Each year, nearly two million American workers report that they have been victims of some form of workplace violence, including robbery and assault crimes. This is according to data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). There are several factors that may increase the risk of violence for workers in a variety of occupations. These factors include: (more…)
When you think about the most dangerous jobs, a non-CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) service or delivery driver does not usually come to mind. However, every year thousands of workers are injured or killed while performing a delivery. According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 100,000 injuries and 300,000 accidents involving delivery vehicles in 2012 and Time magazine ranked it number eight on its list of the 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in 2014.
Delivery driver dangers include vehicle accidents, injuries while performing the delivery such as back injuries and slips, trips and falls, or crime. Both employers and employees can take important steps to help reduce these hazards. (more…)
Is your business as well-protected as it should be? Do you really know what goes on when you’re not there to see it firsthand? As a business owner you want to ensure that your investment is protected against loss from the public or from your own employees.
Due to their early and late hours and sometimes short staffing, gas stations, convenience and liquor stores are often subject to more crime and violence, which is a growing concern among many of Society’s policyholders. Other businesses such as restaurants, taverns, and grocery stores experience increasing numbers of slips and falls. Having an effective video surveillance system will help deter shoplifting and employee theft, and it can also prove valuable when trying to document crimes and injury claims by customers or employees. Many of the newer digital systems allow you to review your footage from a smart phone, even if you are not onsite.
So, is video surveillance really necessary at your business? YES. Here’s why: (more…)
As a former robbery detective in the Chicago Police Department I can easily see why a business would be a target for a robbery or hold up. Now that my career is in insurance, I know how important it is for a business to keep a “low profile.” Here are a few things you can do to make the bad guys pick another business as their victim:
There are a number of legal considerations associated with conducting a proper and fair background check. It’s not easy, so why should you bother? The answer is in the EEOC guidelines; you do a background check when there is a business necessity. As a business owner, you have an obligation to provide a safe environment for your employees and customers as well as a fiduciary responsibility to the company. Reasons for a background check include, but might not be limited to: (more…)
Do you conduct background checks on job applicants? Have you ever thought of doing so? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions you need to be aware of the legal considerations.
There are a number of federal and state laws, along with local ordinances in some cities, which govern background checks. At the federal level there is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states in part “…a person cannot be denied employment based on a criminal record alone…the decision to hire or not hire must be based on a business necessity…” Some of the points to consider include, but are not limited to: (more…)
Restaurants and bars can be targets for robbery, burglary and theft. These service businesses may accumulate a large amount of cash during daily operations, which make them attractive targets for criminal activity. Coupled with odd hours of operation and so many people moving in and out of the building, restaurants and bars are perceived as an easy target to criminals. Don’t make it easy for them; implement preventive measures to deter criminal activity and reduce liabilities.
Read, “Protecting Your Employees from Assault” for more information on measures aimed at violence prevention in your restaurant or bar.
Prevent Crimes at Your Restaurant or Bar with These 5 Tips
1. Enact smart money management.
Even though debit and credit card payments are popular payment choices, restaurants and bars still ring up a fair number of cash transactions. The accumulation of cash during operating hours makes your establishment an easy target, so prevent crimes by keeping it safe. Assess these vulnerabilities:
Cash on-hand: Invest in a drop safe and keep cash in the registers to a minimum. Employees should make frequent deposits to the drop safe throughout the day to minimize the amount of cash available at any given time. This is an especially good practice during the evening and late-night hours when robberies tend to be more frequent.
Moving money: Transferring money to the bank can make your business susceptible to attempted theft. Make trips at varied times and through alternate routes of travel to avoid a predictable pattern. If criminals uncover a schedule, it makes it easier for them to attempt a heist on your hard-earned profits.
Safe standards: The number of people who have access to the safe should be limited as much as possible to minimize the risk of disappearing dollars. When an employee terminates or is terminated, the combination to the safe needs to be changed so that there isn’t a chance he or she can return to the building and steal money or divulge the combination to other people. Additional rules of thumb include ensuring that the safe combination is not written anywhere in the proximity to the safe, and the combination is always scrambled upon closure.
2. Evaluate your environmental design.
Prevent crimes by deterring crooks from targeting your establishment. Bolster external crime prevention efforts. Consider addressing the following elements:
Landscaping: Foliage offers the perfect places for criminals to hide until there’s a clear opportunity to make a move. Plant growth that is more than three feet high near doors offers the perfect cover, so keep shrubs and trees well-trimmed.
Lighting: Illuminate potential hiding hazards with motion detection lighting systems and/or bright exterior lighting that are on a timer system. A well-lit facade makes for an unattractive building to try and burglarize.
Trash containers: Exterior dumpsters should be located in a locked enclosure to minimize the likelihood of people hiding in the trash receptacle.
Surveillance: Security cameras should focus on the parking lot, back door and other vulnerable exterior locations. Their presence can deter crime—but provide helpful information to the authorities if the unthinkable happens.
Roof access: Exterior ladders on the side of the building need to be secured and not provide access to the roof.
3. Invest in internal video monitoring.
Video surveillance isn’t just for the outdoors. Installing cameras inside is another piece of the security puzzle to help prevent crimes and suspicious activity.
Install the right cameras: Different camera systems boast distinct benefits, making them ideal for specific situations. For example, dome cameras house a small camera inside a dome-shaped enclosure and are typically installed in areas that get dirty, whereas a bullet camera is small, narrow and includes an infrared illuminator, which is ideal for low-light areas. Make sure you understand the available camera options and which will work best for your business setting.
Remember: Best practice for saving video is to record at least 30 days’ worth of footage, so make sure your surveillance selection can accommodate that.
Place the eye in the sky: Cameras should be placed in all cash handling areas (e.g., near cash registers and the back office), at entrances and exits, and in storage areas, work/prep areas and break rooms so staff and customers are aware they are being recorded.
Prepare staff: Appropriate employees need to be trained in the use of the video system, including activating it, reviewing the footage, and saving copies of the incident video to a thumb drive, DVD or other media.
4. Review building security.
As we celebrate our 100th year in business in 2015, we embark on another century of commitment to our policyholders. Our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders, and, as the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. In keeping with that theme, we’ll celebrate our 100th year in business with 100 important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury in a year-long “Safe with Society” blog series.
Crime can happen anywhere, but convenience and liquor stores are often subject to crime and violence due to their late hours and common short staffing. You can take measures to prevent crime, limit the severity, or, at a minimum, assist employees in knowing the hazards and how to address them. (more…)
While security is important for any business, convenience stores (c-stores) are a frequent target for would-be criminals—particularly shoplifters—due to their late hours, high cash volume and heavy foot traffic. The National Association for Shoplifting Prevention found that more than $13 billion worth of goods are stolen every year. That’s more than $35 million per day.
And it’s not just shoplifters who are causing product to go missing. Three out of four employees admit to having stolen from their employer at least once, accounting for 42.7 percent of retail shrinkage. (more…)