When it comes to combatting theft from a manufacturing or industrial organisation, the perimeter of the premises should always be considered as a first line of defence against trespassers, intruders as well as from in-house theft.
Perimeter defences are the psychological, physical or electronic barriers which any intruder has to overcome in order to gain access to a particular site.
In the security industry, most organisations providing either electronic security systems or security personnel work by focussing on the four ‘D’s:
- Deter entry/theft
- Defend against entry/theft
- Detect entry
- Delay entry/removal of property.
For security to be effective, a pro-active set of security measures need to be put in place at key locations around the perimeter of a site or building.
The team at RGM Security in Swansea have come with some guidelines for the owners of manufacturing or industrial units in order to help them to protect their property and prevent intruders and theft.
Manned Security for Land Perimeter Protection
When it comes to land perimeters, which is where buildings are surrounded fully or partly by their own land, steps should be taken to mark and protect that land.
Marking of the perimeter can act as a barrier to entry and can comprise natural or artificial landscaping, warning signs, permanent or sensor activated lighting, posts or changed type/colour of paving.
A manned presence, e.g. security guards, at gates and other entrances is undoubtedly the most effective means of blocking unauthorised entry. Business owners need to be mindful of the criteria for selecting a suitable guarding company. Guards should all hold Security Industry Authority (SIA) licences which means they have undergone recognised training and operating procedures (as set out in BS 7499 – Code of Practice for Static Site Guarding and Mobile Patrol Services). The guards and their employer should also have suitable insurance and have undergone industry standard external checks and audits.
Those companies who hold SIA Approved Contractor Scheme (ACS) status will have suitably licensed and trained staff, National Security Inspectorate (NSI) who will have the necessary training and checks in place to carry out perimeter security work effectively.
Other Security Defence Measures
It may sound like a no brainer but walls and fences are always a deterrent when it comes to unwanted visitors to your site. These could take the form of masonry walls, metal palisades or railings or timber fences (though these generally only provide a low level of protection).
Gates should be of a similar size and strength as any walls or fences and secured by robust locks or padlocks. They should be protected from being lifted or removed through welded hinge tops and designed to stop people crawling underneath them.
Barbed or razor wire installed on the top of walls, fences and gates can also be a powerful deterrent for intruders but you will need to ensure that members of the general public could not accidentally come into contact with these wires. To prevent this, the wires need to be visible and at least 2 metres above ground at their lowest point, with visible signs indicating their presence.
Some organisations take their land perimeter security measures even further by installing alarms or electric fence systems. However, these installations are only effective if there is a guard on site who is able to respond to the system. Some alarm systems are linked to a remotely monitored intruder alarm or CCTV system. However, unless there is a physical guard on the premises, response times to these electronic systems can sometimes be slow.
A top tip is to ensure that all plant, machinery and other items such as red diesel canisters and loose cables are kept out of sight of perimeter fencing and are safely locked away. Such items, along with tools and hand held equipment are easy picking for potential thieves.
Preventing Workplace Theft
We’ve talked about how to prevent intruders from entering the perimeter land of a premises, but what about preventing theft by employees?
Theft from retail outlets or offices requires a different approach in terms of processes and monitoring. However, what if your employees are stealing major items such as machinery or tools?
As a starting point, a business should make one person responsible for security, either an in-house security manager or a security guard who works regular at the site. This ensures the company has overall control and accountability when it comes to minimising the risk of internal theft. This person will then also be in a position to make informed hiring decisions and exercise care with whom they entrust with possession of keys and key information.
Other measures employers in the manufacturing or engineering sectors can take include arranging the best-practice for staff logistics, regularly change arrangements like delivery times and run staff incentives and penalties for good and poor security practices. This approach will help to promote an all-round culture of security alertness and consciousness throughout the organisation.
It’s also helpful to make individual members of staff personally responsible for the equipment they use and if it is lost through negligence, carelessness or theft, then disciplinary action should be considered.
Security staff, and it’s far easier if security guards are employed, should regularly check and search all employees, their lockers as well as contractors’ vehicles. Employees’ private vehicles should be kept off the site; and everyone on site should be made aware of the company policy on crime management as well as site security procedures.
Employees should be told that they are expected to report suspicious incidents and that everything they say will be treated in the strictest confidence; whilst employers (or the person responsible for security) should consider carefully and remember who has access to keys for storage of plant and other equipment.
These are just some basic guidelines for protecting your manufacturing or industrial premises against intruders as well as external and internal theft.
If you want to know more, and in particular if you are interested in looking at manned security in your organisation, call RGM Security today on the number below: