Workplace Safety

Grab a cup of coffee and open the paper on any given day, and you’ll likely see a story about workplace safety. These stories cover everything from theft, harassment or injuries.

Thankfully, not all stories end with dire or deadly consequences. However, there is also no denying that workplace safety is a growing issue facing our country.  

Workplace safety is something that involves everyone so it’s an important issue. Business owners, staff, and anyone walking into the business should feel safe. They also need to be safe from workplace hazards. It’s so important to provide a safe place for everyone that may enter your space it can’t be stressed enough. 

Here are some workplace safety tips to help employers and employees protect themselves:

Personal Safety

Although workplace violence can happen anywhere at any time, OSHA states that the following workers can be at increased risk:

  • Employees who exchange money with the public
  • Those who work alone or in small groups
  • Those who work early morning or late-night shifts
  • Workers in the following industries: health care, social services, utilities, phone and cable TV installers, mail carriers and retail.

Ways to improve workplace safety:

Access Control- Perhaps the top priority for employers is access control. It’s perhaps one of the easiest ways to improve workplace safety due to today’s technology. Ensuring that only authorized individuals are able to gain access to your facility is also easier than ever. Keycards and other devices help a lot with this issue. 

Security Systems- Security cameras and alarm systems help provide a big deterrent for anyone looking to harm others. They also help with emergency response and catching suspects in the act. 

These modern cameras and alarm systems can also hook up to your smartphones, tablets, or other electronic devices in seconds. This helps with preventing a lot of issues in the workplace.

Motion detectors are also a great idea for off-duty hours or places. 

Outdoor lighting and signage- Simple lights and signs that notify people that are security systems in place make for a great deterrent. They also help employees and customers feel better about their safety. 

Education- Educatiing your team on what to do during an emergency can greatly improve workplace safety. A lot of issues can be made better or worse depending on how people respond.

Having a plan of action can help during acts of violence, fire, or other emergencies. Knowing how to get out of the building or what to do can save lives. Your team should also know when and whom to contact during emergencies. 

IP Protection

In addition to employers’ most important asset—its people—we must also put in place processes and procedures to protect our other asset: intellectual property.

With today’s far-reaching and ominous “cloud,” we must be even more vigilant!  

Every breach starts with a cyber-criminal making a decision to attack a business. They can phish an employee to make a mistake or exploit a software vulnerability. A large reason why this is so successful is an ignorance of the scope of cyber-threats.

Cyber-threats are always there so it’s important to educate your employees on best practices to follow. Hackers have been using the same basic techniques for years, which continue to work time after time.

The 2018 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report notes that four percent of employees will click on phishing links. This number may seem low, but in a company with 1,000 people, provide hackers with about 40 chances to enter the system.

Security teams will always have to be on guard, but companies can also make their job easier by educating employees on cyber-threats. While every person may never become a security expert, a little security-savvy goes a long way.

Best practices for IP security

  • Use strong passwords (longer is better!) and change them regularly.
  • Keep your sensitive login credentials private.
  • Be very wary of opening emails and attachments from sources that you do not recognize.
  • Do not install software or connect hardware to your business’s network without permission.
  • When working from home, make sure your Internet connection is secure. 
  • Keep an eye on your devices and never leave them with strangers.
  • Look for privacy in places like airports and coffee shops. Sit where no one can see over your shoulder.
  • Dim the screen on your device or get a privacy filter so it is harder for strangers to see what is on your device.
  • Do not discuss sensitive information in public areas or where people can eavesdrop on your conversation.
  • When sharing and transferring data:
    • Verify the recipient. Do not send to the wrong person! Take a minute to double-check the recipient before you hit ‘send.’
    • Verify the data. You do not want to send the wrong data, even if it is to the right person. Glance over your attached document one last time and reread your email.
    • Verify the method. Transfer data according to best practice or in line with your organization’s policies. 

Final thoughts on workplace safety

 

While it is unfortunate that we have to address these issues, with a little thought, planning, investment and time, employers and employees can ensure a safe and secure environment for us all. 

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Check out the corporate real estate glossary too. Contact us if you have questions that are not covered in our FAQ or need help with your office lease.

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