The social unrest that continues to grow nationwide is now becoming more common in the workplace, with random acts of violence and more weapons incidents amongst disgruntled employees. Recent conversations with retail and manufacturing customers reveal that these companies are having, on average, one fight per week in the workplace, with rising concerns that these events might include weapons. Businesses are also finding, through online tools, that employees are boldly stating on social media that they are carrying weapons to work, which is another alarming trend.
In the workplace, it’s the responsibility of the business to keep their employees safe from incidents like these. Those with large work areas, such as warehouses or factories, where the demographics show a higher percentage of weapons-carrying staff, are responsible for the safety of sometimes thousands of workers at a time. Security screenings upon entering a facility are normal in large environments, but oftentimes, workers spend precious time (often off the clock) waiting in line to get through security rather than doing their jobs.
Factories and warehouses have been around for decades, but that doesn’t mean the security should be decades old. The technology used in walk-through metal detectors was invented around 40 years ago, and workplaces (as well as stadiums, casinos and more) are still using these systems as the primary means to secure facilities. This is a mistake. Companies need to be more focused on detecting weapons, not metal, and ensuring that shift turnover and factory efficiency are not negatively affected.
Implementing an unobtrusive screening solution, paired with artificial intelligence (AI)-based surveillance not only accurately and quickly detects weapons on people, but it can help shorten the lines during shift changes at large workplaces.
AI-powered, next-generation screening solutions can detect guns, knives and other weapons on people more accurately than a walk-through metal detector, while also limiting false positives. Sometimes, depending on how high a metal detector’s sensitivity is turned up, they can miss dangerous objects. Further, there are some documented ways on how people have been able to sneak weapons through metal detectors and into the workplace. Those cheat methods don’t work with modern technology.
The best form of protection businesses can give their workers is protection that starts before approaching the door, as well as at the entrance and after they get in. Video cameras can be powered with AI, which adds another crucial layer to security. This technology can detect and alert security personnel to people carrying weapons up to 150 feet away, which gives valuable minutes to security guards and other employees to take proactive steps. This capability can be overlayed onto existing security cameras, eliminating the need for businesses to buy new equipment and infrastructure.
Speed and Efficiency
In certain kinds of workplace settings, like large factories, the change of shifts can be an ordeal, with hundreds of workers leaving and entering a facility at the same time. It’s normal in some workplaces to wait in long lines of workers emptying their pockets to go through walk-through metal detectors. Sometimes these workers wait more than 5, 10 or 15 minutes to get to the factory floor.
Walk-through metal detectors severely slow down the flow of people entering a facility. The need for workers to divest of any metal on their person upon entry means a “stop and go” approach that is inefficient. Having a modern, unobtrusive weapons detection solution at entrances to the workplace will ease congestion during shift change. Workers would be able to freely walk through the gateways without removing their cell phones or watches, and the system will accurately alert only on weapons.
Getting up to Date with Technology
Today, technology is being developed to solve a wide range of problems, and AI is aiding in some of that. It’s no secret that physical security hasn’t kept up with the rest of the modern world, but implementing next-gen screening solutions is the way to start.