The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Climate Change and Security Officer Wellbeing

Climate Change and Security Officer Wellbeing
09 June 2022
 

Rises in the cost of living, extreme weather changes and geopolitical upheaval are all factors that will have both long and short term effects on the wellbeing of security officers.

In the third part of this series on climate change and the security industry, Julie Hulme, Commercial Director at Expeditious Services, examines health and wellbeing in the security industry, and how businesses must adapt to keep their reams safe and comfortable.

Julie has worked for Expeditious Services since 2015. Julie began working in the Facilities Management and Security industry in 1990 and has experience in a range of senior roles within security and FM. Julie is a member of ASIS and is a committee member on the IWFM Northern board and Customer Experience group. At Expeditious Services, Julie is responsible for all commercial development and relationship management, particularly within the FM sector and with end-users. 

 

READ PART ONE HERE

READ PART TWO HERE

 

Wellbeing in the Security Industry

 

Climate change is set to impact the security industry significantly over the coming years, something we’ve discussed in previous articles. But how will these impacts affect security officer wellbeing?

 

"The global lack of resources, such as food and fuel will also see a rise in the cost of living. As security officers are typically paid minimum wage, this could increase issues such as stress, illness, or malnutrition. Employers have an opportunity to be mindful of this and support their teams where possible."

 

 

1. Hot Weather

 

As the weather becomes more extreme and polarised, security companies will have to consider how to keep their officers safe and comfortable throughout their shifts. During hot weather, patrols could be redesigned to involve shorter routes, and multiple officers taking them in turns, to reduce the amount of time an officer spends in the sun.  The officers themselves will also need to be protected against sun exposure and heat stroke. Sites should provide:

  • SPF.
  • Cold water for hydration.
  • A fridge for meals to avoid food poisoning.
  • Caps to cover the head during patrols.
  • Light-weight or short-sleeved uniforms to reduce the risk of overheating and fainting.
  • Regular breaks with places in the shade to go to.
  • Cooling devices, such as fans either kept in buildings or by a security officer.

 

2. Cold/Stormy Weather

 

Similarly, increasing amounts of extreme cold weather and storms could cause problems for security officers and their welfare whilst on site. Security service providers should consider providing:

 

  • Vehicles built specifically for handling extreme weather (such as floods, winds and snow) to keep officers safe when travelling across sites or between sites.
  • Uniform made specifically for cold, wet and stormy weather – e.g. jumpers, fleeces, hats, gloves, thick socks, waterproofs.
  • Proper toe-capped, weather-proof footwear to avoid blisters and other foot health conditions which may disrupt their work.
  • Shelters to shield from storms, wind, and snow, especially whilst on patrols.
  • Radiators or heaters in buildings and breakrooms.
  • Microwave & kettle to ensure warm food and drink are available throughout the shift.

 

3. Conflict and Risk

 

As mentioned in our previous article “What impact will climate change have on the security industry?”, conflict and general threats to businesses are likely to increase over the coming years. This will likely add pressure and stress to the role of a security officer and may increase the chances of witnessing a traumatic incident.

Responsible security service providers should look to support their teams during these times, by offering counselling or other mental health support, as well as additional training to be prepared for such situations.

 

4. Cost of Living

 

The global lack of resources, such as food and fuel will also see a rise in the cost of living. As security officers are typically paid minimum wage, this could increase issues such as stress, illness, or malnutrition.

Employers have an opportunity to be mindful of this and support their teams where possible, such as

  • Offering stable full-time roles, or dedicated hours instead of zero-hour contracts.
  • Paying above the national minimum wage rates, or becoming a member of the Living Wage Foundation to champion real wage rates.
  • Supporting employees throughout hardship, especially if it were to impact getting to work, e.g. no money for transport.

 

5. Personal Impacts

 

The far-reaching impacts of climate change will affect us all differently, security officers included. HR or People & Culture teams should be working with employees to understand their personal situations and provide support where possible, especially where these external worries start to affect their work. Things to look out for include a loss of jobs in the family, illness, stress, financial concerns, physical and mental health concerns, threats of migration due to their living situation.

Picture: a photograph of a group of protesters outside. One person is holding a large placard, which takes the form of a large "1.5 Degrees Celsius" structure.   Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Julie Hulme | Published 09 June 2022

Share



Related Articles

What Impact Will Climate Change Have on the Security Industry? – Part One

Despite the security sector not being a key industry contributing to carbon emissions, it is expected to face significant impacts due to climate change affecting the...

 Read Full Article
What Impact Will Climate Change Have on the Security Industry? – Part Two

How can the security industry as a whole help to lower carbon emissions?  In part two of this series on climate change and the security industry, Julie Hulme,...

 Read Full Article
Executives Invited to Join the World's-First Antarctic Climate Expedition

Aurora Expeditions is calling for applications to join the world-first Antarctic Climate Expedition in 2023, led by renowned oceanographer, marine biologist, explorer and...

 Read Full Article
Geopolitics of Energy – Who Has the Power?

Power delivered to our homes, institutions and businesses via the gas pipeline network or electricity grid is the result of highly complex international politics,...

 Read Full Article
Banks to Be Tested on Key Climate Change Scenarios

The Bank of England is to test banks and insurers on how resilient they would be in the event of extreme climate change scenarios. The Climate Biennial...

 Read Full Article
Hot, Hot, Hot - Bye, Bye To Hottest Decade

As we ring in the New Year, we will also be ringing out the warmest decade on record. And when viewed alongside 2016, the warmest year on record and dominated by a...

 Read Full Article
AI To Predict And Control Buildings' Energy Demands

BP has expanded its digital energy portfolio by investing in energy management platform, Grid Edge - AI technology predicts, optimises and controls a building’s...

 Read Full Article
Property Flood Resilience eBook Launches

A new Property Flood Resilience eBook has launched to provide businesses and home owners with over 40 real-life case studies from business and communities that have...

 Read Full Article
Climate Change Denier Blames Computer Warming Predictions

A leading climatologist has said that the computer simulations that are used to predict global warming are failing on a key measure of the climate today and cannot be...

 Read Full Article
Global Climate Report - Met Office Responds

The World Meteorological Organization has published a detailed analysis of the global climate 2011-2015 – the hottest five-year period on the instrumental...

 Read Full Article