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Health & safety vs security risk ­assessment
September 2015, Security Services & Risk Management

For the last 18 years, not one company or homeowner has been able to provide us with their security risk assessment report. Some business entities have actually mistaken their occupational health & safety report for their risk assessment. It needs to be realised that these two principles, although they can work hand-in-hand, are often at different ends of the spectrum.

In South Africa, health & safety is governed by legislation, but security is not. Keeping this in mind; it is then illegal as a business owner for one of your employees to slip and fall and maybe break an ankle, but what about if your company is ambushed by armed robbers and an employee is shot? Why are you, as the business owner, not taking precautions to prevent the latter from occurring although you have applied nonslip strips to the staircase?

If both of these essentially deal with the wellbeing of your staff, why is the one then more important than the other? Is the possible loss of life not much worse than a sprain? A sprain can heal, but a life can never be returned or replaced.

The independent security risk assessment is actually the necessary tool required by all companies and homeowners to be able to best protect their properties, their people and other assets. All threats and vulnerabilities within your security will be revealed and this allows you to address and eliminate the opportunities for a crime to occur proactively. It should also be remembered that security does not only boil down to the physical aspects such as the layout of the building, the security hardware installed or even the security guard posted at the gate. Your true security status is influenced by many other factors that are intangible but just as important.

What should also be considered is that it is impossible to stop all crime. Although the main goal of the security risk assessment is to supply you the best means to prevent this worst case scenario, it will provide you with the relevant information, safeguards and tips that can be used in such an event. The key here is to keep yourself and others safe until help arrives and to provide effective and usable evidence to aid the investigation and subsequent prosecution.

For more information contact Alwinco, +27 (0)71 319 4735, dianne@alwinco.co.za, www.alwinco.co.za


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