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

Research Shows Reasons Behind Security Staff’s Susceptibility to COVID-19

Research Shows Reasons Behind Security Staff’s Susceptibility to COVID-19
29 June 2020
 

Age, working location, ethnicity, and working in close proximity to others have all been identified as factors that may contribute to security officers having one of the highest COVID-19 death rates.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) data published in May 2020 stated that men working as security guards had one of the highest COVID death rates, with 45.7 deaths per 100,000 (63 deaths). 

This new report, commissioned by Corps Security from Perpetuity Research and Consultancy International, revealed seven key issues. The intention of the research is to provide a better understanding of why security officers are so badly affected by the coronavirus. 

“This report gives us valuable insight and we’re delighted to share it with the wider security sector so we can work together and do all we can as an industry to ensure no more security officers die as a result of this terrible virus.”

–Mike Bullock

CEO,  Corps Security

 

Key Findings from the Report 

 

  1. Low-paid occupations were found to have the highest rates of death involving COVID-19 and front-line security work is typically low-paid
  2. The role of security officers generally involves close proximity and frequent interactions with others, and this was found to be a significant risk factor for contracting COVID-19, albeit it is not known whether security officers generally worked in a similar way in the crisis. However, their risk factor relating to exposure was not rated as high as healthcare personnel. The level of virus found in healthcare settings is much greater than among the general public yet death rates for healthcare staff are lower than for security officers
  3. Older people appear to be more vulnerable to COVID-19 compared to their younger counterparts and experience less favourable outcomes. Analysis of licences issued by the Security Industry Association (SIA) in 2019 suggests that 21 per cent were obtained by those over 55 years of age, compared to the UK average for all occupations of 19 per cent of the workforce in that age group. Yet 42 per cent of those with a manned guarding licence, were issued to those over 55 years of age
  4. More men than women have been affected by COVID-19 and because approximately 90 per cent of security personnel are men, the risk factor for the sector overall is higher than occupations with a lower proportion of males
  5. Not all groups in the UK have been affected by COVID-19 equally and ethnicity appears to be a significant risk factor. Nearly a third of security officers are from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds and vulnerability is linked to both genetic, social and economic factors. Within this group, Black Africans, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis appear to be particularly vulnerable and they are overrepresented among security officers
  6. The very nature of the role of security officers influences their risk to COVID-19. Being a frontline key worker may mean encountering conflict when trying to enforce COVID-19 guidelines and this may make social distancing more difficult. They also have to touch equipment and technology others have handled on a regular basis and may find it difficult to ensure they carry out frequent handwashing
  7. Many security roles are located in major cities and some of these, particularly in London, the Midlands and south-east have been particularly hard hit by COVID-19, affecting the vulnerability of those working there

 

“The ONS data made for difficult reading for the security profession,” said Mike Bullock, CEO of Corps Security.

“We wanted to know why security officers were so affected by the virus so we could better support and protect our people. This report gives us valuable insight and we’re delighted to share it with the wider security sector so we can work together and do all we can as an industry to ensure no more security officers die as a result of this terrible virus.”

Picture: A photograph of a person wearing a security guard's uniform. Image credit: Small Business Trends

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 29 June 2020

Share



Related Articles

Male Security Guards Have One Of Highest COVID-19 Death Rates

The Office for National Statistics has today published the latest figures regarding COVID-19 death by occupation, again revealing a high death rate in the security...

 Read Full Article
Speech to Text Technology Could Help Communication Whilst Wearing a Face Mask

To help overcome communication issues caused by wearing face masks, Corps Security has begun a pilot scheme which equips security officers with speech to text and...

 Read Full Article
Security Officer Appreciation Week – #ThankYourSecurityOfficer

A security services provider is hosting a series of thank-you visits to their colleagues to mark Security Officer Appreciation Week. Corps Security, a security...

 Read Full Article
Low City Footfall, Congestion Charge and the Effect on Security Officers

As fewer people commute to work in city centres, this will inevitably alter the role of the front of house security officer.  Theo Nicolaou, Managing...

 Read Full Article
Front-Of-House Strategies For Dealing With Aggressive Behaviour Post-Lockdown

It’s clear that the role of our front-of-house workforce and security staff is going to change significantly as buildings reopen. The security guard that greets...

 Read Full Article
How Is The Security Industry Protecting Its Workforce?

As safety and hygiene measures are ramped up on trains and at stations this week, security guards with crowd management training are being deployed. Trains have been...

 Read Full Article
UK Workers Unsure on Returning to Office Without Vaccine

Around half of UK office workers feel confident about returning to work without a fully vaccinated workplace. Research shows that 80 per cent of UK office...

 Read Full Article
Editorial Review | Managing Stress in the Workplace

In March's FM review, ThisWeekinFM's Editorial Team reflects on the past year, exploring how people have been feeling in the past few months and considering...

 Read Full Article
7 Ways to Improve Office Hygiene and Cleanliness 

With businesses already putting plans in place to get people back into the office, ensuring good hygiene practices is paramount in preventing any spread of coronavirus in...

 Read Full Article
Public Health to be Transformed With Formation of Two New Bodies

The Health Estates and Facilities Management Association is encouraging feedback on a recent proposal to overhaul England’s public health with the formation of two...

 Read Full Article