Oh, how things have changed. Mere months ago, protective security entailed managing all physical security incidents, threats, and operations – reducing risks to keep people and physical assets safe.
Now, in the midst of an ongoing pandemic, organisations have had to redefine the mission of their physical security teams in an effort to ensure that employees and customers avoid likely health threats, specifically community spread of COVID-19.
Why’s a place of mass gathering so difficult to pin down, even for owners and operators? The answer is more complex than you’d think. For one, place of mass gathering is a risk designation, extrinsic to the core function of the venue. Qualifying a venue as a place of mass gathering is its (high) potential to inspire terrorist attacks, which it becomes by concentrating large numbers of people.
For PCBUs (Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking), maintaining a safe workplace has never been more important – if you don’t do it, your competitor will. For, as the data shows, firms are increasingly leveraging effective safety management protocols to gain an advantage in the market.
As crises grow in kind and intensity, organizations need to take an intelligence-gathering and constant-monitoring approach to building their crisis management competency. This largely cyclical mode of lifecycle crisis management tends to be more strategy-oriented than the tactics-first approach implicit in the popular pre-crisis, crisis, and post-crisis models. For instance, the British crisis management standard, BS 11200, adopts a fairly cyclical framework that includes the following stages:
When surveyed, senior facilities managers admit that their respective organizations are unprepared to deal with the security risk to the built environment. That is even as risk, including threats like workplace violence, environmental incidents, and active shooter incidents, continues to grow.
In 2018 corporate security incidents came for everyone. Unfortunately, 2019 proved no better. But despite the fact that corporate security incidents invite public scrutiny more swiftly than ever, the number of organizations with an appropriate (security) crisis management and communications plan remains stuck around the 50 percent mark worldwide.
Today’s education sector is confronting a sharp uptick in risk and uncertainty. In turn, the practice of risk management is becoming foundational to the way schools, districts, and campuses operate, as effective risk management comes to be seen as a better way not only to identify and manage risks, but also to promote quality, continuity, and accountability.
Security incidents have become increasingly common in schools and universities. And bomb threats, in particular, are on the rise. Just look at the data.
It’s always been common for practitioners to treat safety and security as different properties – not just entities requiring different systems but distinct vocabularies and frameworks, as well. But increasingly the question is asked, how tenable is continuing to silo safety and security management? The answer: not tenable at all.