Take good care of security guard health and safety during Covid-19. Both physical and mental health matter
It has been challenging for field service employees, especially security guard, to perform their duties during Covid-19. While their workloads have been added, people tend to ignore their effort as they put in safeguarding their community. It’s time to stand out and acknowledge their hard work. Meanwhile, we shouldn’t ignore security guard health.
Security guard health and safety are in danger during Covid-19
Security guards are highly exposed to Covid-19
Due to the nature of security job content, in no way could a security guard avoid contactless interactions with others as much as possible. Hence it has placed them at a high-risk to Covid-19. A frontline worker means experiencing conflicts between adherent to Covid-19 safety precautions, social distance protocol in particular, and security duty. They may encounter infected people for no reason and are vulnerable to this kind of situation.
Moreover, they inevitably touch equipment or items when they perform their duty. It has also added the risk of infection.
All these factors have contributed to the high infection rate, moreover, morality rate. According to Office for National Statistics in the UK, followed by nursing home aides, chefs and taxi drivers, those working in the security guard sector had the 4th death rate involving COVID-19, 100.7 deaths for every 100,000 males. This cruel fact has indicated the danger of security guards.
Extra workload related to medical tasks
Previously, security guards mainly focused on preventing the loss of goods or shoplifting and general staff security. Now, the role of security guard needs a greater level of communication skills and an understanding of healthcare protocols to protect visitors.
Many security companies have increased their effort regarding medical tasks to safeguard their community. Medical tasks are related to temperature checking, mobility tracking, social protocol instruction/persuasion and patrolling disinfected areas. In particular, one extra task for security guards is to safeguard the place’s entrance by preventing sick people or people who fail to obey social protocol from entering. Meanwhile, they need to ensure the number of people at the place must be within the limit.
The original role of security guards remains. They still need to prevent loss and damage and trespassers. Nevertheless, their pay is likely to remain the same, and their effort is being ignored. This has lead to the next point, security guard frustration.
Security guard mental and physical health is affected: Frustration from unruly visitors.
While security guards perform their duty regarding Covid-19 precautions, some people may disrespect their hard work and even attack them for being restricted by social distance protocols. Several cases of attacking security guards happened in the United States because visitors fail to obey Covid-19 precautions, including not wearing masks or maintain social distancing.
Besides, some security guards are disappointed by people’s attitudes. According to The Guardian, interviewees who work as security guards said that the public is ignoring them. Meanwhile, they don’t get extra pay. “Sometimes I get a little peeved when people just focus on grocery workers and mail carriers. I wonder, ‘What about us?” ”We’re all overworked and underpaid and still nowhere – not in the media or government – is anyone saying anything” “I don’t see anyone raising the flag for us.” We can see that security guards have lots of frustration during this period. Both their mental and physical health has been significantly undermined.
Take good care of security guards, not only security firms can do, but also anyone.
As security guard companies, you can:
Take care of security mental health. Provide encouragement
Security guard managers should communicate with security guards more than often. Afterward, they can spot the signs of mental ill-health.
Apart from communication, encouragement and motivation are also important. Security managers can show appreciation for security guards’ hard work, demonstrate their confidence in their hard work, and recognize their achievement during this pandemic. However, all these interactions are subject to social distance protocol.
Provide sufficient security guard safety training during Covid-19
New roles of security guards related to medical tasks may increase the risk of being infected. It is due to their frequent contact with visitors and equipment. Therefore, it’s crucial to offer sufficient security guard safety training to minimize their risk of infection.
The latest security guard safety training can successfully minimize human interaction by using technology. While there existed an increasing need for security service to provide the technology training of frontline employees even before Covid-19, it spurred these evolutions to occur more rapidly. Moreover, security officers must receive sufficient training on technology for the latest protocols such as temporal screening and contact tracing efforts.
Provide sufficient security guard safety equipment
Security companies should:
- Provide security guard safety equipment such as safety glasses/goggles, disposable nitrile gloves and respiratory protection (surgical masks).
- If necessary, in security guard stations, companies should install plexiglass or acrylic glass barriers to safeguard security guards from a potential droplet infection.
- Record attendance and work progress by minimizing physical contact (i.e., use visually verify ID badges or identification, attendance app from mobile phones).
- Offer sanitization products for free. Require security guards to disinfect their uniforms and equipment after duty.
Respond to their requirement in a soft tone. Be nice to them.
Whenever you enter a place, security guards generally perform a temperature check, ask you to scan a QR code to record your journey, or to wear a mask properly. Please reply to security guards kindly and abide by what they ask for. It’s part of their job while it can ensure your safety at the place you are entering.
Even though it’s a subtle action, it embodies your respect and understanding of their hard work, which helps combat Covid-19.
In conclusion, security companies can protect security guard health and safety by providing regular conversations (subject to social distance protocol), the latest security guard safety training regarding Covid-19, and sufficient security guard safety equipment. As individuals, when entering a place, we can respect them simply by following their instructions without resistance.