As a business owner, you want to provide a safe and healthy work environment for your staff. Doing so presents special challenges when your business operates overnight, as night shift workers are vulnerable to certain safety concerns that daytime workers are not. By proactively addressing these issues for your employees, you can mitigate risk and keep your night shift team members safe. Here are five ways to keep night shift employees safe:
Consider Hiring a Security Guard
Having a professionally trained security guard on site during night shifts will make things significantly safer for your staff. A security guard will monitor who comes in and out of the building and make sure that unauthorized people do not have access to your business. If an employee has a safety concern, such as being nervous to walk to their car late at night, the security guard will assist them. If you are in an industry with a large amount of cash on hand or expensive equipment, a security guard is even more essential.
Add Plenty of Exterior Lighting
Your staff will feel much more safe if they can come and go during shift changes and breaks without having to walk into a dark parking lot or shadowy, poorly lit office entrance. Having more exterior lights installed and opting for very bright lighting will make your staff feel safer and will also help deter a would-be vandal or burglar, since most criminals prefer to operate in darkness rather than risk being caught.
Be Careful About Scheduling
One hidden danger of night shift work is fatigue. When someone has trouble adapting to their night schedule, they may not get nearly enough rest and become sleep deprived. This is unsafe because sleep deprivation is linked to many negative effects, including difficulty making decisions and concentrating, poor memory, and a tendency to make mistakes and even get into accidents. This is not only problematic when it comes to workplace productivity, but it is also dangerous, especially if your employees operate equipment or work in a medical setting.
One way to mitigate this is to be especially thoughtful and careful when scheduling your night shift employees. Rotating shifts where employees sometimes work during the day and sometimes work at night are not recommended by sleep experts. Instead, offer consistent shifts with more than enough time in between to rest. It's also a good idea to allow new night shift employees an adjustment period before you assign them to critical projects.
Add a Smart Security System
Another important element of your safety plan should be to have a smart security system installed. A modern security system will allow you to monitor your business and control the security system remotely from your phone or computer, which is important when running a business that operates around the clock. As long as you set your system up to be monitored, an emergency such as a break-in will immediately notify the appropriate authorities. Plus, the presence of a security system, especially one with obvious cameras, is often enough to deter criminals.
Implement Controlled Access
Finally, to really batten down the hatches and keep your night shift employees safe, consider implementing a controlled access system. Only authorized personnel will have access to the building, either through a scannable card or a keycode that can be changed frequently. Just be sure to train your staff to always close entrance and exit doors securely to prevent the controlled access system from being bypassed.
By following these tips, you will ensure that your night shift employees feel safe and secure at work and you will gain significant peace of mind at the same time. Contact a security company for additional advice.