Is it time for your next risk assessment?

Is it time for your next risk assessment

In such an uncertain time, we simply can’t afford to take risks with our businesses. The COVID-19 pandemic has completely decimated thousands of businesses to the extent that many are hanging on by a loose thread.

It would only take one small tear to undo that thread and send so many companies spiralling into the quagmire of the post-pandemic fallout.

Unfortunately, so many businesses take the shortsighted approach of only waiting until after they’ve faced a physical security breach until they do something about it.

But rather than trying to mitigate the fallout, why not perform a proper security risk assessment on your business to prevent the worst from happening? A thorough risk assessment should include the following:

Health and safety risk

First and foremost, any risk assessment should begin by going over the health and safety protocols in place at your business.

Particularly given the current climate, the importance of health and safety is at an all-time high. This means going through your drills, ensuring there are adequate cleaning products at hand to keep staff clean and virus-free and identifying all potential work-based hazards.

Fire risk

Any business that employs more than 5 people needs to keep written records of a recent fire risk assessment by law.

This is an assessment that needs to be done by a qualified third party to assess your businesses preparedness and audit your properties for anything that could lead to a fire. Fire risk assessments are something that should be a regular concern for your business, so don’t sleep on it.

Security risk

Any business is a potential risk for crime but it will differ depending on the location and the type of business. Generally speaking, you should scale your security risk assessment accordingly.

For example, a bank will always be put under more scrutiny during assessment than a corner shop.

That’s not saying, however, that the corner shop shouldn’t assess every aspect of their site security thoroughly and act accordingly.

All security risk assessments should:

Assess threats and vulnerabilities – Risk analysis and threat identification is the first step you should be taking.

Consider which risks are more likely and put the primary focus on these but don’t neglect certain areas just because it’s perceived as unlikely.

Review site security measures – Examine your site, whether it’s a warehouse, a shop or an office. This includes not only your premises but the premises neighbouring your building.

A proper assessment should pinpoint any potential vulnerabilities and areas that might require maintenance.

This includes doors that no longer lock properly or windows that no longer close. Basic maintenance might not seem like a big thing but trust us, it is.

Review operating procedures – What procedures do you have in place for your employees? Are there checks in place for those accessing the building after hours and are all those staff members being briefed with adequate training and advice?

Emergency business procedures should also be gone over and that includes what will happen in the event of a robbery, fire or even terrorist/bomb threat.

Check your security system – Finally, is your physical security system functional? Are there any blind spots that need to be covered by extra CCTV? Or is your security system outdated and in need of updating?

This is the final and arguably most important stage of the risk assessment and should be undertaken by somebody who truly understands physical security.