These days personal safety is something that people cannot afford to ignore. While many people take precautions at home, it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security at work. The following are suggestions that will help you stay safe during your day (or night) at work.
When you first interview for a new job, interview the safety aspects of the company as well. If you are not working in your neighborhood (as many people do not) find out what the crime rate is in your prospective employer’s neighborhood? Call the neighborhood police department and ask. If there have been many muggings or auto break-ins at or around this employer’s property, you would be wise to reconsider.
Where is employee parking? How far from the building? Is it well lit when you leave the office late or during the winter months? Does the security guard escort people from the building late at night? Is there a surveillance camera system? If so, is anyone watching it live, or does it just record? Is there a code to enter the building, or is it open to the public? Is there a security guard in the lobby?
If you take the bus, how far is the bus stop? Is the bus stop well lit? Is the stop on a busy street, or all alone on the block? If your employer demands overtime late into the night, will they provide car or taxi service for you?
These are all variables to consider before taking the job. Once employed, there are precautions to employ to maintain a safe environment.
First is not to work in the building alone after hours. If you must work late into the night, ask your boss to let you do the work at home. With fax, email and phone conferencing available, this makes more sense than ever before. Do not be intimidated into putting yourself into an unsafe environment and do not be afraid to speak up about safety concerns, as your safety is your responsibility. Do not assume that your employer will automatically have this on his or her mind.
Second, do not give out your building entrance code to visitors or delivery people. Let them come to the intercom and buzz them in or have security meet them at the door and sign them in. By giving our security door codes you put not only yourself but also your coworkers at risk, particularly those at the front desk. Some people, who would never give out their apartment building gate code, will freely give out the office code to a stranger.
Third, keep your personal property personal. Around the office, lock up your purse and carry a day planner with a couple of dollars tucked in it for the coffee wagon. Leaving your purse or wallet unattended or leaving your checkbook, credit card bills or pay stubs lying around on your desk invites someone to invade your privacy. As many people go in and out of an office, do not give out this information freely to co-workers.
Last but not least, do not get into the car or enter a hotel room or home of a fellow employee alone. They may seem nice (and may well be nice) but coworkers are only strangers who have a workplace in common with you. Interacting with a job does not make a person a trusted friend. Working and carpooling in a group will decrease the risk, but we aware at all times. Keeping alert and taking precautions at work will make your time at the office or plant safe.Last but not least