FORE! That’s usually the word I yell after I hit an errant shot off the tee; or four, the number of putts it took me to sink it on hole number one. When we’re on the golf course, we typically think of the course taking shots from us. However, we don’t always think about the “four” being the number of shirts stolen from a pro shop or the $400 putter swiped from a golf bag.
Each golf course will have its own set of unique security issues due to differences in accessibility, the surrounding community, staff experience, and customer engagement. Nonetheless, there are five universal concerns where any golf course should initially focus its security efforts:
Theft can be a major issue on the golf course. The big news out of the Phoenix Open didn’t just involve Ricky Fowler’s victory in the Waste Management Open. Golf enthusiast and Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Archie Bradley had his clubs stolen from the course during a Pro-Am round on the Wednesday prior to the tournament. Archie isn’t the only one to have his bag taken. Recently, courses across the USA have reported clubs and other golf equipment stolen from their members and guests.
In a wide-open area like a golf course, there will inevitably be unattended areas. Vehicle break-ins and graffiti can occur by individuals who don’t have to check in at the clubhouse first. Even after check-in, locker rooms can be lucrative targets of theft when no one is around to change their shoes and keep an eye on the valuables left off the course.
Damage and vandalism are also a major hazard for golf courses. Sergio Garcia was recently disqualified from a European Tour tournament for damaging greens. He was apparently kicking the greens with his heel and damaging the soft surfaces, thus making it difficult for his fellow competitors playing in the groups behind him. Another example of damage occurred at Heron Creek Marsh course in North Port, Florida. A vehicle was driven over the course, with the tires digging into the greens and aprons of the course. The estimated damage was well over $10,000.
Finally, golf is supposed to be a relaxing sport. We play golf not just to get out of the office or spend time with the family. We play golf to put our mind at ease for a few hours. So, neither the course nor the golfers benefit when rowdy groups of onlookers or unwelcome items trespass onto the course during a round. Check with the Pro Shop before you test your new drone to find your ball.
Security cameras are a great tool to help with golf course security, but they are not the be-all-end-all. Cameras can only record things as they happen and will only help after the damage has occurred. Just like other businesses open to the public, golf courses need to be more proactive and less reactive.
One solution can come from having security personnel around the golf course. Courses can either hire a security guard or have current staff members rotate around the area. Having a person actively monitoring high-risk areas at all times will help lower the risk of theft or damage. One course that I play at constantly has a golf pro driving around the course. He helps monitor not only the course boundaries but also the golfers themselves. If anyone is acting out of line or possibly damaging the course, the pro is there to correct the actions and prevent further damage from occurring.
As for outside vandals, having proper fencing, lighting, and security signage can keep unwanted outsiders away from the course and the grass in pristine condition. In the example with the car driving on the course, the vehicle entered from a driveway that was not fenced off. Any open area is a target for vandals and trespassers. Installing the proper type of fence in that area can keep the vehicles off the course, and conditions safe for everyone.
It’s in the Hole!
Lately, thieves have been targeting golf courses and clubhouses. In addition, there has been an increase in damage created by golfers, members, and visitors. In order to help the courses maintain their fresh green looks, new security measures need to be implemented. By making changes such as having an appropriate fence and security signage around the course and adding human monitors to go with proper camera placement, golf courses can keep their “green jackets” and help golfers get from tee to green with as few strokes as possible. In return, the golfers and members can help the course prosper and grow during these difficult times.
Bottom of the ninth and two outs, and your turn up to bat. You look for your bat and it’s gone? So is your helmet, and you can’t just use someone else’s equipment.
You must use your own. You don’t get as juiced up when using your teammate’s stuff. What do you do? Sports retail stores must answer the same questions when it comes to protecting their own equipment.
With security being at the forefront of any sports retail business, the big question on the minds of businesses is how to improve it and the bottom line. Whether a team has been in business as long as the Boston Red Sox or is creating their brand like the Las Vegas Golden Knights, merchandise can be flying off the shelves. Hundreds of people can be coming in and out to grab new clothing and signature edition gear from the stores. So the question remains, how can stores engage with customers in discussions about big games or shirt sizes, all while monitoring the merchandise? One way that companies are doing this is by integrating and unifying their security systems.
