Foreword by Michael O’Sullivan Esq

Welcome to the second edition of The Professional Security Officer Magazine.

Why theme it around health safety and welfare at work?

Shift-work, nights, long hours, violence, less than ideal working conditions, all combine to have adverse effects on your health. In Security jobs exist where all the above can be issues. Read to the end for more on violence!

Give the security guard that chair that no one else wants to sit on? Sure, they won’t complain. Well actually many do, and quite right! Sitting in a chair that doesn’t properly support you for long hours at a time? That can ruin your health over the long term. That’s just one example!

It’s well documented that each of the above, on their own, are enough to cause health problems. We are talking about both physical and psychological health. In combination, those problems can and will only be compounded.

Alarmist?

No…..

If anything, I’m not shouting the message loud enough! One thing we do know about the security industry are that there are far too many employers that pay scant, if any, attention to the specific needs of their security staff. Time to start calling them out. Everyone in the workplace is responsible for health and safety. Your first duty of care is to yourself, then those around you. Often forgotten here is the duty of care that other people also owe to you.

This message is important. Every day security staff help keep an untold number of people safe and prevent injuries. By keeping fire exits clear, preventing entry to premises to unauthorised persons, preventing slips, trips and falls, dealing with the abusive and violent so that other people don’t have to. Front line security staff are worth their weight in gold!

A typical injury due to a preventable slip at work, can cost an employer dearly. There are potential legal costs, compensation, cost of cover if someone is off work due to injury. Reputational damage is possible. There’s also the uncalculated cost to the employee in pain and suffering. They may have to undergo an operation, recuperation, physiotherapy and deal with any long-term consequences of an injury. Any compensation that they receive may seem a paltry sum. Its best to avoid all this in the first place.

Accidents don’t happen to you? Well, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve stepped into an area where the floor, freshly mopped, is still wet, with no warning signs and the lights turned off. Slips, trips and falls cost employers dearly every year. We can do a lot to help prevent these situations in the first place. Does your place of work have a near miss reporting policy for example? Is provided safety equipment being used properly? Ironically, I’ve tripped over more of those yellow warning signs than I’ve ever slipped on wet floors! The basics, like making sure that they are properly positioned, and removed when no longer required, makes a big difference.

In 2015 the SIA commissioned a survey which examined the levels of violence against security staff. Their findings would cause a national scandal if experienced in any other profession, including the police! At TPSO we are putting our heads together to develop a strategy to see what we can do about having this totally unacceptable situation addressed at the highest levels!

2018 also saw this announcement in many national media outlets: The Office of National Statistics says the average security guard dies at the age of 62 – when the average life expectancy in the UK is 79.2 years for men and 82.9 years for women…

The purpose of this edition is to highlight your importance and how vital it is to look after yourself.

As always, the theme developed in the magazine will continue to be developed on the website. We also announce all new material on the site via our social media channels so joining us there is the best and most reliable way of being kept up to date and joining in if you wish to.

TPSO, its your magazine.

Michael O’Sullivan

Michael O’Sullivan