Visitor safety involves not only protecting visitors but also maintaining security throughout the workplace. There are certain steps you must take before and during a visit to ensure safety is achieved.
This week we will discuss best practice for facility visitors, ways to enhance the visitor’s experience, and provide some questions to consider regarding your facility’s emergency action plan.
Monday - Before Arrival
Providing your visitor vital safety information prior to their arrival will ensure both the visitor and escort are well prepared.
Below is a list of items to consider sharing with your visitor before they arrive.
- Your facility’s safety attire policy. Do they need to bring specific safety equipment? Does your facility provide safety equipment to guests?
- How and where do visitors check into the facility? What procedures are required and how should they notify their escort when they arrive?
- Are there any emergency action procedures they should know in case of emergency?
- Are there any other site specific safety requirements?
Tuesday - During the Visit
Once your visitor has arrived, verifying that they have all the required safety attire, understand the emergency action procedures, and are aware of any site specific safety hazards is the first step in insuring their experience at your facility is safe and effective.
Now that you know what to do before your visitor arrives, here are some best practices and questions to consider when the visitor is on site.
- Check In Process. Your facility should keep a record of when the visitor arrived, who their escort is, and any additional information regarding their visit.
- Identification. Providing a means of identifying visitors with a sticker or badge helps alert employees that someone is unfamiliar with the hazards in the area and extra precaution is required.
- Facility Escort. Ensure the visitor is provided an escort that can stay with them throughout the visit and is readily available in case there is an issue or emergency.
- Check Out Process. Recording when the visitor exits the building is just as important as when they arrive. Having a record that the visitor left will ensure proper accountability in case of an emergency.
Wednesday - Emergency Action Plan
what actions to take in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death.
Below are some questions to consider when developing or reviewing your EAP:
- Does the EAP address visitor safety?
- Are visitors briefed prior to or upon arrival to the facility?
- Do escorts understand how to react to ensure their visitor’s safety?
- Is there a means of accounting for all visitors in case of emergency?
Thursday - Unauthorized Visitors
Allowing unauthorized visitors poses several risks. Not only can unauthorized visitors distract employees and potentially cause an accident, but the visitors themselves are exposed to dangers of which they are unaware. Furthermore, unauthorized visitors increase the risk of theft and violence.
Below are some questions and recommendations for discouraging visits from unauthorized personnel.
- Educate employees on the visitor policy. Are all employees aware of what actions are required when a visitor arrives at the facility?
- Encourage employees to challenge anyone that does not have the proper visitor identification.
- Do not allow any non-employees entry into the facility without an escort and proper identification.
- If the visitor’s contact is not able to meet the visitor at the entrance, an employee should escort them to the correct person. Visitors should never wander the facility unsupervised.
Friday - Open Discussion
So far this week we’ve discussed what you can do to keep visitors safe in your facility. Below are some final questions to consider.
- Does your company have a visitor policy? If so, are you familiar with it?
- Does your company provide a means of identifying a visitor versus an employee?
- Are off limit areas clearly marked?
- How would you ensure your visitor’s safety in case of emergency?
- How could you or your safety team account for visitors if there was an emergency evacuation?
- How would you react if someone unfamiliar entered your facility without identification or approval?
- Does the visitor policy address contractors and other service personnel who frequently visit the facility?
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