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Adapting Workplace Safety and Security: A Response to Rising Crimes

As we’ve watched crime rates soar over the past 5 years and witness scenes like the one in Edmonton last week it becomes apparent that organizations need to re-evaluate and update their security measures.  Safety has been at the forefront of most legitimate companies minds and plans for a couple decades in Canada, but with this scary new trend, this must evolve into a Security mindset as well. This post will explore a proactive approach to addressing this challenge by utilizing existing safety systems to enhance existing security measures.  By integrating safety practices into security protocols organizations can create a more robust defense against external threats while maintaining focus on employee safety and well-being. 


1 – Shared Objectives:


Safety systems and security systems may seem distinct, but their overarching goals are undeniably aligned: to protect employees, assets, reputation, and the overall function of the organization.  Recognizing this common goal is the first step in creating a wholistic approach and a high functioning relationship between safety and security.  Safety and security are often referred to in the same discussions, but often the internal teams consider themselves to be working in different sandboxes.  This is a good time for a change.


2 – Unified Risk Assessment:


Safety systems employ a rigorous risk assessment framework to identify and mitigate potential hazards in the workplace.  Organizations can expand this risk assessment framework to include security concerns, allowing for comprehensive evaluations of vulnerabilities in access control, surveillance, and cyber security.


3 – Cross-functional Prevention Measures:


These include preventative measures imbedded in safety systems, such as employee training, hazard mitigation and safety protocols, which can be adapted and extended to enhance security measures.  By integrating into security strategies into safety practises organizations can deter external threats and reinforce protection.


4 – Employee Engagement and Training


Leveraging existing safety systems for employee engagement and training can play a pivotal role in enhancing security awareness.  Employees who are being trained in safety protocols and procedures can more readily be given security information and training, which will transform them into a crucial component of the organization’s security network.


5 – Integrated Audits and Response Times:


Safety audits are a staple in many organizations to ensure the discovery and mitigation of unknown risks. These can serve as an expansion of safety audits to include some security evaluation.  In the least we can use these audit systems as a blueprint for security audits, allowing for a comprehensive evaluation of potential security risks and vulnerabilities.  Additionally, integrated response plans can streamline emergency procedures, ensuring a coordinated and effective response to crisis.


In conclusion, rising crime rates necessitate a proactive approach to security enhancement.  Leveraging existing safety systems and practices, organizations can create a unified and robust safety and security framework.  This approach noy only assists in the fortification of security against external threats but also fosters a culture of safety and vigilance among employees.  Recognizing the shared objectives between safety and security will allow organizations to harmonize their efforts effectively.  By adapting these security measures into safety systems organizations can stay ahead of the curve while protecting employees, assets and the organization’s reputation at the same time keeping the safety and well-being of employees top of mind.  

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