Your security is your responsibility at all times wherever you are .Whether you are within the confines of your home at night,earning a living at your workplace during the day,doing some shopping at your favorite mall in the afternoon,keeping fit in the gym down the street in the evening or commuting to and from work in a personal car or a matatu.You are your own best keeper.
With some-or most-of the above environments and situations, we have the right of choice to be in them or not.And as we make those choices,our personal security should be in the list of the important factors, alongside distance,price,taste etc,that inform our choices of these environments and situations.Even in the few cases where our freedom of choice is limited,the understanding of the security risks around us will still enable us make other possible steps in order to secure our personal safety.Like making our concerns known to the relevant authority for action,for example.
But what are the things you look out for when determining and analyzing the security risks,or lack of it, within your personal environment of operation?
1)Risk avoidance– check whether there things going on or present that can endanger your safety but do not even need to be there in the first place.It must have not skipped your memory that when Nakumatt Downtown went up in flames,and many people lost their lives,it became clear that the damage could have been less if filled gas cylinders were not housed within the premise.There are many other security risks that can be avoided if some harmful substances and activities that do not have to be around are kept away.Recently there were reports in the media of works producing sparks being carried out near petroleum storage and transportation tanks of Kenya Pipeline (KPL) with no regard to the danger posed .That is one example of an avoidable security risk that you should look out for.
2)Risk reduction-check out for steps taken to cut effects of disaster when they occur.This includes,but not limited to,fire extinguishers strategically placed,usage of signage with clear and non technical language,having skilled human help at hand like well-trained security guards,metal detectors and well labelled exit doors.First Aid kits are also an important part of disaster preparedness.For a vehicle,road worthiness,driver fitness-drunkenness- and properly installed safety belts are among the things you should look out for before entrusting your life to it on the road.
3)Risk retention-This is the hardest risk analysis to carry out.Because this is about policy that has no physical evidence.The facility management should have a policy of accepting responsibility for risks within their jurisdiction.The only way to find out about this is by studying the organization’s past handling of crisis.
4)Risk transfer-In a nutshell,this has everything to do with insurance covers taken for various risks and various stakeholders.If you staff your interest will run from medical cover to workman compensation insurance cover.Depending on type of business,clients have different insurance covers.Evidence of these covers are usually displayed as per legal requirements. Kenyan law requires all vehicles to have taken insurance cover,including third party.It is prudent to not only use cars-including PSVs- that have valid insurance covers, but also make sure the activities within the facilities do not breach the insurance policy e.g overloading.
Failing to make a quick analysis on these aspects of risks and risk management around your personal environment, might come in very costly on you.Of course,it is not possible to have an ideally safe personal environment, but trying to lower the risks of breach on your personal security, even if minimally, makes a difference between life and death