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Safety Preparation in the Event of Terrorism

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 31 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Workplace Terrorism Preparation Safety

Here in the UK, we will all be familiar with the aftermath of terrorist activity even if this is only through the media. However, it’s important that we all remain vigilant as terrorism can strike at the heart of any community at any time, often without warning and workplaces are often used as specific targets.

Advice for Businesses About Terrorism Preparation

If you’re looking for advice on how to stay safe in the event of a terrorist threat that might be aimed either directly or indirectly at your workplace, it’s well worth speaking to your local police force. Several police forces throughout the UK have put together information packs and can come and visit your workplace to discuss anti-terrorist measures you can put in place to minimise the risks from the threat of terrorism. Although these measures may differ from one workplace to another, here is some useful advice which will be valid to all companies.

How Staff Should Stay Vigilant

Firstly, your company should already have taken certain security precautions to protect its premises and staff and these should be constantly checked, reviewed and updated where necessary. Security measures should also be extended to how the staff can help too. They should be advised to stay vigilant when on their way to and from work and even when they are out and about socialising – remember…a seemingly innocent conversation in a bar, for example, might be used to obtain information which could then be used to threaten a company’s security.

Staff should also be encouraged to report anything suspicious to their manager and to the police, if necessary. Depending on the nature of their work, staff should also be told not to leave any of their possessions unattended in the workplace as this can cause unnecessary security alerts. They should also keep an eye out for any unusual behaviour or unknown visitors in the workplace and, if they suspect that something’s ‘not quite right’, they should be encouraged to politely challenge a person if they suspect they might not be on the company premises legitimately. For any immediate threat to safety however, they should call 999.

What Companies Can Do

All security policies and procedures should be included in a company’s health and safety booklet which all staff should be familiar with. It’s important that a company ensures that each member of staff is aware of all the necessary procedures and that they are adhering to them. All security devices such as CCTV and alarm systems should be in good working order and checked regularly.

The company should also have an emergency evacuation plan in place and all the staff should be familiar with it. Communication tools should also be in place within the company so that each member of staff who is present in the building can be instantly informed of any terrorist threat that may be imminent and a record of all members of staff who are in the building at any particular time should be maintained. It’s also worthwhile considering how you might best contact staff whose jobs might involve them being out on the road or in the event that they are travelling to or from work.

Post Rooms

Suspicious packages being delivered to post rooms has been one of the more commonly used tactics of terrorists who have used this method in the past to deliver incendiary and explosive devices. With the possibility that packages could conceivably also include chemical or biological matter, it’s even more important these days that staff who are responsible for dealing with incoming mail are even more vigilant. The police and Post Office will be able to offer useful advice on the tell-tale signs which might signal a suspect package and how you should deal with that.

Some companies present a more significant target to terrorists than others and, no doubt, both companies and their staff will have varying degrees of counter-terrorism measures in place than others. Nevertheless, it is well worth speaking to your local police authority no matter what kind of business you have or what size it is as terrorism can strike at the heart of any workplace indiscriminately any time, even if your company has not been specifically targeted and you might have just been in the firing line indirectly so it’s worth having some knowledge and even basic precautionary measures in place.

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