Cycle Security

Following the increased numbers of people cycling to work post-pandemic, we’re talking about keeping bikes safe.

From a security perspective there are several barriers to people cycling to work but also several tools we can use to increase the number of cyclists.

In central London where space is at a premium, giving over increased space to bike storage is going to be a major ask but bike security must be carefully considered. Different organisations will take different approaches, whether that be reducing parking bays, installing new sheds or even using meeting rooms. During the lockdown and in preparation for the return to work, we’ve seen clients encourage the use of cycling to help people avoid public transport and car sharing. A large financial services company is loaning bikes to staff to encourage them to cycle to work, for example, which is a really great initiative.

The key is to ensure that whatever space is used to store bikes is secure. Although responsibility for the bike always rests with the employee when it’s stored on an organisation’s premises, if it is stolen it can create bad feeling within the business. We have clients who have suffered bike thefts in the past and it always causes major issues and of course upset for the individuals concerned. As a response, we use three different approaches to keep bikes safe:

Facial analytics: in many sites we provide a tool which matches a person with a bike. The technology ‘sees’ the person arrive with that unique bike and prevents another person leaving with the same bike – unless it’s been warned to expect that, for example if someone is borrowing a colleague’s bike.

Asset tracking: we use asset tracking technology with tags attached to bikes linked to an app. The bike owner can check the location of the bike at all times and can be matched with the bike when they return to collect it at the end of the day.

SmartWater: we make sure that bikes stored on clients’ premises are all invisibly marked with SmartWater, a solution which contains a unique forensic code which is exclusively assigned to that bike. It’s been likened to the concept of DNA profiling. If the bike is stolen and later recovered by the Police it can be matched easily with its owner.

Another challenge, which if often overlooked, is bicycles being stored in the racks for several years, without being used and just taking up space which other bike owners could use. We use MyTAG technology to manage that. Bicycles have a tag attached, which contains details of the owner and their contact details, allowing them to be easily contacted if their bicycle needs to be moved.

We’ve seen a great response to our own Cycle to Work scheme. It’s great for mental and physical wellbeing and also for the environment.

Enjoy the exercise and cycle safe!

Corps Security Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Corps Security’s overall objective during the current COVID-19 situation has been to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures to achieve a hierarchy of control, which we have aimed to achieve throughout this current situation. We have undertaken comprehensive risk assessments, which we are publishing in line with the latest HM Government recommendations.

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Security Officer Or Police Officer: The Role Of Security In Managing Social Distancing

As buildings slowly start to become reoccupied, the role of the security officer is being changed once again. Over the course of the pandemic, we’ve seen an interesting shift from officers managing occupied buildings to empty ones and then planning for reoccupation with changes to security and access control. With people now back in buildings – albeit in small numbers – another shift is occurring.

We’re seeing some of our security officers taking a leading role in managing the ‘new normal’ in workplaces. They’re the first person that building occupants see when they arrive back to work and they’re reinforcing the instructions around social distancing, taking the time to explain how the new security and access control systems work, talking people through new technology such as thermal imaging cameras, and reassuring them that the building is safe. Essentially being a friendly and welcoming face.

Thanks to lift capacity restrictions, many of our officers are manning lifts for the first time in years. Others are working on the occupied floors, near washrooms, meeting rooms and in staff restaurants, ensuring people abide by the social distancing rules. This is a sensitive and challenging job. Some people are relaxed about catching the virus whereas others are quite anxious and the potential for conflict in the workplace is therefore significant. Our officers are caught in the middle of that, attempting to difuse volatile situations while keeping everyone safe.

Our offices have been on the front-line of this virus since day one. They were working when the rest of us were safely working at home. Their importance was demonstrated when the Government gave them key worker status. Now their role has changed again, and they’re fighting on the front-line yet again. Their role is not dissimilar to police officers, who, during lockdown were tasked with enforcing social distancing rules.

Not all organisations are using security officers in this way, of course. Some have set up the workplace in a socially-distanced way and are leaving people to their own devices. But with more people returning to the office over the coming months – particularly once the schools go back in September – the role of the security officer is going to take on increasing prominence in managing the new normal.

For further information on how Corps is working to support our colleagues and customers during this time please take a look at our dedicated Covid-19 page or contact us on covid19@corpssecurity.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

 

Corps Security Publishes Research Assessing The Key Reasons Behind Security Officers’ Susceptibility To Covid-19

There are a number of factors that may be contributing to security officers having one of the highest death rates of any occupation, according to a new report commissioned by Corps Security from Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International.

The Office for National Statistics published data in May which revealed that security officers have one of the highest death rates from Covid-19 – 45.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

The seven issues the research points to are:

  • Low-paid occupations were found to have the highest rates of death involving Covid-19 and front-line security is typically low-paid.
  • The role of security officers generally involves close proximity and frequent interactions with others, and this was found to be a significant risk factor for contracting Covid-19, albeit it is not known whether security officers generally worked in a similar way in the crisis. However, their risk factor relating to exposure was not rated as high as healthcare personnel; the level of virus found in healthcare settings is much greater than among the general public yet death rates for healthcare staff are lower than for security officers.
  • Older people appear to be more vulnerable to Covid-19 compared to their younger counterparts and experience less favourable outcomes. Analysis of licences issued by the Security Industry Association (SIA) in 2019 suggests that 21% were obtained by those over 55 years of age, compared to the UK average for all occupations of 19% of the workforce in that age group. Yet 42% of those with a manned guarding licence, were issued to those over 55 years of age.
  • More men than women have been affected by Covid-19 and because approximately 90% of security personnel are men, the risk factor for the sector overall is higher than occupations with a lower proportion of males.
  • Not all groups in the UK have been affected by Covid-19 equally and ethnicity appears to be a significant risk factor. Nearly a third of security officers are from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and vulnerability is linked to both genetic, social and economic factors. Within this group, Black Africans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis appear to be particularly vulnerable and they are overrepresented among security officers.
  • The very nature of the role of security officers influences their risk to Covid-19. Being a frontline key worker may mean encountering conflict when trying to enforce Covid-19 guidelines; this may make social distancing more difficult. They also have to touch equipment and technology others have handled on a regular basis and may find it difficult to ensure they carry out frequent handwashing.
  • Many security roles are located in major cities and some of these, particularly in London, the Midlands and south-east have been particularly hard hit by Covid-19, affecting the vulnerability of those working there.

