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How has the safety landscape
changed over the years?
The current threat environment has
changed significantly in recent times
and as a consequence we all have a
growing responsibility to ‘play a part’ in
the safety landscape for everyone. No
longer can large scale events go ahead
or organisations do business without
the safety of patrons and staff being the
We have moved from reactive procedures
being put in place to deal with issues
concerning safety and moved towards
increased levels of planning, organisation
and coordination to ensure a thorough and
consistent approach to safety is taken.
Based on recent incidents,
are there noticeable patterns
in behaviour that onsite or
ground staff should flag and
monitor going forward?
Given the heightened level of safety
concern and the national threat advisory
level of probable it is important that a
secure culture be engaged. There are a
number of behaviours and vulnerabilities
which onsite and ground staff should
always have front of mind and consider.
While suspicious people or items can be
detected through strong access controls
it is awareness and challenging the norm
which helps to highlight threats to an
event or workplace.
People being seen to survey the
site and monitor security would be
considered suspicious. Use of cameras
and phones to gather information on
timings, security and response times
should again raise alarm. Recent theft of
uniforms and ID should also raise alarm
as this may signify that perpetrators
are planning on impersonating staff or
security on site.
Suspicious vehicles also need to be
reported. Those parking for unusual
amounts of time or delivery procedures
and suppliers changing are again
vulnerabilities which may be a risk.
Finally, look out for people asking
unusual questions about security practices
and movements of certain people.
How would you recommend
managers to nurture a sense
of shared responsibility
towards safety management
across all levels?
A secure culture needs to be created
where workplace awareness is normal in
the daily routine. Staff and management
need to be alert, report what they see and
challenge the norm.
Management need to lead by example
displaying safety conscious behaviour
at all times. They need to engage with
employees, wear identification and create a
relationship of trust which encourages staff
to feel safe, valued, protected and a
sense of team.
Regularly performing safety and security
audits and consulting staff allow voices
to be heard and risks to be highlighted.
Remember, staff are more likely to engage
if they feel involved and listened to.
What are some of the
challenges that could be
anticipated during this process?
There are four main challenges which can
impede the effectiveness of a secure culture
in the workplace:
a. Employee Engagement
Disgruntled staff who are resistant
Staff believe re-training is useless,
boring and a waste of time
Assignment of responsibilities can cause
competitiveness and buck passing.
b. Time and Effort
Planning and updating procedures and
documentation takes time and effort
Changing workplace culture takes time
Training and exercise drills are time
consuming and eat into the working day.
Maintenance and audit of safe and
secure practices and physical layers of
security takes time to conduct.
c. Increased costs
Structural improvements to increased
security and preventative safer by designs
principles can be costly particularly in the
Regular maintenance and risk
assessments also cost money to undertake.
It is important to note that increased
costs in the short term may actually save
money in the future.
d. Creating a consistent and engaging
form of communicating safety
procedures, updates and alerts is
always a challenge.
Craig Sheridan is a retired commissioned police officer with 29
years of experience with the NSW Police Force. Today he heads
Sheridan Consulting Group, an organisation which provides
executive personal protection to VIPs and Government
Officials. Bonnie Tai sits down with him to discuss the changing
security landscape and what event planners can do to keep
their attendees safe during these uncertain times.
WHAT DO EVENT
1. An understanding of the current
threat environment and the
challenges it presents.
2. An understanding of their role
and responsibilities as owners/
operators of a crowded place.
3. A thorough methodology of
Safety and Security planning and
4. How to prepare, respond and
recover from a major incident
using world’s best practice
PREPARING FOR THE WORST
38 Spice February 2018
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