Occupational Safety and Health Concerns When Responding To Alarms

Occupational Safety and Health Concerns When Responding To Alarms
June 14, 2018 Rechenberg

It’s the middle of the night, and the alarm to your business has been triggered. The 24/7 control room contacts the nominated employee to respond to the alarm; this is the third alarm to go off in the past twelve months. The staff member is complacent about the situation when they enter the site. However, this time it’s a real alarm, and there is an intruder on site. Is it worth the risk of putting staff, or yourself in this potentially dangerous situation?

Consider the cost

While there may be short-term savings in having an employee respond to an intruder alarm rather than sending out a patrol, considerations should be taken from a cost perspective of having your staff on-call. Think about your obligations as an employer regarding the payment of your employees when they respond to an alarm and if they are rostered to be on-call. Under specific employment awards, staff may be paid an on-call allowance as they are holding themselves ready, which can be more costly than sending out a patrol team.

Safety matters

Another issue is the possibly dangerous scenario where the employee may be entering the premises where they may encounter an intruder. How would they manage this situation? Although the staff member may know the premises well and could notice if anything was out of the ordinary, it is necessary that the employee has sufficient training in how to handle a potentially dangerous scenario. As an employer, you should think about how an experience like this would affect an employees mental and physical wellbeing. When considering your employee’s well-being, an excellent guide to refer to is the Occupational Health and Safety codes of practice.

Trained Security Professionals

Unlike employees, patrols are security professionals who are trained to handle and respond to these exact situations. They have been trained by experts who exercise practical skills and can liaise with the control room on the situation. From then, the trained patrol can contact the right authorities if the situation requires emergency services and can potentially save your employee from a dangerous situation.

A beneficial technology endorsed by Rechenberg is video verification, whereupon receiving an alarm, control room operators can view live and historical video footage from the site to verify the alarm. The control team can then measure the risk involved and can provide advice to the employer to make an informed decision on whether to send staff or a patrol.

If the alarm is verified as an intruder alarm, in most cases the police will be contacted and dispatched. As a verified alarm, the police will likely prioritise the situation.

To find out more about Rechenberg Alarms, CCTV and Monitoring Services, don’t hesitate to contact us today.