Keeping a business, premise, or crowd secure is a complex task and security personnel, by the very nature of their work, often are placed in precarious situations. Staffing a security checkpoint, for instance, sometimes means that employees will have a degree of physical contact with members of the public. While the elements of unpredictability and split-second decisions are part of security work, they also present potential and significant risk for security companies. These important strategies are designed to help a security company with the risks inherent in this work
1. “Let’s go to the videotape!”
The first strategy should be to act immediately by prioritizing capturing all video related to the event in question, including anything before and after the incident. Retention of this critical video is often the most important piece of evidence related to your case defense. Further, if there are other items including photos, physical evidence or witness statements, act immediately to obtain them and preserve them.
2. Read the contract — then read it again!
Duty doesn't arrive out of thin air; it’s created and defined by contracts. Every part of a contract is important and enforceable, so reading and understanding that contract is essential. Not knowing what’s in a contract opens up a business to the possibility of breaching that contract through negligence or some other means, exposing the company to liability and loss. Consult with legal counsel to understand the contract language and to ensure the necessary provisions that will protect the business are included. Ensure employees understand what the contract requires and what areas security leaders are tasked with securing.
3. Prioritize training and safety
Ensuring security personnel is trained in industry-best practices means clients will be better protected and so will a business. Providing employees with the proper training in areas such as communication and de-escalation is vital to keeping order during a potentially volatile situation. Educate them on current laws and regulations pertaining to the security profession, especially those that pertain to the use of physical contact/force. Incorporate into the company’s training how technology, such as the latest monitoring systems, can be used by personnel to keep premises safe. Keep documentation of the training provided to employees, too. Investing in quality training will mitigate risk, which ultimately can play an integral role in keeping potential litigation costs down.
4. Be aggressive: Transfer risk to parties that may be responsible
A building owner or operator may have legal duties and insurance obligations that are different from security leaders’ responsibilities. Act immediately and work with legal counsel to minimize exposure, including transferring risk to remove liability from the business to another party. Finding representation that will turn over every stone, advocate zealously and never quit is a critical component to reducing risk to business.
Litigation is costly, especially when it drags on over an extended period. Security leaders want a resolution, not more discovery and depositions.