The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department today reminds people that when you go to work, don’t leave your crime prevention sense at home. Almost any crime that can happen at home or in your neighborhood can happen in the workplace. But common-sense prevention skills can help make life “at work” safer for all.
To deter office theft and other crimes:
- Purses, wallets, keys and other valuable items should be kept with you or locked in a drawer or closet;
- The identity of any strangers in your office should be checked. They should be asked whom they are visiting and if you can help them find that person. If there is something about them that makes you uncomfortable, security or management should be contacted about your suspicions;
- Always let someone know where you will be, whether you're coming in late, working late, going to the photocopier or mail room, or going out to a lunch or meeting;
- If you bring personal items to work, such as a coffeepot, mark them with your name or initials and an identification number;
- Report any broken or flickering lights, dimly lit corridors, doors that don't lock properly, or broken windows.
- Be discreet. Don't advertise your social life or vacation plans and those of your co-workers to visitors.
Common trouble spots should be scrutinized:
- The receptionist should have a panic button for emergencies, or a camera with a monitor or a lock on the front door that can be controlled.
- Employees should only use stairwells and out-of-the-way corridors when accompanied by another person;
- Don't get into elevators with people who look out of place or behave in a strange or threatening manner;
- Make certain restrooms are locked and only employees have keys;
- Don't work late alone. Have a buddy system for walking to parking lots or public transportation;
- Choose a well-lighted, well-guarded parking garage.
- Lock your car as soon as you get in, before you buckle up your seat belts.
For violence in the workplace:
- Violence in the workplace can take many forms, from raised voices and profanity to sexual harassment to robbery or homicide. Attackers in the workplace are not usually disgruntled co-workers, they are unknown assailants;
- Is your office secure? Do you have easy-to-see phone systems with emergency buttons, sign-in policies for visitors, panic buttons, security guards, good lighting;
- Does your employer take care in hiring and firing. Are termination procedures defined clearly with attention to advance notice, severance pay and placement services?
- Can you recognize potentially violent employees? Signs of stress that can become violence includes depression, frequent absences, talking in a louder than normal voice, increased irritability and impatience;
- Are you encouraged to report unusual or worrisome behavior;
- Do you work in a supportive, harmonious environment. Is there a culture of mutual respect?
- City News Service