It is your business to protect yourself and your colleagues from workplace violence. After all, it is not only in the neighborhood or in very public areas where violence could happen. Even in a space as small as your office cubicle or an area that is presumably safe as your office’s parking lot, crimes could still happen.
Prevent any crime from happening to you or to your colleague by doing the following:
Keep your belongings safe.
Whether it’s your purse, bag, wallet, keys, or money, all your valuables must be secured. Bring these with you at all times or secure them away in a locked closet or cabinet.
Be alert when dealing with strangers.
Be mindful of the identities of strangers who are entering your organization’s premises. If possible, inquire about their purpose of being in your workplace premises and whether you can offer your assistance.
When it comes to visitors, be sure to provide them an escort. This ensures their safety as well as yours.
Also, don?t forget to ask for the identification of utility and service workers. Anything that makes you feel uncomfortable should be relayed to the security management.
Be discreet in your dealings with strangers. Do not advertise any of your or your colleague’s engagements to visitors unless they need that information.
Check for doors and locks.
Good locks and doors are your first line of defense in terms of physical security. Ensure that your company is using high security locks or decent electronic access control units on all doors, be it outdoor or indoor doors, basement doors, or cabinet doors.
Also, ensure that all doors are solid and that hinges and doorframes are sturdy enough to withstand the force of hammers, bolt cutters, drills, and blow-torches. Sheet steel metals are a no-no as these can be pried open easily.
If any doors in your office have locking knobs or levers, ask the management or the security management to have deadbolt installed for better security. If you are moving into a new office, request for a change of locks to have the assurance that no one outside your organization have keys to your doors.
Ensure that all windows are properly secured.
Report any broken window, door or lock. Do not assume that someone else have done this already or is planning to do it. Do it yourself.
Check for the lights.
Illuminate dim-lighted places by installing additional lights, by rearranging the office furniture, by utilizing natural light, and by clearing any debris that is blocking the source of light. Also, install constant outdoor lights and motion sensitive lights. When the business is closed, leave some interior lights on.
Secure common trouble spots.
Reception area, out-of-the-way corridors, elevators, stairwells, parking area or garages, mailrooms, and restrooms are areas where you are most vulnerable. Ask the management whether improvements on security can be made on any of these areas.
On working after hours?
Create a safety system that can ensure that you are not alone in the workplace premises after hours. Inform the security management when you are working alone so appropriate escort can be provided to you. In addition, maintain office security by not opening the doors to any strangers after work hours.