The current corona-virus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted life in every aspect. With 210 countries affected and more than 3 million cases, it is one of the most widespread causes of an outbreak ever recorded. This has caused lockdowns in many countries throughout the world causing chaos in many industries and sectors. These industries include education, healthcare, finance, retail, and many more. Of course, security industries worldwide are also affected by the current situation in a variety of ways. This also includes security companies in Dallas.
This article will provide a detailed account of what security companies should be aware of when navigating a pandemic. It will answer your most common questions related to the dos and don’ts in the face of the ongoing pandemic. Topics related to early preparation, the right strategies of scheduling changes, payroll changes for guards and clients, coordinated response and communication protocols, the safety of employees and guards, are all part of this article.
1. Preparing for a Pandemic Early
Organizations early on should review their existing business continuity, emergency management, and risk communications plans. That includes evaluating the impacts from a temporary reduction in workforce or a higher-than-average number of employees working remotely. Assessment of risks and vulnerabilities to physical and cyber systems as a result of a reduction in staff is very important. Security and IT executives need to brief senior leadership regularly. This is to ensure there is a clear understanding of leadership’s expectations and their true level of risk acceptance.
2. Strategies related to Scheduling Changes, Absentees and Remote Guarding
As a result of the novel coronavirus disease, there is uncertainty about the impact that it will have on our workforce in the future. It is therefore important to be flexible and ready to accept changes. Monitoring and tracking open shifts along with all sites, as well as monitoring current guard availability in response to increased absenteeism is the best solution to confront potential shortages in workers – and to ensure that clients maintain trust.
“Security companies in Dallas and worldwide should make sure that guards have a replacement of the same capabilities and training in case anyone gets sick. An armed school guard, for example, needs a replacement by another armed guard with the same level of skills and capabilities. Having a pool of well-trained guards at the ready ensures service and shift continuity. This will contribute to customer retention.”
The impact of COVID-19 is likely to continue for some time. This is why remote work will play a significant role in business continuity. Although some sites and contracts will require onsite security. However, remote supervision will decrease the risk to the workforce to a great extent. From an offsite or remote location, a security supervisor can proactively manage guards in security patrol services at various locations. The guards can be present in different cities, states, or even countries.
3. Payroll changes for Guards and Clients
The pandemic has caused many businesses and organizations to close down temporarily due to emergency declarations by federal or state authorities. This means that many companies now rely on an alarm system and guards for site security. However, the number of guards has decreased as compared to when the businesses were operating regularly. This change ultimately corresponds with a change to the client’s overall bill. Changes that need to be in line with negotiated clauses in the contract.
It is important to directly communicate with clients on their security needs and to plan accordingly with your operations. In some cases, you may need to scale back. In others, you may find additional opportunities to help new clients who require additional security. Some clients are also looking to preserve the health and safety of security professionals and to have them on standby when needed.
4. Ensure a coordinated response and Correct Communication Protocols
Security organizations must ensure that all form of communication is coordinated. It should integrate cybersecurity, emergency management, and risk communications staff. Communication between guards and supervisors, staff, and other stakeholders should be clear and frequent. Guards may need to receive timely updates about new and emerging pandemic-related threats. Or, regarding new requirements by the client. In all cases, clear and unambiguous communication and response is important. Ensuring that direct lines of communication are open to local, state, and federal agencies are also essential. It will help to identify, mitigate, or prevent any potential risks associated with safety and security.
5. Additional Training for Staff and Guards
To ensure guard and staff safety, they need to receive additional training. The training should cover fundamental points on how to deal with the pandemic, including threats, risks, and how they should carry out their duties. It can either be done at an office or remotely.
Guards may also require de-escalation training. Certain organizations, such as supermarkets and hospitals, are in a need for additional security due to a large number of people visiting these places. This makes these places a high-risk area. Security guards will have to make sure that in addition to guarding the perimeters, they are ready to handle potential escalation and manage crowds.
6. Recognition, Protection, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Response to Exposure
It is important that law enforcement and security officers are aware of the following information: Recognition, Protection, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and how to Respond if Exposed. Below are helpful guidelines from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and law enforcement and security protocols that security companies in Dallas should follow.
- Recognition: Recognize the signs and symptoms of COVID-19. The symptoms may include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Symptoms after exposure can appear in as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days.
- Protection: Protection from exposure is essential. A distance of 6 feet should be maintained with other personnel. Practice proper hygienic, wash hands regularly, know how to dispose of PPE, and do not touch the face. Anyone displaying symptoms should have access to trained EMS and EMT personnel.
- Personal Protection Equipment (PPE): Use of recommended PPE, especially for guards, is essential. Disposable latex gloves, protective eye-wear, protective gown, and a NIOSH approved particle respirator are some of the things that every guard needs to have at all times. Also, security guards should use these PPEs and not just carry them.
- Response to Exposure: If close contact is made with any individual suspected of having COVID-19, clean, and disinfect your duty belt and other gear before re-use. Use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the product label. Follow standard procedures for the containment and disposal of a used PPE. Follow standard procedures for containing and laundering clothes. Avoid shaking the clothes. Make sure that you document any possible exposure.
Our Industry must ensure that both our front-line guards as well as our back-office management have the required situational awareness to deal with this pandemic. Adjustments are made to the security patrol services, however, we guarantee that our personnel is capable of providing uninterrupted and excellent service during the COVID-19 pandemic. As one of the top Security Companies in Dallas, Texas, this is exactly what Agile Security aims to provide its clients amidst this crisis. Feel free to consult us for a COVID-19 security plan for your organization.