 500 U.S. businesses, 75% of respondents said the pandemic has increased the need for physical security. This shows that economic hardships and common sense make on-site guards an increasingly wise idea for everyone. Here are four good reasons to add them to your staff:

1. Physical Security Safeguards Your Perimeter

This is the first line of defense for your office. Fences provide a substantial barrier against unwanted entry to the property at large, providing a considerable benefit for businesses that store materials in an open work yard. Access controls such as PINs, remote keys, entry codes, and alarm systems all control direct entrance to the premises for tighter security. 

2. Hard Economic Times Increase the Number of Terminations

Data shows that terminations are among the tensest workplace situations, yet they may become increasingly necessary when the economy is down. Physical security helps ensure that a difficult process goes peacefully. 

3. Deter and Prevent Workplace Violence

Superior video surveillance equipment combined with unarmed or armed security creates comfort and caution in equal measure. An estimated 1 in 7 Americans don’t feel safe at work and would benefit from physical security, while employees, customers, or visitors considering aggressive or criminal acts will think twice. 

4. Physical Security Is a Faster Solution

Calling the police during a security breach means valuable time passes before the situation is addressed and contained. This delay could mean property damage, inventory loss, injury, or loss of life. On-site physical protection makes its presence felt immediately, ensuring minimal impacts on productivity.

Appreciating these risks is key to making the right decisions to protect your staff and visitors. Employers often take one of two dangerous stances by believing that security incidents won’t happen to them or that they can contain them if they arise. Both positions make problems in the workplace more likely.

The Common Pitfalls of Forgoing Physical Security

Physical security in the workplace can seem excessive to some. If it hasn’t had significant incidents in the past, it’s easy to talk yourself out of needing protection. Consider the following if you feel this way:

workplace stress
  • A lack of physical security can increase anxiety among some employees, resulting in higher personal stress levels and lower productivity.
  • Published workplace violence statistics are not the final word. These incidents are typically underreported, with 88% of victims choosing not to log them and only 45% speaking to a supervisor. This means verbally aggressive or physically harmful incidents are far more common than they seem.
  • Societal divides are creating increasingly hostile attitudes and negatively altering interpersonal workplace dynamics. Personal and political views are clashing as people become less tolerant, increasing the potential for violent confrontation.
  • An active-shooter incident is a rare event. They do occur, however, and the chance of them happening should not be ignored. Professional armed security provides peace of mind against lethal actions from coworkers or others.
  • A lack of video surveillance could mean losing valuable evidence if a security incident ever occurs.
workplace personal relationship

A working environment free of threats and dangers is an impossibility, but actively mitigating or eliminating all potential risks is within the power of every workplace. Partnering with a dedicated security team is the first step toward promoting peace of mind and containing incidents large or small.

Contact the SMART Experts With Your Workplace Security Questions

Workplace security is a crucial responsibility that requires a cool head and professional risk awareness. Changing times are making those two qualities more valuable on-site than ever. Our seasoned team can walk you through the entire process of securing yours while providing the best in armed or unarmed security personnel. Contact SMART Security Pros with any questions and speak with an expert today.

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