4 Ways to Mitigate Health and Safety Risks

Posted by Shawna Ivy on January 18, 2021

Every apartment building, commercial property, retail center, and construction site has controls in place to prevent injuries and incidents that could affect employees, tenants, and visitors. The hustle and bustle of the workday can easily cause some to let their guard down, forget the safety practices, or overlook powerful solutions they're missing out on.

While the world may not see another pandemic like COVID19 anytime soon, it still contends with many other contagious illnesses and diseases. The pandemic has given the world a big jolt to drive everyone to take steps to prevent the spreading of contagious illnesses and diseases. This way no one is caught off-guard again.

That said, companies and management have a responsibility to create a safe space. Here are four ways to mitigate health and safety risks for your property.

1. Follow OSHA's Hazard Prevention and Control Recommendations

The U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a very useful guide to help you with hazard prevention and control. Implementing effective controls can help prevent injuries, incidents, and illnesses. It also reduces health and safety risks.

To create an effective process for controlling hazards requires involving employees and tenants in the process. They are in the best position to identify situations that create hazards and how to control them.

2. Document, Update, and Communicate Your Health and Safety Policy

What good are processes and policies if no one enforces them? Creating a policy is only half the battle. Following it and staying on top of it is equally important.

After identifying and developing hazard controls, the next thing to do is document your health and safety policy. It will include the information garnered in the previous step. The policy will include the items from steps three and four. For example, you'll add "Do a security risk assessment" to this policy.

A policy is useless if no one knows about it. Use your communication channels to inform everyone about the policy. The companies with the best safety and security records hold regular training sessions and refreshers. You want to avoid simply sending a document or a link to the document. People are more likely to ignore it. Training and online video training can overcome this.

3. Do a Security Risk Assessment

A security risk assessment identifies the strengths and weaknesses in your physical security. In doing the risk assessment, you'll study all the comings and goings on the property. Is it residents? Tenants? Customers? Vendors? Delivery? What's the process for entering or exiting the building to ensure social distancing when needed?

The assessment involves analyzing the property to spot areas of vulnerabilities for theft (internal and external), trespassing, vandalism, safety risks, and other issues. For example, it will look at all the interior and exterior lighting. Is it the right kind of lighting? Is there enough lighting? What about the lighting in the garage stairwells? Lighting is a big factor in safety.

Check all entrances and exits. Are there any barriers? What about the flooring? Is it a hazard? How do vehicles maneuver around the property? This is key to preventing pedestrian injuries.

Upon completing a review of the property, draft its layout to mark existing security measures. Doing this activity will help you find any gaps in security.

For example, if you are thinking about using remote video surveillance, the map of the property will be beneficial in determining the best places to install the cameras. In the end, the risk assessment will help you determine what security measures to implement.

Ideally, companies will hire a security consultant to do the assessment. They know how to do the process quickly and efficiently. They won't miss a step. Non-security pros who attempt to do a risk assessment can drive up the cost. If the assessment isn't done correctly, that's wasted time and effort.

4. Monitor the Property for Health and Safety Hazards

You can do all the right things and have it all fall apart in one fell swoop. For instance, the simple act of not doing regular lawn maintenance can waste all your efforts to create a safe place. Shrubs and trees grow back and create shadowy areas for hiding. They can also allow someone to get into the building unnoticed.

Lighting is another important factor to monitor. Lights burn out and break. New hazards pop up all the time. Someone moves a large piece of furniture to create a tripping hazard. Carpeting can tear up and become a tripping hazard.

The most effective way to keep an eye on the property is with video cameras. With people coming and going every day, new hazards will pop up fast. Video surveillance that combines artificial and human intelligence can notice things quickly and report them before they become problems.

Video cameras go the extra mile with health and safety. They can verify social distancing is happening and that individuals are following proper procedures. They make it possible to implement contactless processes such as the handling of package delivery.

How Video Surveillance Helps Mitigate Health and Safety Risks

Video surveillance can do more than most people realize. Smart video surveillance pairs video artificial intelligence and trained monitoring operators. The security company programs many scenarios in video surveillance's artificial intelligence. The programming tells the cameras how to analyze what it sees and what to do when ABC or XYZ happens. This is how intelligent video analytics work.

