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.
So, why’s the case for siloing safety and security breaking down? Well, for one, safety and security threats rarely break down neatly on the malicious/non-malicious binary that’s long been the rationale for dividing the two programs. Further, when it comes to responding to actual safety and security incidents, practitioners often find it impossible (or unnecessary) to determine the intent behind the loss event.
Then, there’s duty of care. Protective security threats to physical assets and people (e.g. fires, explosions, industrial actions, vehicles, etc.) compromise compliance with legally-mandated environmental, health and safety protections, protections which directly implicate the Safety, Compliance, and Risk teams responsible for compliance with those mandates. In their turn, Security teams are often responsible for ensuring that physical security measures comply with external safety regulations.
Building better safety and security loss prevention strategies across the organization simply can’t be realized by siloing safety and security management. And the same can be said about any management function tasked with keeping people and property safe and organizations resilient. For instance, safety and security incidents often spiral into larger, critical events. Those critical incidents, irrespective of actorly intent, necessitate coordinated, cross-functional interventions, often involving Crisis, Emergency, Business Continuity, and Case Management.
What’s the solution? Integrated safety and security management provides the best way to break down the barriers, make incident response more efficient, and mitigate loss prevention.
Especially, now. You see, businesses are facing a wider array of threats than ever before: extreme weather and natural disasters, violence in the workplace, workplace accidents, property crimes, including trespassing, theft, sabotage, the list goes on. In numerous jurisdictions, firms are also dealing with the after-effects of tightened regulations at the local, state, and federal levels. What this means is the traditional mode of treating security threats as malicious and safety threats as unintentional is becoming increasingly obsolete: more and more threats are falling somewhere in between.
On the other hand, integrated safety and security management is well suited to covering the interactions between both sets of risk. Moreover, integrated safety and security technologies enable risk assessment methods, which play a major role in dealing with both types of threats, ensuring the safety of people, processes, and products. Integrating security capabilities within a safety management system also helps ensure the availability, reliability, and security of the safety management system. To learn more about the technology benefits, download our guide to integrated safety and security management.
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