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Maintaining a Secure Workplace Environment

With the latest terrorist atrocity, in Manchester, fresh in our minds, everyone who provides or occupies office space, should be reviewing the arrangements they have in place to ensure, as far as is practical, the safety and integrity of occupants and the working environment.

Whilst physical security barriers, such as door entry systems, etc., are easily installed, albeit at a cost, many types are not fool-proof in themselves and require the constant and ongoing vigilance of all occupants and, also, their adherence to defined security procedures.

In the increasingly violent and intolerant world we seem to be living and working in today, it is vital that every occupant reflects on their approach to personal and building security as their actions could be significant at some future time. Of course, constant vigilance and awareness of what is happening in their surroundings is crucial.

Maybe it is just a cultural thing or, then again, perhaps we are afraid of the possible reaction it might evoke (physical, social media, etc.) but we often seem reluctant to challenge strangers, especially those trying to gain access to one’s workplace. Worse still, many of us will, on occasion, have allowed a stranger to ‘tailgate’ through a security door or barrier. In the ‘old days’, although not ideal, this probably wasn’t a problem but, as times have changed, so the level of risk has increased to the point that this could represent the weakest link in the building’s defences

So, the key messages for the future must be:

i) Review regularly the need for and the effectiveness of physical barriers to entry to ensure they are fit for purpose
ii) Ensure there are detailed procedures in place which specify both what is expected of occupants in respect of accessing the building and managing entry of anyone who is not based there
iii) Ensure all occupants, including any new ones as part of the induction process, are made aware of these vital procedures
iv) Continuously monitor adherence to the procedures and provide regular reinforcement as required
v) Ensure there is a plan detailing the response required in the event of a breach of security procedures and ensure key players are sufficiently trained to carry out their role, in the undoubtedly charged environment in which it will be taking place

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