When considering protecting and defending your organisation against security threats, you are also looking after the safety of your people, your assets and the business itself.
Really, security and safety are the two sides of the same coin and are considered integral and inseparable when setting up the procedures, responsibilities and mitigation techniques to ensure the integrity of your organisation.
Some organisations do, however, security and safety as two separate functions. This is understandable given the more regulated structure and formal, internationally recognised qualifications of most of those who work in the safety field compared with many who operate in ‘security’, a much looser term.
The safety sector is a far more mature and established one than the security sector and its procedures and practices are consequently much easier to assess and implement.
Because safety has always been a more qualified partner to security it has developed universally expected codes of practice at national, regional and international levels.
Given the impact and consequences of a fire breaking out in your organisation for example, it is both essential and expected, that clear procedures are in place for the detection, alarm and suppression that conform to both national and international standards.
Once your organisation has identified all of the safety, health and environment risks it may have to face, it is then a matter of encompassing all the relevant regulations in conformity with the national civil defence and government bodies and/or other specialist groups involved with your business sector – and then using this as a baseline for your Safety Manual.
Once this has been completed you can then add any considerations that would be particular to your own organisation and then you are almost there.
When compiling a Safety Manual and deciding upon the procedures and actions to be taken as a result of a security or safety incident, it is essential the same rules are followed e.g. in the event of an emergency evacuation you will want everyone to conform to the same processes, regardless of whether it’s a safety or security incident that has triggered it.
If done correctly you will have constructed a Safety Manual that encompasses all the main threats to your people and business and you will be much better placed to deal with any incident.
In conclusion, it is important that both security and safety within your business should be considered simultaneously and recognise that there is a growing trend for single dedicated departments and units to handle all of an organisation’s health, security, safety and environmental needs.
In the next article I will discuss how we can ensure that the Security and Safety Manual is being implemented, and how this could be audited and tested to ensure its compliance and operational effectiveness.
Le Beck CEO Anthony Tesar can be reached on CEO@lebeckinternational.com