Securing The Workplace

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With the current precarious security situation in the country? it is imperative for the management in every organisation to review its security system and put in place necessary measures to stem the rising tide of internal insecurity. GABRIEL EWEPU proffers measures to be adopted.
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There is the need to be security conscious even in the time of relative peace. Nigeria has been in the cauldron of bomb attacks and apprehension. Bomb-scare is on the rise as it was witnessed at the National Assembly building, Federal Secretariat, and the Radio House in Abuja. The worrisome side of these attacks is the unpredictable nature of it.
The workplace security should be enhanced, since public and private organisations have become the centre of attraction for calculated attacks. Over the years, government offices and international offices across the globe have become targets for theft, unlawful entry, kidnapping, bombings, forcible occupation, hostage-taking, sabotage, among others. Such attacks have led to incessant losts of lives and properties.
The terrible tragedy of September 11, 2001, in New York, Washington, D.C, and Pennsylvania, which cost thousands of lives, brought about the awaking of security consciousness at the workplace worldwide.
Most managements do not consider security of lives and properties as a foremost managerial responsibility, as they fail to expend reasonable resources on securing the workplace thereby making people within and outside the organisation to connive and take advantage of the existing security lapses to cause havor. This is a global problem as workplace security is yet to be addressed properly.
Nigeria is a country whose security system is yet to receive the desired attention in both the public and private sectors. Management has been taking unawares by criminal elements amongst staff. Usually management only addresses such issues with a fire-brigade approach to solve the problem.
It has been discovered that most management do not have sophisticated security gadgets to curb criminal activities in the organisation, which have made criminals get away easily after committing the crime. Therefore there is an increase in fraud, misappropriations, carting away of office property, conspiracy, manipulation of figures, among others.
Many an organisations does not train its staff on security issues, even in information management; no discipline on the handling of office information, handling of office property. Some have become saboteurs in the organisation.

It is unfortunate, that security guards have become part of the security challenges organisations are battling with as they are now security threat to their organisations. Some of them divulge top security information to criminals.

It has led to the assassination of top executives, also kidnapping them or their family members for ransom. Security guards aide and abet criminals within the organisation.
The inefficiency of internal security system in the workplace is appalling as some organisations have little or no security planning in place. This situation itself portends grave dangers to the existence of the organisation.
Most organisations in Nigeria do not hire the services of professional security organisations to effectively tackle security issues affecting the organisation, rather they decide to establish nonprofessional security outfits to lessen the cost.

Such managerial decisions have been detrimental in the long-run. Some of these self-established security outfits serve as a bridge to conveniently cart away company property and other valuables, and some cases are easily attacked and overpowered by criminals.
Some organisations operate in premises without perimetre fences, allowing strange persons to take advantage and gain entrance into the premises to perpetrate evils, thereby endangering lives and property.
Most of the time, management is concerned with the provision of security as it is now in Nigeria. It is far beyond the physical presence of security personnel as much threats exits among those working directly in the organisation. Most crimes committed in an organisation are traceable to insiders. It is an indication of weak internal security system.
Some of the following security measures will help in addressing workplace security challenges.
• Conduct a crime prevention assessment; a complete professional assessment of your security needs is the first step toward an effective security programme. The nearest police station should be contacted for that.
• Since most crimes are directed towards individuals or offices that have little or no security planning in place. Take stock of your present measures and possible weak points.
• Assess the organisational safety network.
• Install key-card access systems at main entrances and on other appropriate doors.
• Issue access control badges, with recent photographs, to all employees and authorized contactors.
• Upgrade perimeter control systems with intercoms and closed circuit monitoring devices.
• Keep master and extra keys locked in a security office.
• Develop crisis communication among key personnel and security office involving intercoms, telephones, duress alarms or other concealed communications.
• Have a backup communication system, such as a two-way radio, in case of phone failure.
• Locate executive offices near the inner core of the building to afford maximum protection and avoid surveillance from the outside.
• Arrange office space so unescorted visitors can be easily noticed.
• Have staff follow strict access control procedures, do not allow exceptions.
• Keep important papers locked in secure cabinets.
• Brief employees on steps to take if a threatening or violent incident occurs.
• Establish code words to alert coworkers and supervisors that immediate help is needed.
• Establish an area in the office for employees or customers to escape to if they are confronted with violent or threatening people.
• Keep an executive information file. It should be in the security office, and should maintain an emergency contact file for immediate access for key personnel, containing personal information to be used in case of emergency.
• Avoid being with suspicious people in the elevator.
• Do not work late alone of on routine basis.
• Open packages and large envelopes in executive offices only if the source or sender is positively identified.
• Protect crucial communications equipment and utility with an alarm system.
• Empty trash-can regularly to avoid any possibility of a planted time-bomb.


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