Here at Fast Guard Service we take security & safety to the next level & are constantly training to stay ahead of the curve. Below you will find some of the training we have implemented to combat the COVID-19 epidemic.
1. Wash hands frequently. One of the simplest and most effective ways for guards to protect themselves is to wash their hands often (optimally every two hours), for at least 20 seconds. Use proper technique, thoroughly scrubbing your palms and backs of your hands. The use of hand sanitizer is also recommended but cannot be a substitute for proper hand washing.
2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands to reduce the risk of exposure from contaminated surfaces. If possible, use hand sanitizer (70% alcohol or higher) to disinfect your hands every two hours when on duty. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
3. To the extent possible, limit close contact with others, especially potentially infected persons. A minimum of six feet of separation is advisable to protect from droplet infection. When patrolling, keeping as much distance from people as possible is recommended while still being able to effectively patrol your dedicated area.
4. Review and update your PPE (personal protection equipment) hazard assessment to address COVID-19. Provide safety glasses/goggles, disposable nitrile gloves, and available respiratory protection (e.g., FDA-approved surgical masks) for security guards who make frequent contact with the public.
5. Implement protective measures to adapt work areas or security stations to minimize the chance of viral spread. For example:
- Use tape or other visible floor markings to mark a six-foot distance to remind people who are standing in line to maintain appropriate distance from the security guard and other people in line.
- Many retail locations are installing Plexiglas or acrylic glass barriers to safeguard employees from potential droplet infection. If possible, these barriers can be used to protect guard stations.
- If applicable, visually verify ID badges or identification without the use of touching or physical contact. Also, to the extent possible, use technology to help maximize physical distance (e.g., using walk-through metal detectors vs. hand-held wands).
6. Since the virus has been proven to last on surfaces as long as three days or more depending on the material, it’s important to frequently disinfect common work areas and objects that others can touch (phones, radios, scanners, keyboards, etc.). Use an EPA-approved disinfectant whenever possible.
7. Ensure access to clean restrooms. While sometimes difficult depending on the location or job site, it’s important that on-duty security officers have access to bathroom facilities for hand washing. Otherwise, ensure that sufficient hand sanitizer is readily available for frequent use & in open areas where people don’t need to congregate to use it.
8. Wash work clothes or uniforms at the end of the day. After a long shift patrolling (especially sites with a higher degree of public contact such as healthcare facilities, grocery stores, hotels etc.), washing your uniform and drying at a higher temperature setting will provide an added measure of safety & help deter the virus from spreading.
9. Additionally, taking an extra minute or two to sanitize your duty belt, radio, gear and other equipment with an antiviral wipe or approved disinfectant can help lower your risk of infection.
New or refresher training might include proper use of PPE (properly wearing/removing to avoid infection), and conflict de-escalation strategies and techniques. For example, visitor restrictions at healthcare facilities may necessitate family members who attempt to visit patients be turned away. Or, grocery stores experiencing stock shortages may be faced with agitated customers and potential conflict.