The full report can be downloaded here.

>> Download Report

The research was carried out through desktop analysis of a number of data sources.

“The ONS data made for difficult reading for the security profession. We wanted to know why security officers were so affected by the virus so we could better support and protect our people. This report gives us valuable insight and we’re delighted to share it with the wider security sector so we can work together and do all we can as an industry to ensure no more security officers die as a result of this terrible virus,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.

“We were delighted to research this key area for Corps,” said Martin Gill, director of Perpetuity Research and one of the report’s authors. “The true picture is complex, with some risk factors almost certainly interrelated, may still be emerging, or even not yet identified. What does seem clear though from this preliminary research is that gender, ethnicity, the nature of the job have all been seen to increase risks and these are all characteristics of security officers.”

Report: Why Is The Death Rate Of Security Officers Comparatively High?

Following the news from the Office of National Statistics that security officers have one of the highest death dates from Covid-19, Corps Security decided to commission research to better understand why. This will allow us to better support and protect our people.

We’re delighted to share it with the wider security sector so we can work together to ensure no more of our people die as a result of this terrible virus.

Download Report

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Safety Update - Alcohol Based Hand Sanitisers

There have been several reports circulating amongst the H&S community relating to issues with alcohol based hand sanitisers and the recent spell of hot weather.

Please take the time to read the pdf and cascade the information.

>> Download PDF

The Role Of Security Officers Post-Covid - Hardly A Low-Skilled Activity

“The UK’s 360,000 contract security officers work in environments where the risk of injury or worse is often high –  the retail sector and hospital A&E departments both being key examples. They get injured, knocked about, and yet they save lives. Corps Security is not alone in a sector where our officers have saved lives whether by using defibrillators, or preventing a distressed person from jumping off a tall building. Does any of that sound like ‘low-skill’ activity?”

That was Corps’ Mike Bluestone kicking off a webinar yesterday discussing whether, post-Covid, security officers would enjoy an enhanced role or more of the same.  “Low skilled security officers is the picture often painted in the media. People forget that the possession of skills is only one type of competency. Experience and knowledge are equally important, which many security officers possess in bucketloads.”

Bluestone went on to talk about how the Covid crisis has seen security officers get involved in hands-on health and safety functions including using thermal detection devices and enforcing social distancing – both being sensitive roles which require special training and customer care skills and training. At Corps Security for example, there are 26 elearning courses available for officers to take on line, including courses developed specifically to cover Covid-19, the health and safety implications, and use of technology.

“The experience gained during the current crisis has evidenced the change in the perception of security officers. Their role is one of the essential roles which has been a constant during the crisis. They’ve remained on the front line taking care of people and corporate assets, and they have maintained a constant presence during the crisis, despite all the challenges, and threats,” said Bluestone.

The webinar also discussed the terminology of officer v guard; security through a possible recession; and the need for a mix of both security officers and security technology. Chaired by Martin Gill, the webinar also heard from Cy Oatridge, CEO/President, Oatridge Security Group; Garry Evanson, Head of Security and Emergency Planning, at Westminster Abbey; and Jon Sigurd Jacobsen, Owner of SOS Event Security Ltd in Norway.

If you missed it, the recording is here: https://bit.ly/2AZJR9O

For further information on how Corps is working to support our colleagues and customers during this time please take a look at our dedicated Covid-19 page or contact us on covid19@corpssecurity.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

How To Use Face Coverings

The wearing of face coverings will become mandatory on public transport in England from the 15th June 2020.  This will include bus, coach, train, tram, ferry and aircraft journeys.

This may be extended to the other parts of the UK in line with public health guidance.

Download HSE Face Covering Guidelines poster

Corps Security Offices Confirmed Covid-19 Secure

Corps Security has displayed the Government’s Covid-19 Secure posters in all its offices to demonstrate that the organisation has complied with the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of Covid-19.

The poster outlines the fine steps that Corps has taken to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level for its employees. This includes:

  • Carrying out a Covid-19 risk assessment and sharing the results with employees
  • Developing cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in line with guidance
  • Taking reasonable steps to help people to work from home
  • Taking reasonable steps to help people to keep a 2m distance at work
  • Managing the transmission risk where people cannot remain 2m apart

The Government is also recommending that businesses publish their risk assessments on their website, which Corps has done.

“The safety of our people is our number one priority at the moment,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security. “We are doing everything we can to keep our people safe at this difficult time.”

For further information on how Corps is working to support our colleagues and customers during this time please take a look at our dedicated Covid-19 page or contact us on covid19@corpssecurity.co.uk and we’ll do our best to help.

Corps Security Covid-19 Risk Assessment

Corps Security’s overall objective during the current COVID-19 situation has been to reduce risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level by taking preventative measures to achieve a hierarchy of control, which we have aimed to achieve throughout this current situation. We have undertaken comprehensive risk assessments, which we are publishing in line with the latest HM Government recommendations.

Download PDF