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Preventing Office Theft and Other Crimes

  • Keep all valuables either with you or in a locked and closed cabinet or drawer
  • If you see a stranger in the office, find out who they are - Ask them if you can help them find who they're looking for
  • If you don't feel comfortable approaching a suspicious person, ask security to check on them
  • Always let someone know when to expect you to arrive at work and when you plan to leave
  • If you bring personal items to work, mark them with your initials or identification number
  • If you see damaged lighting, doors or windows, report them immediately
  • Be discreet about social or vacation plans in front of visitors or others you don't know

Common Trouble Spots

  • Reception area -- should be equipped with panic button, camera with monitor set up at another employee's desk and a door-locking device receptionist can control while behind desk
  • Stairwells and out-of-the-way corridors -- Never enter these spaces alone and talk with maintenance about improving lighting
  • Elevators -- Never get into an elevator with someone who looks strange or threatening - Get off the elevator as soon as possible is someone makes you uncomfortable
  • Restrooms -- Since attackers can hide in stalls, make sure restrooms are locked and only employees have keys - Use caution when in less-trafficked restrooms
  • After hours -- Don't work late alone and use buddy systems for walking to cars or public transportation or ask security to escort you
  • Parking lots or garages -- Only use well-lighted, guarded garages and keep your car locked with the windows rolled up.  If you notice anyone hanging around the garage, notify security or the police.  Have your key ready while approaching your car.  Before you get in the car, check inside it.  As soon as you are seated, lock the car.

Preventing Violence in the Workplace
Considers these points to make sure your workplace is as safe from violence as possible:

  • Is your office secure?  Do you have easy-to-use phone systems with emergency buttons, sign-in policies for visitors, panic buttons, safe rooms, security guards, office access controls, good lighting and safety training?
  • Does your employer take care in hiring and firing?  Before hiring, are employment gaps, history, references and criminal and educational records examined?  Are termination procedures defined clearly with attention to advance notice, severance pay and placement services?
  • Could you recognize potentially violent employees?  Sign of stress that could erupt into violence include:  depression, frequent absences, talking in a louder-than-normal voice, being startled easily, increased irritability and impatience and concentration and memory problems.
  • Are you encouraged to report unusual and worrisome behavior?  Is there a clear, written policy that spells out procedures in case of violence and sanctions for violators?  Make sure you know to whom you should report unusual behaviors.
  • Do you work in a supportive, harmonious environment?  Is there a culture of mutual respect?  Does your employer provide an employee assistance program (EAP)?