The increase in an overall feeling of insecurity in society has drastically increased the demand for security on the part of private companies, public institutions, and individuals. With the increase in demand, there has been greater concern about improved working conditions, significantly in the area of prevention of occupational hazards.

Security staff is generally required to take care of others in accordance with the training and instructions they receive from the employer. It is also required of them to collaborate actively in the company’s health and safety policy. The health, safety, and well-being of security guards are as important as that of other employees at the workplace. As most companies rely on subcontracting security activities, their risk prevention policy is highly important in tackling occupational hazards for the security staff.

Guarding companies in general and security guards in particular help to make public places secure and contribute to the creation of a safer society so that public and private freedoms can be enjoyed without constraints. Most security services are provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to meet the varied requests made by clients. This has a huge impact on biological and social pulses and family situations of security staff leading to extensive mental and emotional strain. From amongst several risks security staff runs in doing their jobs, and hazards which they are exposed to while discharging their duties, some are listed below.

Risks from Situations

These are the risks related to the context in which security activities are carried out. These risks are generally linked with the operations of the security company carried out in the client company. These kinds of risks result from interference, and activities of the client company such as lack of coordination, confusion, and accidents occurring due to equipment and installations, etc. Such risks can be addressed at the company level by implementing health, safety, and occupational hygiene provisions and coordinating their activities.

Risks from Duty

These are “inherent risks” specifically related to security activities. Risks that are particular to security activities are categorized as follows

1. Violence at the Workplace

This may come in the guise of verbal violence, physical violence, threats, and insults including discrimination and sexual harassment. There are numerous recorded incidents in which physical aggression is committed against security officers. These attempts constitute an occupational hazard for the jobs exposed to a high through-flow of people like underground stations and communication hubs etc. These risks can be dealt with by taking proper security measures like coded doors, bolting entries, and providing security guards a continuous contact with the central office by ensuring contact points like telephone, radio, and alarm buttons, etc. In case a security guard falls victim to a physical attack, the company must provide them with psychological help instead of playing it down.

2. Bullying and Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment can be defined as an unwanted behavior expressed physically, verbally, or non-verbally, creating a hostile or humiliating environment. A general notion exists that sexual harassment predominantly affects women. However, companies are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that men can also be victims of sexual harassment in many ways. Numerous studies carried out to study sexual harassment revealed that occupations where single gender dominates are more prone to sexual harassment compared to the professions that have a balanced proportion of men and women. As the security sector is a typically male-dominant sector, sexual harassment could turn out to be a probable risk for female security guards. An incident of sexual harassment can result in severe depression, anxiety, aggression, eating, and sleep disorders, and other stress-related symptoms.

Bullying is another type of violence at the workplace, and it is always negative, devastating, and destructive to the person targeted. There are many risk factors that can lead to bullying such as confusion about tasks to be performed, conflicts between coworkers, and conflicting hierarchical responsibilities, etc. Bullying can have a serious impact on the well-being of security staff including low self-esteem and depression resulting in an addiction to drugs. Regardless of the cause of bullying, a company must take serious action and show zero tolerance for bullying.

3. Handling Weapons

Security guards need to be properly trained to comply with provisions regarding gun permits and storage of arms. Gun-related accidents are mostly the result of an accidental trigger, ricochets of bullets, and exposure to the fragments of bullets. Other factors that may lead to such accidents include the poor working condition of arms and ammunition, unsecured weapons such as those with unsuitable holsters, untrained security guards, and improper storage conditions. These accidents are quite rare but are excessively damaging and may cause serious injuries hence require great caution.

4. Physical Workload

The risk factors linked to the workload are primarily related to long shifts or working at nights, moving from place to place, and unhealthy working posture that may lead to fatigue and discomfort. Frequent moving on foot as part of surveillance duty can also become the cause of physical strain. Moreover, long shifts, especially the night shifts greatly impact eating and sleeping patterns.

5. Risk of Slips and Trips

A large number of job-related accidents are related to moving around the different client places, either inside or outside the main premises. Trips may result from slippery floors, uneven and damaged surfaces, obstacles like cables and machines, and insufficient lighting. Falls can be on the same level or may happen from a height. This is a considerable risk that revolves around static surveillance, rounds, and patrol surveillance. To avoid these risks and consequent damages, the employer must provide information about the risks of slips, trips, and falls at their place of work. The employer must also provide safety shoes and install warning indicators to counter the risk of falls. Ensuring sufficient lighting in areas like stairwells and passageways is also necessary to prevent trips and falls.

Security guards are duty-bound to get in the way of risky situations that put their life on the line while protecting people and places. They continuously face risks and day-to-day challenges as they act as a first line of defense against criminals. By upholding the responsibilities that they have, security guards, at large, have proved that they justify the important job they are given. The world would have been very different and unsafe in the absence of security guards.

Considering the importance of their job, security companies need to make security guards part of their greater teams to let them know their job is meaningful. At Syndicate Alpha we go an extra mile in taking care of our security staff and their needs. We pay special attention to their training needs along with physical and emotional well-being. Syndicate Alpha gives its security staff the kind of professional opportunities that advance their career and self-worth. The amount that we spend for caring for their needs is an investment for us which results in the form of great security guards as part of our security team.

Choosing Syndicate Alpha for assistance with your security needs will ease out your physical security concerns. Syndicate Alpha provides a professional approach by using thorough planning and trained staff to ensure physical security. Our security services use a multi-layered approach to prevent all kinds of material and non-material losses. Syndicate Alpha is strongly committed to integrity and professionalism, always picking the most efficient resources from the market. We maintain the highest industry standards for security officers’ training, honor, loyalty, and character.