2 May 2012

Nigeria: Security At Work-Place


With the precarious security situation in the country, Gabriel Ewepu x-rays the best practices that will boost security at the workplace.

It is now glaring that security in the country is a collective responsibility which cannot be left for the government and security agencies alone. Rather all hands most be on deck as far as the issues is concerned. Most Nigerians thought that it is only the government that should provide security. With the dangerous trend of insecurity in the country, it is now a collective responsibility, because every Nigerian stands the risk of being attacked anytime anywhere which is unpredictable.

The recent dimension of the bloody and brutal attacks on some media houses is an indication that the state of insecurity has taken a frightening twist as humanitarian organisations such as the media are now prime targets. It is a direct attack on the voice of the defenseless Nigerian.

It is now imperative for humanitarian organisations to restrategise its security to drastically address the emerging trend of bloody attacks as recently experienced at Thisday, The Sun and The Moment Newspapers. It was not expected nor suspected.

It is unfortunate, most managements have failed to prioritise workplace security, and are yet to consider security of employees and visitors lives as a foremost managerial responsibility, as they budget little resources on security at the workplace, which have made some unscrupulous elements within and outside the organisation to connive comfortably to advantage of existing security lapses to unleash mayhem on innocent lives.

It is on record that government offices, international organisations, hotels, and public places were centre of attraction for calculated attacks, now the media is included, thereby suffer lost of lives and property.

Some of these attacks are traceable to the contracting of cheap and inefficient security organisations, whose guards lack the required skills to prevent possible attacks, while some are used as a bridge by criminal elements to penetrate into the organisation's premises to carry out their dastardly acts, because some security personnel divulge top security information to them, therefore take advantage to unleash terror on the organisation.

Inefficient internal security system at the workplace has been a soft spot terrorists and their allies capitalise on to perpetrate their dastardly act, because most organisations have little or no security plan in place. It is a grave security challenge most managements undermine, which has brought caused unnecessary and avoidable attacks on organisations.

When internal security system is not handled properly, and management is relaxed because of the physical presence of security personnel, and without security intelligence put in place, it makes the organisation prone to deadly attacks, which are mostly traceable to insiders.

The attacks recorded recently were not predicted, but are eye-openers that beat the imagination of managements of other organisations to improve on their security strategies that will curb possible attacks.

Management should conduct a crime prevention assessment; a complete professional assessment of the organisation's security needs is the first step towards an effective security programme. The appropriate security agencies are to be contacted for this exercise. The exercise would help to expose security lapses that exist within the organisation, and also proffer solutions to address the lapses detected.

More resources should be channeled to security at the workplace; it strengthens the security network and wade off attacks, because quality security measures are put in place to forestall possible criminal penetration into the organisation. Also management should employ the service of competent and professional security detectives who are specialised on intelligence gathering.

All vehicles should be parked outside the office premises, except for vehicles that are conveying have consignments, but should be subjected to thorough search and scrutiny before are allowed to drive into the premises.

Contractors and service providers within the organisation should be subjected to search and scrutiny periodically. It will go a long way to abate unexpected attacks and also weed out some bad eggs.

Every staff contractor and visitors should always wear their identity cards for proper identification and monitoring while in the premises. Management should make it compulsory for every member of staff and visitors to wear identity cards. These cards should have high security features to avoid counterfeiting.

Vehicles parked outside the premises should be checked with security devices, and also monitored if necessary. Security should not be satisfied with cars parked outside the premises, rather should still conduct routine checks to ascertain the level of safety of the vehicles parked outside.

A visitor should be properly identified by a staff before he or she is allowed into the workplace. If a visitor fails the test of not having a visitor he or she has contacted before coming should be turned back for another day.

Visitors should keep their handsets and other metallic objects at the security post. No matter who the personality is, he or she should be made to drop his or her metallic objects, but it should be specified for the visitor to know.

Staff are to meet with their visitors at the security post, except otherwise. For no concrete and convincing reason should a staff be allowed to come in with his or her visitor (s), except the staff receives proper clearance from the chief security officer.

The security department should have the details of all staff. This should be done for security personnel to easily identify every member of staff.

Adequate security should be provided for staff working late into the night and early hours of the next day. Management should give priority to the safety of staff closing late, and also considering the distance some of them live. It will help to avoid unnecessary attacks.

Management should periodically organise training for staff on security alertness and intelligence. It is imperative for all staff to be security conscious at all time while carrying out their official assignment. This will help the organization to tackle security challenges within the organization.

The perimeter fence should be high, in order to prevent possible penetration in the organisation by criminals. When adequate fencing of the premises is done, and installing necessary security devices it will wade off any criminal and intruder.

Install high capacity circuit camera at strategic points within and outside the organisation. It is not a wasteful spending if reasonable amount of resources is used in procuring modern and hi-tech security gadgets to protect lives and property within the organization.

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