Do Your Staff Work Nights? How Security Cameras Could Help Keep Them Safe

It is the responsibility of every employer to take all reasonable steps to keep their employees safe at work. Some business owners even go the extra mile to look after their team because they value each staff member and want to be known as a caring employer. There are plenty of risks to counter and overcome in the daytime, but  – the risk can become even greater at night. If you have staff who work three hours or more between the ‘night hours’ of 11 pm to 6 am the next morning, then they are classed as night workers. Night work continues in many industries, from pubs, bars and clubs to factories and warehouses.

What risks do night workers face?

The biggest problem with nightwork is dark. Without adequate visibility, it's easy to trip over something and sustain an injury. Glare and shadow can be further issues even with bright lighting in work areas. There are also fewer people in some work environments (i.e. factories, the back streets behind a bar) at night, which, combined with the dark, can tempt a criminal to seize the opportunity to break in and steal from the business.

There’s also getting to and from shifts to think about, as heading home on foot at 3 am after a shift at the bar can be extremely dangerous. Lastly, working nights can lead to problems with worker fatigue, especially for new members of staff who are used to sleeping at night rather than working. If an employee’s sleep pattern is all off-kilter, they could feel sleepy and less alert than they should be, which could be a recipe for disaster if they are working with anything remotely dangerous.

How Security Cameras can help

You, as an employer, can do several things to help keep your night workers safe, many of which have additional benefits for the business. Surveillance spy cameras can play a big part in your improvements in the following ways:

  • Cameras placed in any areas where public members have access, or even areas they don’t, can act as a strong visible deterrent to criminal behaviour or attempted assault or abuse of your staff.
  • Surveillance cameras placed in high-risk areas can also make your staff members feel safer while at work.
  • External cameras can help to protect your business premises and assets from theft or vandalism, reducing the risk that your staff may encounter criminals or face unnecessary risks during a break-in.
  • Camera surveillance can also help identify areas of poor lighting, where mistakes often happen before an accident or injury occurs.

From a non-safety point of view, camera surveillance can also help to protect staff in other ways. For example, if some money goes missing from a bar, the video evidence can help exonerate staff members and prove what happened. It can also be used for training purposes, to help employees see where they can improve, how to avoid mistakes and generally boost the standard and quality of their work. Sometimes, it's hard to see that things require improvement unless you can play the footage of a moment, interaction or even a whole shift back.  

Wi-Fi Monitoring

Simply the presence of a camera on your business premises can be enough to deter would-be criminals and aggressive customers, who could put your staff at risk. However, your cameras are only effective if they are monitored somehow. If your staff discovered that the on-site cameras weren't monitored, they could lose all confidence in the measures you’'ve put in place to keep them safe – and perhaps even work quality and motivation could go down.

The good news is that you don’t need to hire a full-time security guard to monitor your cameras, nor do you need to buy an expensive system with a link-up to a private security firm. Many WiFi surveillance cameras can be monitored easily by the user. You don’t need to sit in front of a bank of screens or even spend hours fast-forwarding through footage where nothing happens. With Wi-Fi surveillance cameras, you can check in on your staff and business premises from your smartphone, tablet or laptop wherever you are, whether it's your office, home or even a holiday destination.

You can also use motion-activated cameras in restricted areas (where no one is supposed to be) so that you receive alerts and notifications on the device of your choosing when motion is detected. These cameras only start recording when motion is detected through a highly sensitive sensor, which means that all the footage you review at the end of each day will be valuable. Something will happen in each second of the film, so there’s no wasted time.

You and your staff can use these cameras to protect the premises and the rest of the team. If a staff member spots something fishy (i.e. someone spotted lurking around the back of the premises), they can report it to you. You can then check the relevant footage on your phone for the rest of the shift, keeping a close eye out in case the incident happens again.

So, are Surveillance Cameras worth the investment?

Most business owners would wholeheartedly say yes, especially those who operate at night. Security cameras offer protection for your staff and night workers. Still, they offer so much more, from protecting your business and deterring thieves to improving working practices and giving you some much-needed peace of mind when you're away from the business. Even locking up at night becomes so much easier when you know that cameras protect the premises in your absence and that you can check in via phone whenever you feel worried.