Security in the Industrial Environment

Distribution centers are crucial aspects of any organization and require arguably the highest level of security. Considering the amount of goods, the value of those goods, and the way in which those goods are packaged, securing an industrial park is imperative. Add to this the size of the facility and the number of employees on site at any given time; security needs to be a priority. In the warehouse environment, the stakes are high, and the margin for error low. If you consider the loss in the event of vandalism that renders a loading dock unusable, therefore causing a shipment to a retail location to be late, the financial implications could be huge. Because of the magnitude of things at industrial parks, risk management strategies need to be dynamic in order to meet the needs of the client.

Industrial security begins with access control. Access needs to be limited to authorized personnel only. Considering the number of employees with access, this creates challenges, particularly in the times of heavy traffic. This is where having security personnel with experience not only in the industry, but with the specific site, are invaluable. A seasoned security officer will have established a strong baseline over his many shifts and will be able to identify anomalies in the form of unauthorized personnel.

While experienced security personnel are preferable, anyone with industry experience can tell you that this is not always practical. In the event that you have unfamiliar personnel on site, it is imperative that these individuals receive the training necessary to be familiar with and to enforce all company policies. Supervisors need to spend as much time with inexperienced guards as possible. When supervisors are not on site, it is important for security personnel to have client personnel available to them as a resource.

The sheer size of industrial parks can be intimidating when it comes to securing them. Luckily, technology makes large spaces much smaller and much more manageable when utilized properly. Strategically placed security cameras can greatly reduce the number of personnel needed to cover the immense land mass of distribution facilities. However, technology is only as good as the people monitoring and managing it. Without trained observers monitoring and recording activities of all cameras, the organization loses the element of observation and preparedness which is the key to prevention.

While technology plays a huge role in securing a huge facility like a warehouse, there is no substitution for human presence. Having active security personnel serves as a deterrent and allows for observation of areas not observed by cameras—blind spots. Having security personnel conducting routine rounds of the property is vital in maintaining a secure presence in order to deter potential crime. To manage guards as well as maintain accountability for reporting purposes, guard tracking technology is a preferred option when securing a distribution center. This technology can help management comprise accurate reports and ensure that all aspects of the facility are patrolled and observed by personnel. Including a camera in the security office that records security personnel activity is another good management tool that can confirm the safety of the security officers as well as their productivity.

Securing an industrial compound is no small job—one that requires motivated security personnel who are up to the task. While there are many challenges associated with this level of security, a competent security firm will ensure that through the effective use of technology, the proper design, and implementation of policies and procedures, and the necessary level of training and supervision, that security personnel will perform at a high level and ensure that the organization’s assets remain secure.