Local News

Businesses Making Sure Employees Are Safe In Workplace

Posted November 14, 2001

— Many companies and local government agencies increased security following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. There has been a huge increase in the number of organizations requesting background checks of employees, and Wake County has been very progessive in this area.

As you enter Wake County buildings, more people are watching what you do.

"We have grown from one or two officers to a multitude of officers across many county facilities," said Glenn Blackley of Wake County General Services.

Two months ago, the Wake County Board of Elections did not have a guard stationed at the building 24 hours a day, but it does now. Officials also implemented many low-cost procedures at the county's 116 buildings. Employees now have to wear a badge at all times.

"Everyone had a badge, but it was not something that we insisted all county employees do," Blackley said.

The county also increased security for parking underneath buildings.

"We only used the roll-down grill after hours when the building was closed to prevent folks from wandering in and out. However, now we use the roll-down grill 24-7," Blackley said.

Mike Tucker, president of Risk Management Associates, a security-consulting firm based in Raleigh that has 250 clients across the country, said he always advises clients to make sure the security procedures already in place are working. He also said security is changing, and it should not be a mystery to employees.

"They should look at things that will be minor hindrances, like having to wear your ID badge, or like when you come in with a briefcase at the front entrance and the receptionist is going to ask you to open the briefcase [and understand]," he said.

Wake County is in the second year of a seven-year plan to increase security. Part of the changes include reducing the number of entrances to buildings and reconfiguring some of the entry points, so they can add more metal detectors and other security measures.

The county is also using a weekly newsletter to educate its work force about the changes.

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