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Small business employees demand safer working environments

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A survey by ADT Security reveals small business employees are demanding safer working environments from their employers.

The survey revealed almost one in four employees (23%) believe their boss could be doing more to minimise the incidence of crimes such as robbery, shoplifting, internal theft, break-in, vandalism and assault.

The ‘Small Business Crime Index’ surveyed more than 500 small-to-medium business (SMB) owners and 500 SMB employees across Australia. It is the most comprehensive research into small business security measures and perceptions since ADT Security’s inaugural survey in 2010.

The survey found that almost half of Australian SMB employees (46%) would simply feel safer if their employer rostered two or more staff at all times, while a quarter (25%) wanted more training on security systems and procedures.

When asked what physical security measures could help improve safety, a third (33%) supported the use of CCTV in the workplace, a quarter (24%) wanted a monitored alarm system and one in five (21%) called for panic buttons to be installed.

For nearly half of respondents (44%), leaving work late at night or early in the morning is the main factor that causes concern about safety and security at work. Working shifts by themselves (32%) and being the target of assault (32%) are other major concerns.

Of employees that have fallen victim to a security threat, 34 per cent suffer from anxiety and 17 per cent are now too scared to be alone on premises. Female employees and those aged under 30 were even more likely to report these feelings.

Alarmingly, 14 per cent of SMB owners admitted having no measures in place to help protect employees and reduce theft. More than a third (37%) said they never train their staff on security procedures, while one in six (16%) only provide training when new systems are introduced or during a staff induction period.

Commenting on the survey findings, ADT Security’s Michael Bates said it may be impossible to completely eliminate the risk of crime, but a comprehensive security plan that takes into consideration employee safety concerns can help reduce the risk. This is particularly important as small businesses, particularly those in the retail sector, often roster just one or two people on late night and early morning shifts to cut costs.

ADT Security’s research also shows that employers need to be doing more to train staff in how to respond to a security threat as well as how to operate and respond to the security system. At a minimum, employers should provide refresher training on security systems and procedures once a year.

One of the world’s largest electronic security companies, ADT Security offers a number of affordable security solutions for small businesses including ADT Vision, an affordable video surveillance solution, Sensormatic Electronic Article Surveillance (EAS) systems to protect products against shoplifting, monitored alarms systems, access control systems and more.

Understanding the cash flow challenges facing small businesses, ADT Security provides a range of flexible payment options and lease arrangements for many of its solutions. Businesses can choose to purchase the equipment and pay for the system installation upfront or they can hire the security equipment and still enjoy all the benefits of a professionally installed system for a fixed low monthly payment.

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