Workplace Security

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Federal

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Author: Leanne Coffman

Summary

  • Security measures must be thorough in content and encompass a broad range of events. Careful investigation of potential threats, planned management and widespread organization commitment are required to avoid negative outcomes and prevent losses. See The Importance and Evolving Nature of Business Security.
  • Organizational property encompasses tangible assets, as well as intangible assets, including patents, trade secrets, client lists or information of a propriety nature. Due to economic value, intellectual property must be protected from theft, espionage or sabotage just as securely as physical property. The threat of unauthorized individuals accessing confidential employer information either dishonestly or unintentionally must be addressed by every organization. See Intellectual Property.
  • Worker theft can take many forms, from occasionally pilfering extra office supplies to highly engineered fraud and embezzlement. Management can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of these events by applying a variety of security procedures aimed at common methods and types of theft. See Theft.
  • As one of the most common white collar crimes in the workplace, fraud is a serious security threat to almost all organizations. Preventing fraud requires widespread commitment on the part of the workforce. See Fraud.
  • Controlling illegal behavior and creating a strong security system in the workplace is vital, as many incidences of violence against workers occur during crimes such as robbery. Employers must also protect workers from numerous other sources and types of workplace violence, though. It is very critical that employers investigate all reports of alleged violence or suspicious behavior with a dedicated system. The general focus of workplace security measures should be to evaluate, identify, prevent and minimize violent situations. See Violence.
  • To prevent employees from carrying weapons into the workplace, employers must know the available laws and implement definitive workplace procedures and security measures. See Guns and Weapons in the Workplace.
  • Planned responses and teaching workers to be observant and to report suspicious individuals, unusual packages or unknown vehicles found on the property can avert criminal conduct and possible acts of terrorism. In a number of targeted organizations, bomb threats have occurred prior to the actual event. Therefore, employers should create a bomb threat checklist and train workers on how to respond to the caller. See Terrorism.
  • Every business should consider the impact of natural and human sourced disasters and develop comprehensive strategies for risk mitigation. Many similar steps are fundamental in managing all emergencies. Recognizing potential hazards, creating and implementing a written plan, gathering necessary resources and training workers are key elements of emergency response. See Emergency Plans and Emergency Closings.
  • Under various requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the employer must create an emergency action plan to facilitate an organized response during foreseeable crisis events. The emergency action plan, which overlaps with fire prevention/protection, should clearly state designated evacuation procedures, locations of fire extinguishers and other pertinent information, such as the alarm system by which employees are notified of fire emergencies. See Emergency Plans and Emergency Closings.
  • The emergency action plan should also contain specific procedures for response to severe weather climates for on-site and off-site workers. Training and adequate shelter provisions are absolutely essential to prevent loss of life and injuries during severe weather. Planned responses should be developed, drilled and reviewed for inadequacies well prior to oncoming threatening weather. See Emergency Plans and Emergency Closings.
  • Employers should make sure that certain employees involved in recovery procedures are adequately trained and provided with the correct personal protective equipment. No worker should be required to perform cleanup or recovery in the course of job duties if they are untrained or ill-equipped for the hazards. See Emergency Plans and Emergency Closings.
  • Explosions and fire are some of the more common and serious hazards in the workplace. Improper usages of products, lack of adequate procedures, arson, faulty equipment and human error are frequent sources of workplace explosions. See Human Disasters.

State Requirements

The following states have additional requirements for this topic under applicable state law.