As a security installer you will face different hazards every working day. Whether you’re Farsight security operatorworking on a construction site or in a leisure facility, you’re going to be working in an environment that presents a different set of hazards, which all need a different set of preventative measures.
Health and safety in security, and during security installations, will vary between installation companies – depending on the type of systems they specialise in and the nature of the sites they regularly attend.
However, there are a few simple health and safety tips that security installation companies and managers should take note of, particularly when compiling a risk assessment:
1. Pick out potential hazards
Select a few of the most common sites that your employees will attend on a regular basis. Perhaps they visit car forecourts, construction sites or unmanned sites often? Consider the different risks that these sites might present. For example, at an unmanned site what would happen if an installer had an accident? Or at a construction site, might there be the risk of falling materials?
2. Talk to your employees
Your employees, the security integrators, will be the ones facing health and safety issues every day. Make the most of what they consider to be hazards in the day-to-day routine.
Always remember to include all employees and individuals who may face hazards on your site or as a result of work you carry out. That includes part-time staff and apprentices – consider how the hazards they face may be different from others’.
3. Ask advice from a trade body
When you’re putting together a risk assessment, contact a security industry trade body to help you target health and safety issues that specifically face security professionals. Consider speaking to the BSIA or get in contact with the BSI Group to understand how your security business can achieve the Occupational Health and Safety Management British Standard (BS OHSAS 18001).
4. Don’t fall foul of health and safety myths
Health and safety often receives a lot of bad press over seemingly bizarre regulations. But the Health and Safety Executive warns against falling for the most common health and safety myths! Visit their website and their Myth Busters Challenge Panel, they even dismiss the myth that risk assessments have to be complicated.
5. Keep health and safety rules reasonably practicable
Consider whether hazards are very dangerous or unlikely and small scale. Always keep in mind that all health and safety rules should be easily enforced, but they also need to be balanced and justified.
The HSE defines reasonably practicable as: “Balancing the level of risk against the measures needed to control the real risk in terms of money, time or trouble. However, you do not need to take action if it would be grossly disproportionate to the level of risk.”
6. Provide health and safety training that’s right for your business
Make sure all your security professionals are up-to-date with health and safety rules by providing regular training. Make sure the training you provide is right for your employees and their schedules. As security installers, they may be on the road a lot or difficult to gather together as a group, so you’ll need to consider these issues when planning your training.
Make a small investment and download the HSE’s guide on health and safety training here.
7. Make sure you’re insured
As long as you’ve complied with health and safety legislation, and you’ve taken all reasonable steps to prevent harm to your employees, then you should not have to pay compensation. However, it’s always advised that you have a suitable insurance policy in place that will cover any compensation costs, if they were to arise.
8. Provide the right equipment and facilities
When security installers carry out a systems integration or maintenance work, they will need to use specific equipment. Make sure that you have provided your employees with safe and fully functioning equipment – along with the correct safety gear, such as hard-hats, reflective jackets or lone worker protection systems, if necessary.
These tips should help you to put together an accurate risk assessment and to consider how you may improve your health and safety. Recently we ran a health and safety month especially for security installers and integrators over on our Facebook page – visit our page for more tips, and lots more installer updates.