It's a foregone conclusion that managing safety and health is an important aspect of doing business, especially as it relates to injury-prone industries such as manufacturing and construction. Safety and security can be achieved through proper education, training, and use of protective equipment, as well as following safety rules, standards, and laws.
To this end, security and safety personnel play a specialized role in protecting the overall health, welfare, and assets of an organization. Their role is to maintain a safe workplace to safeguard the health of employees and clients alike while also identifying hazards.
Each organization has its own unique system that reflects its way of doing business, the hazards of their industry, and managing the safety of employees.
Security and safety personnel are often tasked with designing a system that works for the organization. It is up to them to decide how best to operate a safe and healthy workplace, and put a planinto place for everyone to follow.
Safety officers may also work closely with regulation bodies such as the OSHA to create safe and healthy working conditions.
In addition, most industries are rapidly adopting technologies that will change how safety and security personnel interact with an organization. Safety officers often rely on technology to minimize the possibility of accidents and creating response plans for when incidents do occur.
The task of safety and security officers also extends to providing awareness trainings to employees so they can take appropriate safety measures. If an organization's activities are performed outdoors, safety officers may also have to account for external hazards such as the weather. All of this requires a complete understanding of safety and security methods as well as industry-specific equipment.
Preparing Maintenance and Safety Policies
Safety officers also responsibilities for monitoring all the safety and maintenance policies at an organization. They keep revisiting these policies as is necessary to make improvements whenever possible. It is a well-known fact that safety officerswho keep policies up to date (and enforce them) are able to drastically reduce the rate of accidents and injuries at the job site.
This can also reduce the need for businesses to pay worker compensation because there are fewer injuries at the job site. It will help organizations retain their workforce since they are not as likely to quit.
Carrying out Inspections
An important responsibility of safety officers is to inspect an organization to ensure that all equipment is in working order. The safety officer will carefully inspect every nook and cranny of the job site to check for potential hazards. The safety officer also looks for broken tools, defective equipment, and othersafety hazards that may put employees at risk.
Depending on the industry requirements of the organization (and its safety profile), the safety officer will provide recommendations for safety gear and will also give a detour on how to use the equipment properly.
In some industries, accidents are often the cost of doing business. In such cases, it is important to be ready for accidentswhen they happen.
The safety officer's job also extends to carrying out investigations into these accidents to identify their root causes and sources. They will then collaborate with key stakeholders at the organization to develop processes that can prevent similar accidents from taking place in the future.
Training and Coaching
Safety and security officers may also be required to provide training on many safety topics, depending on the nature of the industrial setting.
The job of safety officers is to identify training needs and develop appropriate training programs that can deliver trainingto employees. Part of the training process is to take feedbackfrom employees and using that information to improve existing safety polices or creating new ones.
Depending on the industrial setting (especially the construction and chemical industries), safety officers must make sure that the organization is complying with regulations published by regulatory bodies and various safety agencies in their area (such as the OSHA).
This often means reviewing industry safety standards, implementing plans to meet those standards, and also maintaining record-keeping requirements.
Security at the Job Site
The main goal of security officers is to protect employees, employers, and clients from internal as well as external security threats. Workplace security has garnered much attention over the last few years due to the increase in violence, the need for background investigations, and higher legal liability on organizations for not taking measures to safeguard the workplace from potential security threats.
Security officers can identify risks that are relevant to the industry that an organization is working in, its job site, and hours of operation. An important component of workplacesecurity is risk assessment. Security officers must work round the clock to identify risks and prepare appropriate methods, either through physical barriers or cybersecurity best practices.
The scope of security at the job site is continuing to expand and may also include cybersecurity procedures.
Benefits of Safety and Security Officers in Industrial Settings
Organizations have a moral obligation to create safe and secure working conditions. Doing so is beneficial for their reputation and bottom line. Here are just a few benefits of investing in safety and security personnel.
i) Higher Employee Retention Rate
Organizations that have safety and security officers often have happier employees. It goes without saying that employees who feel safe and protected at work will be more loyal to their organizations and will continue to stay there for a longer period of time.
On the other hand, employees who don't feel safe and have experienced accidents are much more likely to search for work elsewhere.
ii) Higher ROI
Moreover, organizations that invest in safety and security personnel are able to derive a lot of ROI. This is not surprising given the fact that companies can run into serious financial problems if someone gets injured at the job site. For instance, not following industry-related guidelines can lead to serious financial, legal, and reputational ramifications.
iii) Better Employee Productivity
Employees who feel safe at work have able to stay invested in their assignments and perform them to their best.
Compare this with employees who have been injured in the past, and, as a consequence, have heightened levels of fear and anxiety. Eliminating workplace hazards, both from security and safety standpoints, enables employees to improve their productivity levels.
Interaction and Cooperation Between Safety and Security Professionals
The safety and security of an organization are closely linked together. For example, if there is a weakness in safety, it can decrease security, and vice versa. As a result of their intertwined nature, it is important for safety and security personnel to collaborate with each other without restricting the exchange of information.
With that said, it is important to understand that security and safety are two separate business units. They may not always relate to one another, which may create reasons for friction andconflict between the two teams. It is, therefore, important for organizations to incentivize and encourage communication between the security and safety personnel in order to protect the organization's health, welfare, and assets.
To this end, it may be beneficial for both teams to come up with encrypted communication systems such as two-way radios to provide instant communications. It is worth noting that this may not apply to smaller organizations where security and safety teams only have one person manning operations. In such a case, a cell phone may suffice as an effective communication device.
Communication is of paramount importance in industries, such as construction and manufacturing, when safety and securitypersonnel have to deal with contractors, employees, and other stakeholders. It is important to relay important pieces of information to employees so they can do their job well.
Depending on the size of the organization and site area, security personnel will need to know the whereabouts of employees in order to complete their daily or nightly security tasks.
To wrap up, it is imperative for both security and safety personnel to work together as a cohesive business unit and recognize one another's needs to ensure that the organization is a safer place for everyone.