If you’re an employer of lone workers, you have a legal obligation to ensure their safety and security while they work. If you operate a small retail business, have factory or manufacturing staff in isolated workshops or studios, provide 24-hour concierge service or simply allow your office staff to work alone into the night, your employees may be more at risk than you realise.
Personal alarms can be highly effective, and there are many such devices for lone workers out there. However, if you’re serious about taking care of your employees, an additional layer of business security is likely to be necessary to create a safe working environment.
Here are three physical security solutions for your office, warehouse or studio which you can implement to keep lone workers safe.
Zone your burglar alarm systems
Your building is no doubt full of valuable equipment and documents that you need to keep safe, and no commercial property should be without a reliable security system. By installing a monitored alarm, you can ensure the safety of your commercial building. But with lone workers on site, you can’t enable that alarm, right? Wrong.
Zoning your alarm system will give your workers full control over which areas of your workspace are to be enabled or disabled, allowing them to move about their space without fear of triggering a sensor, but maintaining confidence that other work environments are secured. Zoning your alarm systems also allows workers to track where a sensor has been triggered, and respond accordingly.
With 24-hour alarm monitoring, you can ensure the safety of your lone workers in cases of emergency. Many security companies offer monitored alarm systems, however some are more comprehensive than others: for example, ADT and Banham Group provide alarm monitoring systems that cover more than intruder emergencies: fire, power failure and controlled environment issues are monitored too.
Know who’s coming and going with a door entry system
The biggest security concern for lone workers is being able to ensure they are, in fact, alone. This means securing the working environment against unauthorised entry by others. That’s not to say lone workers should bar entry to everyone—it’s common for lone retail workers to operate an audio or video entry system, for example, so they can be sure exactly who it is they are letting in.
Using video entry systems also permits lone workers to identify a visitor before granting entry access to minimises the possible forced entry and property intrusion. They can also authorise access remotely.
Restrict public entry with access control
In private workspaces, access control systems can also be used to ensure only those authorised to enter are able to do so. High-security commercial applications rely on biometric access control and fingerprint scanners, providing a high level of workplace safety for both staff and visitors. Systems suited to more domestic applications depend on smart cards or proximity card readers.
Systems can be used to ensure that certain onsite areas are only made accessible to authorised individuals within an allotted window of time, granting lone staff precious peace of mind. They can also be used to track the locations of individuals within a building that has multiple layers of security, meaning lone workers can be confident in their surroundings.
Install motion sensitive lighting
Lone workers are often those who work at night, meaning it’s important to factor in the risks associated with working alone under cover of darkness when ensuring your lone workers’ security.
Moving through dark corridors alone can come with an increased risk of slips, trips and falls, so consider installing motion-sensitive lighting to make sure your staff will never be caught short fumbling for a light switch. Particularly if you employ security staff to patrol large empty buildings, lighting ‘on-demand’ facilitates their responsibilities without wasting energy.
Indoor and outdoor motion-sensitive lighting can also illuminate intruders, allowing your lone workers to identify any unauthorised entry to their workplace. Exterior floodlights are one popular way to enable workers and even passers-by to spot lurkers on your commercial property.