Home Business Insights & Advice Sensible security and safety precautions for London businesses

Sensible security and safety precautions for London businesses

by Sarah Dunsby
17th Jul 18 12:27 pm

Operating a business in London is a great idea because it provides access to millions of people who live in the centre of town and surrounding suburbs, along with visitors into the capital from elsewhere too. Depending on your type of business, with successful marketing, you can tap into some part of this audience to expand your customer base.
Unfortunately, one downside to dealing with people is that they’re unpredictable. Some are nice, others not so much! For businesses with cash coming in, valuable assets on display, and employees that require a safe place to work, security is an important consideration that supersedes profit motivation. For an SME, the cost of dealing with a costly lawsuit from a former employee over working conditions could potentially put the company out of business altogether if the added expenses exceed insurance coverage limits.
Here are some thoughts on putting in place sensible security and safety precautions when operating in London.

CCTV as the first line of defence

You will have already noticed that CCTV is everywhere in London. That’s true of main public streets, but that doesn’t mean your company has access to the live stream. If you need to see who is coming into the reception area of your office or milling about at the back goods-in area, you’ll need a CCTV installation with several cameras, along with a monitor and recording setup too.
While people don’t usually like being seen on camera despite the current penchant for sharing selfies on social media every hour on the hour, keeping a good eye on what’s going on both in and around the business makes everyone feel safe. Reliable CCTV installers can come to a property and fit and set up a complete system. They’re up and running in no time. You can look on this website for more information to see the different systems available.

Keeping watch or the reactive stance

You have two choices with security. You can choose to keep watch on what is going on for behaviour that falls outside of the norm or use the recording system.
With a watchful approach, you’ll need a security guard to watch a bank of cameras to spot anything unusual that needs investigating. It helps if they work as a pair where they can rotate on and off camera watching duty because otherwise, it’s difficult to maintain focus for long periods. Alternating walking the grounds and taking a short shift watching the cameras helps people in this role to stay alert. Performing randomised mock events to check their level of alertness isn’t a bad idea either.
The second approach is to not have people watching the live cameras at all. Retroactively going back to see who stole the missing item or took some other improper or illegal action on or near the business premises is the idea here. Not relying on street-side cameras that the company doesn’t have access to, but instead having your own. For companies interested in finding out if an employee was the guilty party, this approach works well in many situations.

Do’s and don’ts for employees

Staying safe in the workplace also includes instructing staff on the best way to behave both towards other members of staff and visitors to the company. Companies employ people from all walks of life. As a result, you never know what kind of person is going to walk through the door.
The human resources team is responsible for putting together guidelines for new staff to be made aware of on the first day of employment (preferably sent out with a contract of employment before they start working for the company). These guidelines must lay out clearly what is expected of them from a behaviour standpoint so that no one can say that they were not aware. These include safety and security, along with covering other important areas like relationships with colleagues and harassment topics too.

Prevention is effective in most cases

For companies, avoiding problems before they happen acts as an adequate prevention in many situations. Just having a collection of active CCTV cameras with signs that the area is being monitored and recorded is often enough to deter aberrant or criminal behaviour. In other cases, guidelines for employees keeps most people on the straight and narrow.
With people who come onto the work premises and act poorly or staff who decide today is the day to break the rules, the company must use the systems in place to collect relevant information. The tendency for people to deny their actions to avoid any potential ramifications needs a rebuttal to both handle the situation correctly and avoid a reoccurrence. Employees also appreciate employers that act responsibly and quickly when issues occur. Feeling safer in the workplace is certainly a factor in employee retention because it shows that the company cares about its staff. While CCTV does protect the company’s assets, it also makes the workplace safer for everyone there too.

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