Security is not often thought of as a health and safety matter within a business. However if security is breached the impact to peoples safety and both mental and physical health could be impacted.
With vehicle ram raids, workplace / work vehicle break ins and software hacking increasing within New Zealand, businesses need to be reminding workers of loss prevention measures and security procedures. As a business it is important that you are being mindful of the steps you and your team can do to lessen the risk of burglary or security breaches.
Many burglaries in New Zealand are planned. The thieves often investigate the premises prior to the crime being committed. They take note of activities, routines and the items available that they want, are valuable and/or are easy to steal quickly.
Workers need to be attentive of any potential suspicious phone calls, emails, activity, visitors or disturbances to the workplace.
If workers notice someone acting suspiciously, taking unauthorised photos of the premises, asking odd questions or repeatedly visiting with no real purpose this should be reported to a supervisor / management, with details of the person / vehicle noted.
Lock things up
By locking up highly desirable or valuable items such as tools/ equipment, vehicles, sheds, hazardous substances and placing items such as keys, tablets, mobile phones and money / cards in locked draws or cabinets can help deter thieves.
Keeping keys, wallets / bags, charge cards, tools and equipment out of sight or in an area that is difficult to access or not obvious during the working day can also deter theft. Not all burglaries occur after hours, often unauthorised persons will take a chance if a workplace looks busy, workers are distracted or a work area looks unoccupied for a brief moment and the opportunity is there.
Never leave keys in vehicles or vehicles unlocked. It only takes a few moments for someone to drive off with the vehicle and the goods on board.
Keep it private
When workers are using passwords or codes to enter doorways, computer systems or using charge cards remind them to keep their passwords and codes confidential and shield the panel or keyboard from others sight.
Do not leave passwords and codes written down around the workplace, especially not next to or on the item, computer, doorway or card they are associated to. This makes it that much easier for thieves to access goods or information. Keep passwords or codes in a security protected app or document. If you have instructions or procedures posted within the workplace or in manuals do not state codes / passwords or provide details of where to find them.
Change up the passwords and codes for the business. Having the same code or password used for many items or people can provide access opportunities if one code is discovered. Change these on a regular basis and ensure they are strong.
Check that email
When receiving emails be alert for false email addresses. The email address may look very similar to a client, supplier or potential contact. There are often very subtle clues in the email address that may show it is spam, these may be email addresses that differ from New Zealands “@companyname.co.nz” standard format or have questionable content. If you encounter one of these emails delete it immediately and do not reply. If you can, avoid opening the email altogether.
Avoid opening ‘junk mail’ emails. Often these emails get notifications to say the receiver opened them, and you will receive more of them.
Be careful of what you sign up for. By signing up with newsletters, promotions, sale demos, free documents or giveaways you are often agreeing for that company to pass on or sell your email to other companies.
Remember if an email looks too good to be true, it often is.
Build safety in design and use security equipment
The use of security equipment is the ‘engineering’ hierarchy of control. Using locks, alarm systems, cameras, safes, security access and software protection systems is placing a engineering control to assist with securing your business.
Supply and encourage workers to use wheel locks for company vehicles and trailers if the vehicle cannot be secured in a garage or gated driveway after hours. Overnight, it would be ideal if tools and equipment are stored elsewhere if vehicles cannot be secured, or fit the vehicle with an alarm.
The use of bollards and security gates in front of business entrances can stop the use of vehicles to ram entrance ways and deter access to company carparks / yards. Security lighting in the carpark early in mornings / at night can help workers see potential security threats, and make potential thefts visible to the public.
Have a policy & procedure
Having a security / public violence or robbery policy and procedure in place can assist workers and management when an incident does occur. Often people can become flustered and unsure of what to do, how to act or forget what company policy is when dealing with theft or security breaches. A policy & procedure provides a process to follow and everyone knows what company expectations are. Review of this policy and procedure on a regular basis is recommended.
For high risk businesses such as retail services, businesses that supply tobacco/ vape products, alcohol, medication or may handle cash, Loss Prevention courses are recommended for all workers. A high level of security controls and a limited amount of stock available on hand are also recommended.
Regular security and crime prevention reviews and training sessions with workers of high risk businesses are ideal to ensure workers are reminded to be alert and aware of the risk. It would not be recommended that workers work alone.
Our team are available if you require assistance with risk assessments or creating policies & procedures. Contact us today.