Best Practices to Improve Your Warehouse Security Immediately
Warehouses and distribution centers are the heart of many businesses. Their operations must remain pumping, receiving, and distributing goods efficiently, to keep their companies alive and well. It is therefore critical that every precaution is taken in effort to prevent disruption and mitigate the effects of any uncontrollable emergencies. What are the best ways to do this?
Understand the Risks Your Facility Faces
Warehouses are an integral part of a company’s operations. They are responsible for storing goods, shipping them to the right locations, and making sure that they remain safe from elements as well as theft. With that said, companies must be aware of the risks associated with these facilities in order to avoid any potential major incidents and accidents. These include theft, accidental injury, and product and property damage. Being prepared to handle these incidents ahead of time can make all the difference to their lasting effects.
There are many different ways to improve warehouse and distribution center security for your business, but it all starts with understanding what type of threats you are dealing with. For example, do you have a lot of valuable inventory? Does your property layout provide opportunities for theft? Does your inventory management system lack transparency and accountability? Once these questions have been analyzed, it will be easier for you to create a plan that will work best for your needs. In this stage particularly, working with a knowledgable outsourced security firm that’s experienced in risk assessment and loss prevention could be extremely valuable.
Have An Effective Safety Plan
Does your facility have a safety plan in place? When was the last time it was audited and updated?
A comprehensive safety plan is important for the security and operation of every warehouse. It not only gives you the peace of mind that your people and property are protected, but also provides guidance on how emergency situations can be mitigated in the most effective manner possible.
Working with a trusted security partner to conduct regular audits of your security plan and systems can help prevent serious problems before they ever occur. Elements of your plan that should be reviewed regularly include:
- Requirements for effective surveillance such as lighting and camera placement
- Potential surveillance blindspots caused by landscaping and building design
- Security hardware maintenance, upkeep, and if necessary, updates
- Access control measures for employees as well as visitors
- Security patrol routes and frequency
- Reporting guidelines for any incidents
- Inbound and outbound shipping procedures
- Facility closing procedures
Warehouses are a prime target for theft, whether internal or external. This is the case for several reasons including the consistent presence of non-warehouse and temporary personnel as well as the numerous points of entry/exit for potential thieves. Loss prevention is crucial to the safety of your products and your bottom line. Effective measures to protect your facility against theft include:
- CCTV surveillance for live monitoring and retroactive monitoring as needed
- Motion sensors: Motion sensors can be installed in the warehouse and set off an alarm if they detect any movement, which could indicate theft.
- Alarm systems: Alarm systems can be installed in the warehouse and set off an alarm to alert emergency services.
- Professional security guards on-site 24/7 to act as a physical deterrent and monitor for suspicious activity
- Guard posts placed at main entry points
- Frequent and consistent patrols of both the facility’s interior and exterior
- Comprehensive background screenings for all personnel prior to employment
Theft doesn’t always have to come from an external party. Employees can sometimes put your assets at risk. A strong internal screening process can also help with your distribution center security or your warehouse security.
Emergency Preparedness for Your Facility
To prepare for the unexpected, you should make sure that your facility has an emergency plan that is understood by all employees. This includes knowing what to do in the event of a fire, earthquake, flood, or other disasters. You should also include a checklist for each employee and have them practice it regularly so that they are prepared for the worse.
This is where you need to have a safety policy in place. Your company should have strict rules about what employees can do while on the job and how they should interact with the goods being stored there. You should also have processes in place for any hazardous materials that might be used or stored at your warehouse.
Emergency preparedness protocols should include:
- An evacuation plan in case of emergency
- Communication policies to inform employees of an emergency
- A list of emergency contacts
- An outline of key emergency roles for employees
- A list of equipment and machinery that need to be shut down
- A guide on how to handle hazardous materials
- Employee training for the use of PPE and first aid
- Checkpoints with working fire extinguishers and first aid kits
Warehouses and distribution centers are the hubs of nearly every company that sells physical products. They are the facility where goods are stored, sorted, and shipped to customers. This puts them at high risk for criminal activity and workplace disasters, which is why emergency preparedness and warehouse security should be a high priority for every organization.
OPS Security Group has over 80 years of combined experience protecting executives, businesses, residents, guests and government officials throughout Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and New Jersey. As a regional security alternative with a service-first approach, we offer a level of customer service that international providers are too big to deliver. If you’d like to learn more, you can contact us at https://opssecuritygroup.com/contact/