Many hazards can be prevented. Workplace accidents are a good example. A comprehensive accident prevention program can reduce the frequency of accidents dramatically. Most fires can be prevented. Spills of hazardous chemicals can be avoided. Business disruptions resulting from machinery breakdown can be prevented by following the manufacturer’s recommendations for inspection and maintenance.
Resources for hazard prevention include OSHA’s free on-site consultation for small business. OSHA also provides many resources to evaluate and improve workplace safety. Many insurance companies provide free workplace safety, property loss prevention and other assistance for their policyholders. Check with your agent, broker or underwriter to see what services are available. Contact your local fire department’s fire prevention division for assistance with fire prevention.
Deterrence is a strategy to prevent criminal activity. A building with clear lines of sight and lighting around its perimeter is not an easy target for criminals. Security of all entrances and screening of visitors, contractors, employees and packages is another element in a good security program. A properly designed and installed intrusion detection system provides a measure of deterrence and can provide notification of unauthorized entry. Security begins with every employee. Consider providing basic training for all employees so they know how they can contribute to a secure workplace.
Cyber or information security should be a part of the security program. Installation of antivirus and anti-spyware software and maintaining strong firewalls are essential to protect network and information security. Keeping computers updated with the latest operating system and application “patches” should be part of the cyber security program.
Natural hazards such as flooding, earthquakes and hurricanes cannot be prevented. However, there are still opportunities to reduce damage from natural hazards.
- Protect Your Workplace Campaign -U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Bureau of Investigation
- Guide for Premises Security - National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 730
- Standard for the Installation of Electronic Premises Security Systems - NFPA 731
- Fire Safety - OSHA
- Equipment Start-Up, Shutdown & Maintenance and Maintenance Fact Sheets - Hartford Steam Boiler
- FM Global Property Loss Prevention Data Sheets - FM Global
- Computer Security Resource Center - National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Computer Security Division, Special Publications (800 Series)
- Information Security Handbook: A Guide for Managers – NIST, SP 800-100
- Risk Management Guide for Information Technology Systems - NIST, SP 800-30
- Generally Accepted Principles and Practices for Securing Information Technology Systems - NIST, SP 800-14
- An Introduction to Computer Security: The NIST Handbook - NIST, SP 800-12
- Standard for the Protection of Information Technology Equipment – NFPA 75
- Reference Manual to Mitigate Potential Terrorist Attacks Against Buildings – Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 426
- Primer for Design of Commercial Buildings to Mitigate Terrorist Attacks – FEMA 427
- Site and Urban Design for Security: Guidance against Potential Terrorist Attacks – FEMA 430
- Incremental Protection for Existing Commercial Buildings from Terrorists Attack: Providing Protection to People and Buildings – FEMA 459