Security Matters

Read the latest insights, advice and updates on security services, technology and careers.

Safety First: How to Educate Your Staff With the Correct Safety Skills

It makes no difference where their personnel are working; a security manager’s primary concern will always be for the safety of their staff. And no business in the Athens area is exempt from the incidents and emergencies that could require a rapid and effective response that is only possible through properly training the staff.

Security companies must follow the same OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations as any other business. And while there are no regulations particular to the security industry, there is one notable advisory, Preparing and Protecting Security Personnel in Emergencies (3335-10N 2007), which provides helpful guidelines for developing safety skills.

Security personnel face a list of possible incidents in the course of their duties. If their managers expect them to respond in these situations, they must be trained properly. Here are some examples:

Swift evacuations

Through comprehensive staff development, security personnel can be trained to assist in the speedy evacuation of employees and the public. They could also speed up the response time of an emergency response team, and help control bystanders and representatives of the media. The advisory provides detailed information on which officers should be trained and what information they must receive.

Ad hoc responsibilities

Over 100 of the OSHA standards require employee training. Unfortunately, few security companies offer the required safety training. OSHA Publication 2254, Training Requirements in OSHA Standards, spells it out:

  • Areas in which employees should be trained
  • Training methods
  • Recordkeeping
  • Guidelines

Security managers should become familiar with this publication and decide which parts pertain to their staff. Here are just two examples of training that is often overlooked:

Security personnel who are expected to put out small fires are required to be trained in the use of fire extinguishers annually, and those officers who provide basic first aid or help clean up after an injury to a worker must have training in bloodborne pathogens once each year.

Security managers may mistakenly believe there is no need for training since their staff does not perform these tasks. But their clients will often use security personnel after an incident, and managers must provide training or make it clear to clients their officers are not trained and will not perform these tasks.

Limiting physical intervention

Security staff who might face safety and security hazards should receive thorough training on hazards that are particular to the job and facility. The training should include information on the types of injuries or problems they may encounter and ways to control the hazards.

The training should also include instructions on how to limit physical interventions in workplace altercations and should coincide with employee training on behaving with respect toward all co-workers.

Every security officer should understand the concept of “universal precautions for violence.” In other words, they should expect workplace violence, but understand it can be avoided or minimized by being properly trained and prepared for it.

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