As an employer, it is your ultimate responsibility to maintain the safest working conditions possible for your entire work-force.
According to HSE (the Health and Safety Executive) , the country’s independent regulator for health, safety and welfare, ‘work-related violence’ refers to “any incident in which a person is abused, threatened or assaulted in circumstances relating to their work. This can include verbal abuse or threats as well as physical attacks.”
Even though incidents like this don’t bear thinking about, all businesses need to be aware of work-related violence and take appropriate action when required. Licensed and retail premises are arguably at more risk, but every organisation, regardless of its size or sector, must realise work-related violence can occur at any time.
Key Patrol provides various security services to keep this threat at bay and helps various businesses stay protected from work-related violence. However, here is some more advice on this ever-present issue:-
Risks caused by a premises’ layout and lighting
In retail environments, it is important to think about the location of cash tills, blind spots, inappropriate counter design and poor layouts, as this can decrease the visibility of both staff and customers alike. As a result, potential criminals may feel more anonymous and less observed, thus increasing the likelihood of theft or even violence.
So, make sure customers and colleagues can be seen at all times. High and wide counters along with lots of mirrors can improve the visibility of concealed areas of any retail premises. See whether there is any way of preventing the build-up of crowds or queues and help to manage the way customers move and look around the premises. This approach may even lead to increased sales which is not a bad side effect of implementing effective layout changes!
Attention should also be focused on lighting, as dull interiors can make customers harder to spot and encourages offenders to steal or commit a crime. Adequate lighting enables you to spot aggressive behaviour and makes members of the public more comfortable. In this way, opportunistic thefts should be minimised too.
Preventive measures and security systems
Although you can do your bit to put off criminals and make customers feel more at ease, it is always advisable to implement a few additional preventive measures and security systems:-
- Surveillance and CCTV – Without comprehensive surveillance and CCTV, potential offenders are given the opportunity to commit crime or violence. What’s more, without evidence of an incident, it can be difficult to identify and prosecute offenders. But CCTV works as a great deterrent and can identify criminals while making staff and customers feel safer.
- Security devices – Things like burglar alarms and high security locks can markedly decrease the risk of work-related violence too. Even so, good quality materials and workmanship for locks on doors and windows is crucial and often overlooked. And if you choose to have an alarm installed, ensure that your staff are fully trained on how it works and know what to do should it go off. False alarms can scare and upset customers and some staff alike!
- Security personnel – One of the best ways to keep work-related violence at bay is by hiring well-trained security personnel. They must have a suitable license to practice in the UK from the Security Industry Authority (SIA), but their presence is often enough to discourage offenders and put everyone else at ease.
Here at Key Patrol, we have trained and competent patrol officers on hand to safeguard your business at all times. However, our other security services can also provide added protection and greater peace of mind too.
Simply get in touch for a quick chat and we will take you through how we can protect both your staff and your business effectively.