Whenever AI sees a match on one of its programmed scenarios, it alerts the monitoring operator who checks it out and responds. How the operator responds depends on the situation. For instance, if there are intruders, the operator will send an audio warning through an on-site speaker. If intruders don't leave the property, then the next step is to call law enforcement.

Video surveillance can monitor for leaks and floods. The sooner it's caught, the less damage it will cause. Video surveillance monitoring operators can watch the entire property simultaneously, something security guards can't do. Moreover, video surveillance can cost up to 60 percent less of what it would cost to hire security guards. Here's something you may not know: the operator is not on your property and the person may be in a different city or state.

With video surveillance, you can help mitigate your health and safety risks while maximizing security. It can save significant time and money as you will help prevent injuries, lower liability, and deter crime. The video camera system records everything. You'll have all the proof you need as well as potential footage to use in training.

Best of all, residents, tenants, employees, and visitors will feel safer when they see the cameras and know someone is watching out for them.

Factors to Consider in a Video Surveillance System

People in a building are often strangers to each other. A commercial property may have multiple tenants, each with its own employees and visitors. The same goes for an apartment building. At most, residents may know a couple of neighbors. But they wouldn't know who the majority of people are living in the apartment.

This is where bringing in experienced security experts can help. They can review your property to design a video camera system that sees the entire property without any blind spots. It's important to include back entrances, parking garages, and other parts of the property in the review.

If you do a risk assessment as in No. 3, share this information with the security consultant. It will greatly maximize the effectiveness of your customized security plan. The security consultant will use it to check out the common areas and find the best places to install video cameras.

In selecting a security consultant, verify they have experience with video surveillance in your industry. Not all security companies are experts in video surveillance or your industry. What apartment properties need for security isn't the same as a commercial property or retail center. It takes deep expertise to know how to put artificial intelligence to work in video surveillance.

Besides, not all security companies know what cameras are the best ones to use. Even in this day and age, there are security companies using video cameras that will not provide high-quality footage. What's the point of cameras if you can't make out identifying information?

It's also possible for a video security company to recommend more than you need or the wrong features. What you need depends on your business. What an apartment building needs is completely different from an office building and a construction site. In fact, no two apartment properties will have the same security requirements. That's because it rests on the layout of the property, features, common areas, entrances, and more.

Technology breaks. That's a fact. It's being prepared for it that makes all the difference with your video surveillance system. You may need a fail-safe system with a backup plan that describes every scenario that could go wrong and how to remedy each one. It's not just technology that breaks. Power outages will happen. You can plan for those to minimize disruption.

In short, when you invest in the right safety and security technology, you will see a fast ROI while mitigating health and safety risks.

To learn more about the benefits of video surveillance, select your industry from the following list:

For more information about proactive health, safety, and security solutions that fits your needs and budget, contact us.

Video Surveillance Benefits

Unlike many security solutions, video surveillance is proactive. It can help deter crime and prevent damage. Security guards can't. They can only respond when they see something. By the time they notice, the damage could already be done. They could even be responsible for damage as a video surveillance clip caught a security guard doing donuts in a parking lot. After watching the video, you won't be surprised to learn that security guards are a liability.

That’s not all. It turns out many security guards have a criminal history according to a study from CNN and the Center for Investigative Reporting. The industry also experiences such a high turnover that 31 states do not require background checks.

Video surveillance offers these benefits and more:

  • Faster response times: Companies like Stealth Monitoring have an established relationship with local law enforcement. The police officers typically put a higher priority on calls from Stealth.
  • 24/7 monitoring: Around-the-clock recording and live monitoring can help deter crimes and prevent damage.
  • Liability protection: Recordings provide evidence for police investigations and insurance claims.
  • Complete site coverage: Cameras can see the entire property simultaneously including areas where security guards can't venture.
  • Delivers savings: Cuts risk, averts crime, and saves on insurance premiums. It costs up to 60 percent less than security guard services.

You will have peace of mind knowing there are eyes across your entire property. Since everything is recorded, you'll have the support you need. When you add video surveillance to your team, you will see a fast return on your security investment.

In working with Stealth Monitoring, you have many security options. Our experts review your requirements to customize a security solution to address your biggest security challenges.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Security Tips, Video Monitoring