Regular risk assessments vital in a changing world
While many modern businesses have a robust suite of security systems and practices in place, we live in a changing world and it is imperative to continue conducting regular risk assessments.
Our work on one such property located in the northern part of Melbourne and in the process of expansion, illustrates how we identified gaps in its security measures and how we solved them.
Although already well managed from a security and risk perspective, the property did have challenges relating to the protection of critical plant and equipment – in particular the gas supply points to the property which cause significant angst if it was rendered inoperable for any amount of time.
With the nature of threats to businesses constantly changing and evolving, the company – like all others – will need to re-examine its security practices in the wake of any significant local or international event or any increase in trespass.
The single biggest concern with the property related to its ease of public access – both during the day and after hours – with the perimeter fencing easy to climb and breach at a number of locations.
Improving the landscape and fencing however cannot be undertaken without considerable expense.
What we did:
The review took into account the building’s construction and general layout, its location and the immediate neighbourhood, recent incidents and the possible exposure levels to future incidents, and the resultant consequences associated with these incidents.
We also examined the property’s CCTV system, intruder alarms, access protocols for offices and work areas, car parking access, surrounding landscape and critical infrastructure.
While the facility featured a number of generators able to operate independently to power individual buildings when required, it did not have any provisions for a loss of its gas supply.
A loss of gas supply means that the plant cannot operate.
Our recommendations related to creating better barriers for protecting the gas supply, including liquid nitrogen tanks, from potential vehicle impacts as well as incorporating CCTV coverage.
We also suggested undertaking a review of trees and shrubs on the northern and western perimeters of the property to improve sight lines for improved natural surveillance and upgrading perimeter fencing if required.
While access to the car park is well controlled with boom gates, consideration of licence plate recognition was advised. The system did not account for passengers in a vehicle, with only the driver needing to present a valid access card.
If an evacuation report needed to be generated, these passengers may not appear on it.
Considering the size of the property, we also suggested a second vehicle entry point was included as part of the plant expansion. This entry would be dedicated to heavy vehicles only and provide a point of segregation between private vehicles and commercial ones.
This would make it easier for security staff to process and manage heavy vehicles across the site and to keep track of vehicles while they are on site.
Other gaps identified upgrading the existing CCTV throughout the premises away from its heavy reliance on pan-tilt-zoom cameras – which can only ever look at one position at a time – to multiple fixed cameras.
As is critical for evaluating the ongoing effectiveness of all security measures, we also recommended monitoring incidents of trespass, as well as those occurring in similar buildings operated by the company.