Mitigating human error in facility security

FM newsroom – facility security. They say, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link,” and often, that weakest link is a person. According to the Encyclopedia of Occupational Health and Safety, human error is the cause of up to 90% of workplace safety incidents. That’s a margin of error you can’t afford when it comes to security. What can you do as a facility manager to mitigate human error?

As a facility manager, it’s essential to know how to prevent and reduce human error in order to keep employees safe and protect the facility from security incidents. collected the fundamental steps an FM can take to enhance facility security by mitigating human error.

Automate as much as possible

Automated actions can’t be forgotten, performed incorrectly or left undone intentionally or unintentionally, thus automated solutions can make building security more efficient. There are a variety of smart devices organizations can set up to automate security. Smart card readers and locks can ensure controlled access to the building. Smart alarms can guarantee that alarms are always equipped appropriately and at the right times. Today’s alarms can also record activity, detect irregularities in terms of noise, loitering or intrusion and notify FMs right away.

Improve processes to reduce human error 

Technology solutions are only effective when security processes are specified. FMs should detail and define actions to know what the end-of-day lockup process looks like, what is the process for visitors to the building, what processes are in place to keep the workplace clear of hazards and encourage the use of safety equipment, etc. Once these processes are defined inefficiencies will show themselves more easily. FMs will see where things get off track, what steps employees seem to skip, and how can they be reinforced.

To ensure that the necessary changes stick, facility managers should take a look at the reasons process improvements often fail and address the concerns. Ensuring changes are not overly complex, that there is clear ownership of the new process, and that a new process is easily modified if necessary can help.

Updated action plan

Though facility operators probably already have an emergency action plan, it’s likely that they haven’t looked at it in a long time. It can be useful to take time to audit the facility’s safety plan. It’s important to move from having multiple small plans for specific situations to having a holistic security plan that takes all the organization’s systems into account.

This is another place where technology solutions can make a big difference. Having a platform that connects to all security systems and automatically sends alerts when anything is amiss is a vital part of maintaining facility security and minimizing human error.

Having an up-to-date emergency plan and improved processes, a facility manager’s next step to improve workplace safety is to hold training sessions so that employees can practice the proper response to emergency situations.

Reporting made easy and safe

Employees often notice problems with security processes and vulnerabilities in technology and situations. However, people don’t always speak up because they’re afraid of retaliation. By creating anonymous, easy ways to report security concerns, organizations can help maximize the positive impact of employee vigilance in keeping the facility safe.


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