Common Workplace Risk Issues and How to Handle Them
We hear from Timothy Dimoff, one of the US’ leading authorities in high-risk workplace and human resource issues.
He discusses why even though cybersecurity is an important risk companies need to tackle during the pandemic, there are even more pressing risks and issues at hand. Below he shares some of the common high-risk workplace issues companies should be in control of.
Q1. What are common high-risk workplace issues?
There are many high-risk workplace issues that every employer needs to be aware of and to take precautions to avoid. Some of these include workplace shootings with an active shooter. There are many forms of workplace violence as well. Other issues include bullying, sexual harassment, discrimination, internal theft, substance abuse issues including drugs and alcohol, risks from terminated employees, and even violence from gang or political related issues.
While cybersecurity is very important, it is also just as important to pay attention to physical security issues.
Q2. How has COVID-19 presented new issues in terms of risk?
COVID-19 has presented many new challenges to businesses. Just the act of re-opening a business has been difficult due to sanitizing costs and masking issues and how to keep everyone safe. How to handle and defer potential violence due to mask mandates has become a huge issue, especially for retail businesses. We have been called in many times to assist a company in how to handle potential violence from people who oppose a mask mandate or to help them with additional security. There is also the potential for legal issues from fraudulent claims of exposure to the COVID-19 virus or even dealing with employees’ resistance to return to work.
Q3. Cybersecurity risks are widely reported about now due to the threat that they pose, but what are more first hand, immediate risks that occur day-to-day which can thoroughly impact a business for the worse?
While cybersecurity is very important, it is also just as important to pay attention to physical security issues. This can include threats to businesses, destruction and theft to property, employee theft, non-compete violations, threats or the potential for violence from terminated employees, employee work product and their reactions to new rules, etc.
In the event there is a security incident, a full investigation should be conducted.
Q4. What should be done to avoid the aforementioned risks?
First and foremost, all companies need a strong, comprehensive employee manual that is updated annually and that clearly spells out all rules and all possible actions for non-compliance. Companies also need to make sure they have on-going management training. Additionally, and just as important is to conduct a physical security assessment to evaluate current security methods and to develop new, stronger security protocols. This may include the use of cameras, access control measures and lighting in parking lots, etc. These assessments are essential to helping a company prevent potential security or violent incidents from taking place.
Q5. How should these risks be handled, if they aren’t prevented in the first instance? (i.e., How can companies recover?)
In the event there is a security incident, a full investigation should be conducted. This includes interviews with anyone affected, a review of all security measures that were in place prior to the incident, any video that may capture the incident, etc. Once this is done, the company needs to respond to any weaknesses that were exposed with updated written policies, training, additional physical security analysis assessment and implementation of any new recommended equipment and changes.
Q6. What factors should business owners consider if they wish to build a strong company?
A strong company begins with a positive work culture that is supported with training, written policies, and equal enforcement of these policies. It also sends a positive message when you investigate each and every complaint. Employees need to see you taking action regarding their safety and with any HR issues. It’s important that you make no exceptions in the management of your company and the security and the safety of your employees. It is also a good idea to provide a strong EAP (Employee Assistance Program) to support those employees in need.
Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP
Founder/President, SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc.
Timothy A. Dimoff, CPP, a multi-certified, award-winning and internationally-recognized security and HR management consultant, speaker, author, media commentator and expert witness is president and founder of SACS Consulting & Investigative Services, Inc., a high-risk HR and security consulting and investigation firm located in Akron, OH.
Dimoff is an internationally board Certified Protection Professional (CPP); a registered national security and HR expert with the Technical Advisory Service for Attorneys (TASA); a member of the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS); a member of InfraGard, a joint professional organization between the FBI and security professionals; a member of The National Council of Investigation & Security Services (NCISS); a member of the Ohio Association of Security & Investigative Services ((OASIS); and a nationally certified ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate) training instructor.
Dimoff was named Ohio’s Top Police Officer in 1989; was awarded the International Narcotics Special Award of Honor in 1991; and provided security for the 2016 National Republican Convention in Cleveland, OH.
SACS Consulting & Investigative Services’ team has been serving the corporate, educational and non-profit communities since 1989.