Resources - Security

Workplace Security

Use this section to learn about available security measures and to determine which are appropriate for your site. These measures include: physical security, personnel security, internal security, post event follow-up and training. Additionally, a list of security-related resources is included at the end of the section.

No security system can be effective without employee knowledge and operation. Employees must know how to properly operate the security system. No one should be allowed to disable or take shortcuts that compromise the integrity of your security system.

This section can be used as a checklist for you to consider the security measures that you may already have in place at your business and to highlight other security measures that you may want to consider.

Physical Security includes but is not limited to:

External lighting

  • Check with your power company to help design a lighting diagram. The engineers will be able to help you locate lighting and choose the best type of lighting to be most effective.
  • Survey your present lighting at night to see which areas need additional lighting.
  • Inspect lighting regularly for bulbs, photo controls or starter boards that need replacing.
  • Secure substation to prevent disrupting the power source.


  • Inspect facility fencing regularly for vandalism, and if possible, vary the time of day of the inspection. Provide clear path/road inside fence to allow for patrol and integrity inspections.
  • Keep all gates closed and allow only authorized persons to enter. (The gates, however, must not create a hazard to employees.) Employees may enter the gate through an automatic keypad or a remote control. If public companies regularly use the facility, such as in a wastewater treatment facility, place a phone at the gate to call the gate operator. The operator may need to have a remote phone and a remote control for times when he/she may not be in the control room. Additional precautions for railroad access should be considered.
  • Erect a chain link (at least eight feet) with barbed wire.

Signs and tags

  • Use "Keep Out/ Only Authorized Persons Allowed On the Premises" signs on each side of the perimeter fence and on each gate. Place signs approximately 50 feet apart.
  • Use large fluorescent letters.
  • Post notification that all vehicles and persons are subject to search.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system

  • Locate the recorder in a secure area.
  • Locate the monitor at a console with an attendant. Attentive watching time is about two hours, so vary employees regularly.
  • Use cameras with motion sensors to alert attendants watching monitors that there is activity in the area.
  • Use quality equipment with a clear night picture.
  • Closed Circuit TV should not be used as a primary means of detection. CCTV is a passive system that requires human interaction for detection. It should be utilized as a tool to assess alarms that are triggered by more active forms of detection. Other methods of detection could be microwave, infrared or fiber optic that monitor the area for intrusion.

Identification Badges

  • Require all employees to wear picture identification badges.
  • Update badges regularly so the pictures are recent.
  • Require all employees who leave the company to turn in badges during the exit interview.
  • Make badges unique to company and tamper proof.

Access control

  • Place access controls or similar devices on all employee entrances to buildings.
  • Periodically inventory, reissue, and reassign control badges and access passes.
  • Require employees to use employee entrances, never public entrances.
  • Design access in a manner that cannot be compromised.

Inspection of all vehicles

  • Have a specific inspection policy in place that requiring inspection of all vehicles.
  • Develop a "no parking" safe zone a minimum of 150 feet from any critical facilities.
  • Access to facility should be limited, and those personnel admitted should be monitored at all times.
  • Require all visitors and contractors to wear badges when in the facility. ID badges should be consistently worn by visitors and employees on the same part of the body to make it easier for security officers and employees to identify unauthorized personnel.
  • Require all visitors to sign in and state purpose upon entry, and sign out when exiting the facility.
  • Require an escort for visitors.
  • All visitors/contractors should have a company contact identified.

Exterior doors

  • Keep exterior doors locked from outside entry and monitor regularly.
  • Employ proper and quality locking mechanisms.
  • Ensure all modifications for locking mechanisms comply with building and fire codes.


  • Install a communication or buzzer system at the reception desk and in isolated work areas. Develop a policy on response to the buzzer.
  • Have a panic alarm installed that rings in another area in the workplace.
  • Install more than one panic button.
  • There should be a crisis communication procedure among key personnel and security providers involving intercoms, telephones, duress alarms and other concealed means of communications.
  • Establish separate alarms/signals for security and fire.

Control of entry

  • Use gates, turnstiles, fencing, a security force member or a monitoring system to control access.
  • Identify and secure (with bars, etc.) drainpipes large enough for an intruder to gain entry to your facility.
  • Ensure receptionists have more than one exit from their workstation.
  • In public service offices, review the placement of the desk in the employee's office. Is the desk by the door so the employee can make an unobstructed emergency exit? When speaking to a customer, try not to have the customer seated between the employee and the exit.
  • Utilize cameras or security officers.
  • Consider furniture placement not to impede emergency egress.


  • Post a security guard at the main building entrance or at entrances to specific offices.
  • Develop post orders for each security post that is manned to give the security guard a clear understanding of his/her responsibilities.
  • Ensure that guards have a clear view of employee entrances at all times.
  • Provide a means for guards to contact law enforcement quickly.
  • Contract with a reputable security firm.
  • Consider using armed guards.


  • Perform regular auditing of all security procedures at least bi-monthly.
  • Have audits conducted by a certified security professional.


  • Test security systems at least once a year.

Other considerations

  • Keep areas orderly and clean so strange objects and packages can be easily identified.
  • Allow janitorial services on site only on the day shift.

Personnel security includes but is not limited to:

Background investigations for employees/contractors/sub-contractors

  • Set acceptance guidelines for background investigations based on the type of jobs performed.
  • Use DOT background checks for all drivers.
  • Employ a reputable firm to perform background checks.
  • Make sure employees are bonded.
  • Be sure to verify through the I-9 process that every applicant is authorized to work in the USA. It is the law, and it makes good sense from an employment and security standpoint.

Personal references

  • Request three personal references and contact each reference.

