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Workplace security measures

Safety signage Featuring the name of the company or authority that enforces your security measures can help improve compliance

Many workplace environments necessitate security measures to ensure the personal safety of employees and non-employees. For other small segments of businesses or government facilities, the value and integrity of their products and procedures depends on limiting access or entry. Signage is just one among many security features that you can employ to protect people and property.

Since 9/11, private institutions and government officials have been working together to protect citizens from acts of terrorism. Several official resources for recommended security procedures exist, one being the Michigan Operational Safety and Health Act, which offers a number of recommendations, including implementing security measures to protect vulnerable areas and isolating lobbies, mailrooms, loading docks, and storage areas.

Installing alarms, closed circuit televisions, and fencing are all recommended means of securing work environments. Like any aspect of your business, it’s important to maintain quality control by instituting periodic checks on these measures, ensuring your security system is always in prime, working condition. Conducting employee background checks and installing building access control devices are also effective ways of monitoring security.

Vehicular access is another issue that falls under the purview of workplace security. Methods for monitoring and managing outside traffic’s access to a particular building or building complex range from eliminating curbside parking, issuing vehicle identification decals, to simply moving parking away from sensitive areas. When regularly dealing with outsiders, some companies choose to limit shipping/receiving access to approved vendors, or implement procedures for escorting or pre-approving contractors that access sensitive areas.

For many facilities, security is a crucial and constant operation. Hospitals, for example, must keep certain areas secure for optimal efficiency and success. This includes keeping emergency channels clear and preventing contagion exposure. Hospitals, like other specializing businesses, have other unique security concerns; to prevent baby stalking and kidnapping, for instance, only family members are allowed to access pre- and post-natal wards at health facilities nationwide. In an effort to partially address this problem in their state, the California Hospital Association makes a baby stalking sign that is available online to members.

It’s important to implement a multi-faceted security system, since a single deterrent is not always enough to screen out unwanted individuals. In 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, a wristband system for checking in and monitoring visitors failed when a man smuggled a pistol through security and then shot and killed himself and his mother. As in this case and others like it, public safety and restricted access go hand in hand.

Research and development centers are another type of facility requiring austere security measures. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the nation’s largest science and technology laboratory, must impose strict rules on its visitors. As the leading developer of clean energy solutions and global security for the U.S. Department of Energy, it requires every non-employee to arrange their visit ahead of time—at least a day in advance. Temporary entry passes and visitor ID cards are also mandated. Locations in the lab with radiation-generating equipment impose further restrictions. According to ORNL policy, "unescorted access to controlled areas is limited to individuals who have received appropriate training and are wearing an assigned personnel dosimeter." As with the ORNL, often times, the most effective means of maintaining security is restricting access to outsiders altogether.