Using Security Cameras to Promote Workplace Safety and Reduce Costs
Most businesses today install video surveillance systems to help defend against threats outside of their four walls. These can include:
- Visual records of break-ins and vandalism
- Capturing unauthorized activity in parking areas
- Footage of theft of inventory stored outdoors
But have you considered how high-quality video surveillance cameras can help you defend against risks inside your facility? Smart manufacturing companies and other businesses are now using video surveillance systems to defend against such risks – particularly questionable workers’ compensation claims – by providing a detailed record of exactly what happened, when it happened and who was involved.
The wisest deployments of video technology mandate that each camera should have a specific and detailed job tied to its own “mission statement.” Here are some examples:
- Camera A is to monitor the hands of the punch press operator to address accountability in the event of a workers’ compensation claim. The camera is to help management determine whether the worker actually does not know what to do or is just choosing to not follow the proper procedures. The camera can help answer the following questions:
- What were the forensics of the injury event?
- Were the safety procedures being followed?
- Is there a training issue and is remedial training in order?
- Cameras B and C are to monitor the loading dock and record whether only proper personnel are actively in the work area at all times.
- Camera D is to provide a long axis view of the production line and provide a record of any time when the line is either improperly attended or when a reviewable event is needed.
The ROI for interior video surveillance cameras can be substantial. Think about the last workers’ comp claim you either paid or avoided. The cost is significant, but so are the savings — and not just in terms of the claim itself. Think about lost worker hours, recruiting new talent, retraining backup personnel. Identifying training or procedural issues before an event happens makes the difference between management’s voluntary and proactive actions or reacting to an unfortunate, costly incident.
Additionally, properly placed cameras can also help detect and prevent internal theft by integrating security cameras with an access control system to identify who entered specific storage areas that may otherwise be unseen.
Are you dealing with an inventory shrinkage issue? Does it appear that employees could possibly be involved? Placing discreet cameras at the storage locations or staging points of inventory that could be hidden and removed from the building may shed light on the problem.
Here are a few more video surveillance best practices to consider to help mitigate risks at your facility:
- Make sure you control the flow and accessibility of your video data. A key feature of well-designed commercial video surveillance systems is the ability to control which employees and managers have access to which cameras. Give this some thought before proceeding.
- Ensure that you have the ability to remotely view any of your cameras at any time from virtually anywhere – whether it be a laptop at home, your smartphone on the road or a tablet when on vacation.
- Regularly review your video surveillance footage to identify and resolve potential video system problems, or better yet, invest in software that automatically does this for you. If your total video surveillance system size (both interior and exterior cameras) is significant – for example, over 50 cameras across multiple buildings – consider adding software that will automatically evaluate the health of the video system, including cameras, servers, switches and connections. Nothing can be more frustrating than investigating a problem or an event only to find that the relevant camera(s) have been improperly aimed (or re-aimed) or are otherwise not generating the proper view, image quality or frame rate.
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