Pre-employment drug & alcohol testing

  • Be sure questions are consistent with state and federal laws and regulations and appropriate for the position being considered.
  • Consider random and for cause (accident, incident) testing. (Hair testing is considered by many experts to be the best system to use to identify drug use.)

Credit checks

  • Perform a credit check on applicants.
  • Consider conducting a credit check every five years.

Multiple interviews

  • Conduct a minimum of two interviews to fully assess the candidate.


  • Check with schools listed on the application.
  • Verify schools listed on the application.
  • Secure a certified copy of transcripts from the schools.

Employment agency

  • Utilize a reputable firm.

Driving record

  • Check to see that applicant has a valid driver's license.
  • Obtain a certified driving record for the applicant that includes several years of driving history.
  • Get a 10-year Motor Vehicle Registration (MVR) history on the applicant.
  • Note: You must have the person's authorization to obtain the document.
  • Visit the DOT Web site: //

Termination procedures

  • Incorporate a formal process and ensure employee's access to facilities is removed from security access.
  • Retrieve company ID, access control card and keys.
  • Change combination locks.
  • Change computer passwords.
  • Assess the worker.s violence potential with involuntary terminations of employment.

Threat response/workplace violence training

  • Have a clear workplace violence prevention policy that is enforced and specifies unacceptable behaviors.
  • Have clear reporting procedures.
  • Have a means to conduct threat assessments and determine appropriate interventions.
  • Provide education and training on:
    • Warning signs and management style
    • Evacuation procedures
    • Stress management
    • Conflict resolution
    • Communication skills
    • Proper disciplinary practices
    • Stress and self esteem
  • Conduct training on a regular basis.

Security awareness training

  • Include a review of the security policy during new hire orientation.
  • Conduct training on emergency and non-emergency situations:
  • Emergency- if an injury has occurred or there is an immediate threat of physical harm.
  • A "threat" or a "threatening situation". A threat is a communicated intent to inflict physical or other harm to another person. ?A threatening situation is a situation where one person through intimidating words or gestures has induced fear and apprehension of physical or other harm.
  • Conduct training on a regular basis.

Passports and visas for foreign nationals

  • Have passports and visas reviewed by recruiter, copied, and reviewed by an official with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
  • Verify through the I-9 process that every job applicant is authorized to work in the USA (whether they are a citizen of the USA or otherwise properly in this country).

Internal Security includes but is not limited to:

Bomb threat/fire/explosion/chemical threat procedures

  • Obtain the FBI Bomb Threat information card or similar document.
  • Document and incorporate formal and written procedures.

Evacuation plans/emergency preparedness/incident command (inside company/outside company)

  • Prepare a pre-plan and involve all outside agencies in regular drills.
  • Review/practice annually.
  • Review the site location and neighboring businesses to assess the possibility of your involvement should you or your neighbors have an incident.

Access control for restricted/secure areas

  • Limit the number of employees having access to restricted/secure areas.
  • Limit the number of employees with access to company trade secrets/assets.
  • Appropriately secure personal valuables.

Payroll protection

  • Money should be kept in secure containers.
  • Limit access to payroll/revenue.

Outside agency liaison (know who to call)

  • Police
  • Fire
  • EMS
  • Identify telephone numbers and names of appropriate officials and ensure that this list is updated on a regular basis.
  • Develop a strong relationship with local law enforcement. (Keep them well informed about terminations, etc. Encourage and invite officers to your facility. Invite them to employee functions. Give them a tour of your operation so that they will have an understanding and appreciation of the layout.)

Equipment and material passes

  • Maintain control on the issuance and return of such passes.

Post incident action and follow up:

Evaluate employee(s) medical condition

  • Identify employees who are certified in first aid or CPR; notify EMS as necessary.

Survey the scene

  • Identify the specific roles of security/safety personnel.


  • Hold defusing session immediately, or as soon as possible after the incident.
  • Should be led by someone trained in Critical Stress Management, for example, EAP provider.
  • Assist employees with the after effects of trauma.

Notify external agencies if necessary -- local, state and federal.

  • FBI
  • Document the telephone numbers and names of appropriate officials.


  • Gather facts of the incident to provide responding officials.


  • Hold debriefing 24-48 hours after the incident.

Critiquing session

  • Hold critiquing session as soon as possible after the incident.
  • Get managers, supervisors and employees together and review how the situation was managed.
    • How was the incident handled?
    • Who responded?
    • How could it have gone better?
    • How could it have been prevented? (Review security procedures.)
    • How effective were the defusing and debriefing sessions?
    • Is there a need for policies for management of the incidents?
    • Do safety procedures and workflow procedures exist? Were they followed? Did they work?

Employee Assistance

  • Establish in-house or contract with a reputable employee assistant program, chaplains or professional counselors, etc.

Site restoration

  • Coordinate with appropriate management personnel.

Post-incident briefing/discussion

  • Conduct briefing/discussion within the first week following the incident and repeat if necessary.
  • Insure closure on action items from the investigation.


  • Types of training
    • Personal safety and security measures
    • Types of incidents to report to law enforcement/security
    • Types of measures security/law enforcement may take to protect employees during a violent incident
    • Suggestions on how to react to an armed attacker
    • Suggestions for dealing with angry customers/clients/employees
    • Suspicious packages
      • Bomb treats
      • Hostage situations
      • Telephone harassment and threats


Local, state and federal government agencies

  • Law enforcement - Local police, sheriff

Source: South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation

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Copyright ©2000-2019 Geigle Safety Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Federal copyright prohibits unauthorized reproduction by any means without permission. Disclaimer: This material is for training purposes only to inform the reader of occupational safety and health best practices and general compliance requirement and is not a substitute for provisions of the OSH Act of 1970 or any governmental regulatory agency. CertiSafety is a division of Geigle Safety Group, Inc., and is not connected or affiliated with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).