The pandemic has seen a whole raft of unfamiliar risks and tasks brought to the fore.
At the beginning of 2020 would it ever have been thought a security officer’s role to screen people for high temperatures or to count people entering a lift?
The longer the need to encourage compliance with safe working practices remains, the greater the risk that becomes the prime role or a distraction from the reasons security were there in the first place.
Low occupancy has generated new risks that will continue into 2021. It greatly reduces the chance of staff reporting suspicious behaviour or insecurities seen. Similarly, floods and faults are less likely to be spotted early without the natural surveillance of building users. Both are areas for security to help mitigate filling the void with thorough, vigilant patrolling.
Keeping people at all levels in an organisation up to date will remain a significant challenge given the abundance of ‘official’ guidance and the frequent changes to it. A good example here would the Government ‘Working Safely during coronavirus (Covid-19)’ document. Essential reading, it was first published on the 11 May but subject to 28 updates so far.
Risks directly linked to frequently changing ‘official’ information include confusion and fatigue over restrictions. Confusion risks mistakes over rules and procedures, fatigue risks conflict over compliance with them. The ongoing challenge for security staff will be continuing to stand firm against complacency and reacting appropriately to those overlooking or flouting safe working practices.
Lastly here, the once vibrant office environment is increasingly a lonely place for some, for others a visit is a rare experience. As face-to-face contact diminishes, security staff could be the consistent presence to identify people at real risk. The sector is alert to this with both general awareness and more specialised mental health ‘first aid’ rapidly being introduced.
Senior Project Manager,