Watch the Tape
Most stores have an analog system that monitors that specific location. This can be problematic because it requires someone at that location to monitor the situation. Any time another location wishes to have that information, the footage must be moved to find the specific instance that needs to be reviewed. When a chain has multiple locations, this process becomes tedious, reviewing thousands of cameras individually across hundreds of locations and updating everyone through all avenues of communication.
The Game Plan
Unified systems are taking the stress away from employees by advancing security through speed and ease of use. Unified systems create an easily intertwined system that can be used by multiple areas of security. The systems are like a pane of glass as that article says, “they can do everything from that system, and they don’t have to bounce back and forth”.
So why should companies move to a unified system? What are the benefits of unifying all aspects of security? Unified systems are now expanding areas of coverage and constantly adapting, all while maintaining ease of use. Gunshot detection, facial recognition, glass break alerts and other emerging technologies can be combined into one system. They can even help track the day-to-day operations. The data collected can help improve security for the everyday goings-on.
One specific retail sporting goods company, Dick’s Sporting Goods, has helped solve these issues by moving from an antiquated system and moving to a cloud-based system. Most stores have multiple cameras placed strategically throughout the store, monitoring customers and merchandise on a constant basis. They record all movement throughout the day for any loss prevention supervisor to review. Dick’s realized that this system however was outdated.
In order to better protect their merchandise and serve customers, several retailers moved on to an integrated security system over a cloud. Now any coach or manager from any store or even the corporate headquarters location has access to all of the film from any camera angle in any store. With this new capability, all security teams can view footage of all scenarios. Any product retention team can monitor the goods within the stores as well as view warehouses to make sure all shipping needs are being met. Even areas such as the point-of-sale (POS) can be better monitored to ensure customer safety and to prevent fraud (authentic autographs only!). Transactions that may be reported as suspicious are now more easily found and corrected.
Another benefit of converting to a unified system is the unified cost. For any business looking to upgrade their systems, they might think getting rid of the old system and installing a new one will cost a fortune. Most unified systems, although requiring upgrades, can still be compatible with older systems. Through gradual upgrades, companies can now slowly unify systems at a budget friendly pace.
The Final Score
Unified security systems are becoming the trend in systems today. Through constant adaptation and growth of these systems’ capabilities, all areas of the security team can improve their daily business. From daily operations to protecting products to customer security with cameras and POS systems, unified systems are constantly upgrading and helping all businesses easily improve their benchwarmer defense into an All-Pro lineup.
Safety may not always seem like a priority, but an accident can be costly if you’re unprepared. Being PROACTIVE is always less expensive than being REACTIVE. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help protect both your business and your greatest assets; your employees and customers.
There are myriad challenges facing small businesses and one of the largest is safeguarding the health and safety of their employees. All the safety concerns that affect large companies are still present for small businesses. Small businesses unfortunately have to work with lower budgets and smaller less-experienced staffs, making safety issues harder to handle. Small businesses still have to meet all of OSHA’s small business requirements and their workers require adequate safety training and protective equipment, as well as ongoing support.
This problem is exacerbated for higher-risk businesses such as pawn shops, where the employees will frequently have to handle significantly more dangerous items than many other businesses deal with, such as firearms, bladed weapons and power tools, among other things. It’s not all bad news though - there are ways to make the most of a minimal safety budget without risking a workplace accident down the line. This article will explain 7 ways to ensure health and safety on a budget fit for a small business.
1. Understand the Relevant Rules and Regulations
OSHA holds small businesses to different standards than large corporations. These standards are specifically designed by OSHA to accommodate a smaller staff and work-space. The first step in securing your company’s workplace safety is to get educated on current OSHA small business safety regulations. Once you are fully cognizant of what comprises workplace safety for your company, you can then take the steps to satisfy those requirements. Also, don’t hesitate to work with your state pawn association or a third-party team to learn more about what is required.
