Avoiding the office security danger zone

Avoiding the office security danger zone

When it comes to security, the highest priority for any organisation should be to protect its people and assets. THATO TINTE looks at the basic essential security equipment every business needs.

In November 2015, a group of armed men entered the premises of French bank, Société Générale in Rosebank, Johannesburg. In the apparent armed robbery, the men accosted the bank’s director before pushing him into a service lift and making off with his laptop and cellphone _ thankfully leaving him unharmed.

However, in August of the same year, a Mpumalanga businessman was not as lucky when a group of unknown men entered his business premises and gunned him down in front of his employees.

These are just two examples of robberies that have taken place on business premises around the country. South Africa has been reported to be one of the most unsafe countries in the world. The Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) 2015 Global Peace Index (GPI) report ranked South Africa at 136 out of 162 countries measured for national peacefulness.

Moreover, the 2014/15 national crime statistics, showed that business robberies had increased significantly, with armed robberies at businesses peaking at 19 170. This equates to 52 robberies at South African businesses daily!

These statistics show why workplace safety and security is so important. To help create a stress-free working environment, organisations must ensure that their place of work is secure for all who enter it _ including employees and customers.

Investing in basic safety and security equipment is essential for businesses that wish to reduce risks of robberies, vandalism or intrusions. Although different organisations have different safety requirements, there is basic security equipment, which is universally applicable to every business. This includes:

Security cameras

Cameras allow businesses to monitor activities in and around the premises. Placing your cameras strategically in areas such as parking lots, entry and exit points, reception areas, or high-risk and sensitive areas can help deter theft. However, always be sure to adhere to the rules and regulations of camera use.

Alarm systems

Alarms and armed-response systems help protect the employees and assets on your business premises. Different alarm types are available and organisations must ensure that they source a system in accordance with their individual security concerns.

Card or badge identification system

With these systems, businesses can ensure that only verified persons are given access to business premises. Card systems that require employees to swipe their cards to gain entry to buildings will help to control and restrict access.


If you keep cash on your premises, then it is important to have a safe. Only authorised people should have access to the safe’s code and this information should be kept confidential at all times.

This list is not complete and can be expanded upon depending on a company’s budget and requirements. Additional safety measures that a business can include are: exterior lighting, security doors, locks and latches.

Organisations also need to understand the importance of conducting thorough employee reference checks as part of their safety and security procedures. Cash Connect Management Solutions explains that opportunity, especially opportunity from within, is one of the biggest pre-emptors of theft.

Cash Connect is an end-to-end cash-management solutions company serving the wholesale, retail and corporate sectors in removing cash-related risks. It lists internal theft and insider participation to business crimes as some of the most common threats to the livelihood of any business. Opportunities should, therefore, always be prevented where possible.

Beyond this, when it comes to safety, good old common sense should always prevail. Companies should foster a culture of vigilance within the business and ensure employees always remain alert and avoid making risky mistakes.

Published by

SHEQ Management

SHEQ MANAGEMENT is the definitive source for reliable, accurate and pertinent information to guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace.
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