Prioritizing Personal Safety in the Workplace for Both On-Site and Remote Employees

When considering any level of security system deployment, STANLEY Security understands the intrinsic need to protect assets, building access and, most importantly, the safety of the individuals who occupy that environment. For higher education campuses, this means students and their families, faculty and guests. In retail locations, managers must be concerned with the constant movement of customers flowing in and out of their stores, as well as the onsite staff of cashiers, associates and managers. In hospitals and healthcare facilities, organizations direct their focus to maintaining the well-being of their patients and doctors, nurses and surgeons, so they can continue to carry out their all-consuming, day-to-day caregiving activities safely and without disruption.

In any of these situations, the personal safety of staff and those they serve has to be central to the design, installation and integration of any single security system component. While this mission may seem obvious, it is all too easy to be lulled into a more reactionary approach, and to consider personal safety applications only after a tragic incident or unexpected disaster has occurred.

Therefore, it is imperative for facilities – in partnership with their trusted security integrator – to place personal safety at the forefront in establishing a secure environment. In today’s climate, where it seems the unpredictable has become more commonplace, cultivating a culture of readiness is key and should be of the utmost importance. Following are some preventative measures and recommended technologies to consider when prioritizing personal safety in any workplace, and methods to ensure the execution of a swift response to any threats that arise.

Leverage video surveillance as a means of protection, prevention and evidence in keeping employees and others safe.

The deployment of comprehensive video surveillance systems before an event happens is one way to bolster personal safety in the workplace. The presence of video can help to deter unauthorized individuals from entering the premises, or capture visual proof of those who do. Video also ensures a record is established in cases of violence against employees or visitors, and helps to provide details critical in identifying perpetrators. Beyond deployment, gather your security team members and integrator for regular reviews of surveillance footage to discern any high-risk or dangerous areas, including locations where infrastructure may be faltering and could potentially harm an employee, or access points that appear vulnerable to unauthorized entry attempts.

Consistent reviews are also vital in determining if there are any unsafe or irregular workplace behaviors, or illicit activities occurring between employees or outside individuals. By establishing a comprehensive network of video surveillance throughout the given facilities, management can be more readily alerted to incidents in which workplace policies or security protocols are not diligently followed and situations which may put the organization at greater risk.

Consult with your trusted security partner and consider the adoption of personal safety mobile apps and alarms

While personal panic and duress alarms are not necessarily new to the security marketplace, the rate at which they’ve advanced, in part due to the emergence of cloud-based technology and the prevalence of the Internet of Things (IoT), has made them more integral in the formation of a fully inclusive, well-integrated security system. With these new developments, the ability to have similar protection outside the workplace building is now possible with mobile devices. For the solo construction worker on an overnight job site; the at-home nurse in need of assistance with a patient; the lone retail worker tasked with opening and closing the store and walking across the parking lot to the car; or the new university freshman traversing the campus from the library to the dorm after-hours – personal safety alarms have expanded their scope and, with that, their scale of use. From discreet wearables and pendant-like panic buttons to readily activated phone applications on mobile devices, personal safety and duress alarms are rapidly becoming a necessity across a wide variety of secure workplace environments.

The primary benefits in adopting these types of products are centered on a few significant functionalities. First, the ease with which an alarm can be set off in a potentially dangerous situation – by the push of a button or a firm shake of the mobile device – helps to ensure that appropriate personnel are alerted and dispatched with the goal of preventing the incident from becoming fatal or tragic. Some personal safety applications, like the STANLEY Guard safety suite, do not even require a conscious action from the user. With certain “man-down” functionalities, such as when a free-fall motion is registered or the device crashes upon heavy impact, STANLEY Guard’s internal command center and a pre-selected list of emergency contacts will be alerted with a GPS location to route to the scene if the user fails to type in the passcode within a given time period.

Furthermore, STANLEY Guard and many personal safety and security response applications are now equipped with the ability to capture real-time audio and video evidence of an event or threat and immediately provided, along with the user’s profile, to the dispatch center. These audio and video clips serve to not only verify the threat, but also to provide first responders – whether local police or internal security officers – with the actionable intelligence needed to assess the situation and protect both the distressed individual and themselves. Armed with this detailed level of information, the central monitoring center connected through STANLEY Guard can more readily dispatch the appropriate first responders to the scene, based on proximity to the location or the officer’s expertise. For instance, if it’s clear in the video and audio clips that serious medical attention is required by a victim during an incident, or the user is profiled as having a specific health condition needing certain care, dispatchers will be immediately notified and can alert an experienced responder to the scene.

Finally, with the support of cloud-based data management currently available in the existing Command Center platform as part of the STANLEY Guard safety suite, these segments of evidentiary data can be almost immediately stored for effortless recall later in administering an effective response, carrying out a subsequent investigation or in configuring a timeline of events.

Establish mass notification system integration as a top priority.

Perhaps, the most essential component to a security system with regards to personal safety is the ability to seamlessly disseminate information on a mitigated or ongoing threat to individuals within the environment. For this, call upon your security integrator to perform consistent checks of all mass notification systems to be sure all functions are working properly and efficiently, and train your security personnel to conduct regular reviews so that, in the aftermath of an incident, all affected individuals will receive timely emails, texts and push notifications. Establish an open, communicative relationship between your security team, internal monitoring center and integrator to confirm that all occupants will receive the necessary information on which locations to avoid and next steps in emergency protocol or evacuation procedures, whenever applicable. In the event that your organization is without an internal monitoring facility or team, discuss options to potentially outsource these services through your integrator. For instance, STANLEY now offers the ability to route and dispatch alerts through its own centralized monitoring center, offering mass notification capabilities to smaller organizations without a dedicated monitoring staff.

You can also administer mass notifications through mobile apps, such as STANLEY Guard. You can send SMS messages and push notifications to anyone who has the app on their mobile device in the event of an emergency.

At the heart of each of these directives is the foundational belief that prevention begins with awareness. How readily that awareness is provided before, during and in the wake of a dangerous event will determine your organization’s capacity to respond to and safeguard itself from such threats in the future. Look to your integrator or expert security partner so that you remain vigilant and open to adopting new security measures, protocols and technologies – and ultimately promote a culture of preparedness to ward off risks and swiftly respond to dangers whenever they arise.

To learn more about STANLEY Guard and how you can help protect your remote employees, request a demo of STANLEY Guard here.