What to do when your employees don’t feel safe at work

Do your employees feel safe at work?

As a business owner and employer, it’s your responsibility to keep your team feeling safe at work – both physically and mentally. If your staff members have witnessed or experienced a situation that has made them feel unsafe, there are a number of steps you can take to ensure your employee feels safe at work.

Below are some common situations that may occur in the workplace. We have included a list of security measures that will improve the safety and wellbeing of your employees, if an event were to occur.

1. Cyber threats

While employers and business owners often focus on physical security, it’s also imperative to keep cyber security a priority. By implementing digital security measures, you are able to better protect your employees’ and business’ sensitive information. According to Computer Weekly, “36.5% of Australian businesses have been involved in an incident through a third-party cloud service used by their employees in the past year.” Many small employers believe that their businesses will never be targeted by hackers. The truth is, small organizations are often more attractive to online criminals.

Why? Generally, small businesses are known for having fewer cybersecurity controls, making them easier to infiltrate. When it comes to keeping your business and employee data protected, it is vital that you take into account the following:

  • Ensure that employees with access to computer systems and drives have had mandatory cyber security training.
  • Ensure that anti-virus software is installed and up to date.
  • Ensure strong passwords and two-factor authentication for networks and workplace devices.
  • Ensure that all data is backed up regularly onto a physical device kept separate from regular drives and/or servers.

2. Harassment or bullying

While it may not be the most visible threat in a workplace, if left unchecked, harassment or bullying can have a serious effect on an employee’s mental health. As an employer, it’s your legal responsibility under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide safe working conditions for your employees.

According to a study by the University of Wollongong, half of all Australian workers will experience workplace bullying at some point in their lives. Young males without social support, were found to be most at risk. It is vital to your business that any form of bullying or harassment is treated seriously and managed as soon as possible. Failure to do so could lead to detrimental effects, not only for your business, but also for your employees. Here are a few tips to ensure that you are protecting your business and employees:

  • Ensure that you document every allegation or incident, no matter how small you may think it is.
  • Record all evidence regarding an incident as proof, and save it in a safe place – in case the matter escalates.
  • Provide your workers with access to SOS-2-US. This application allows employees to quickly alert Management, external stakeholders and emergency services to potential and immediate threats.
  • Provide regular training and refreshers to employees regarding the company’s policies on bullying and harassment.

3. Workplace violence

Regardless of what kind of business you operate, violence in the workplace is a serious issue. Taking many forms – from verbal abuse, property damage, vandalism, or physical assault – workplace violence can cause various short and long-term effects on your employees.

If your workers feel like they are at risk of workplace violence, there are a number of precautions that you can implement to improve the overall feeling of security throughout your workplace. These include:

4. Emergencies

How prepared is your business for an emergency or disaster? When an emergency or disaster strikes in the workplace, you and your workers may only have seconds to respond. Unfortunately, nobody knows when an emergency or disaster is going to happen. An emergency or disaster may include:

  • Armed persons
  • Medical emergencies
  • Hostile vehicles
  • Fire or explosions
  • Bombs threats
  • Natural disasters

In addition to CCTV, alarm monitoring, security reporting and a platform like SOS2US, you should never be without an emergency plan or the resources to react accordingly. Ensure that you have a plan of action and all the resources necessary to manage a catastrophic event.

ANSIC Group is here to ensure that you and your employees are safeguarded from internal and external threats, while being ready for any emergency that may come your way.