2. Have a Company Safety Manual
A safety manual plainly lays out all aspects of the business related to safety for all employees to see. Ensuring that all employees have read the safety manual before beginning employment will help educate them against any potential hazards in the workplace. Additionally, it can also keep the company in compliance with OSHA regulations by explaining what to do in the event of an accident or emergency and how to keep records in accordance with OSHA guidelines. Ensure that your policies are kept in line with current regulations and best practices are stored in a single location accessible to all employees. This will simplify access for any refresher courses as well as streamline documentation requests made by compliance inspectors.
3. Dedicated Safety Training
Your employees may have already gone through extensive training, but it is likely that the training did not fully cover every aspect of worksite safety. Some employees may not have fully grasped what was being taught during the original training and would therefore benefit from additional training. Perhaps procedures have been updated since initial employee orientation. In order to ensure that everyone in the company fully understands the safety program, it helps to conduct dedicated safety classes. These classes can also help your employees to understand how they can help improve the safety program by spotting new hazards and providing feedback, as well as keeping an eye out for any incidents that may occur.
Being aware of the most prevalent safety issues for your business is a vitally important step in eliminating the dangers that they create for your business. Prioritizing safety risks can also help you maximize the effectiveness of your safety program by ensuring that vital resources aren’t squandered preventing issues that were never going to happen. The most common safety hazards in the workplace are:
Retail businesses can have trouble gathering all your staff all at one time. If this is true for your business, schedule a couple brief informal talks over the course of a week about safety issues, ensuring all your employees have the chance to ask questions or bring up concerns.
4. Posted Reminders
Safety posters or reminders are a surprisingly effective way to remind employees about health and safety. One important thing to keep in mind is to be careful when designing the reminder so that the reminder has the desired effect. Overly-aggressive signage or signs simply telling them to do something are a surefire way to either ensure that the message is either not retained by your employees or ignored entirely. A sign simply telling employees to do something that is obvious can even come off as condescending. An alternative idea is to keep the messages short and positive. Using a funny image or a meme with the message can help the employees actually listen to it instead of just rolling their eyes and ignoring it.
5. Do Your Own Safety Audit
Occasionally conducting your own safety audit can keep you on top of any potential health, safety, and fire hazards before they become a problem. By using these surveys and assessments, you can ensure compliance with all applicable building and fire codes as well as aid in the detection of any potential hazards. A regular but unannounced safety audit can keep your employees on their toes and help ensure that should an OSHA audit take place; your business will have a better chance of experiencing no surprises.
6. Find Someone with Experience for Guidance
One valuable resource for a small business to have is someone with experience in dealing with safety issues that can help ensure the business remains safe from workplace incidents and injuries. This person may come from a larger business where incidents happen more frequently than in a small company. Finding someone who already has experience with these incidents and has learned the necessary lessons can help protect your business from a painful lesson down the road. A small business may not have it in the budget to hire someone to function as solely a safety professional, but those responsibilities could be folded into the various other parts of a manager’s scope of responsibilities.
7. Incentivize good behavior
There are strong incentives to create a safe work environment that are not readily apparent. This can go beyond just a desire to comply with federal safety regulations. Compliance costs are calculated per employee and there are certain costs embedded regardless of business size. This means that small businesses with fewer than 20 employees pay the most in compliance costs per employee. In addition, workers’ compensation rates are affected by on-the-job incidents and rising rates can have a serious impact on a small business’s ability to stay afloat. The good thing is that workers’ comp insurance provides a discount to any businesses with no claims. This discount incentivizes small businesses to offer a safe working environment.
Employees that want to be more involved in the business can be encouraged to engage within a the “Safety Team” or “Safety Committee”. Most experienced employees enjoy autonomy in their tasks – link that to their safety performance.
Getting ahead of the problem is always better than reacting to one, and safety issues amplify this effect. Lower your liabilities and show your employees that you care by focusing on safety at your business.