Health and Safety Monitoring Courtesy of CCTV
By Martin Cooper
Jun 16, 2016
One of the greatest challenges for any business owner or employer is health and safety compliance. With such a raft of legislation, and the fact that it rarely stands still and is regularly subject to change, it is no wonder.
Conducting risk assessments and putting systems in place to address the risks that have been identified is of course the first step. But these systems must be monitored to ensure they are being adhered to, and that they are effective. So the question is, how best to undertake this monitoring?
You’ll want a monitoring system that is cost effective, non-disruptive and that doesn’t drain resources from elsewhere in the business. But it has to deliver the results you need so that your health and safety responsibilities are met in every respect.
Exceptionally Detailed Footage
One solution that is becoming increasingly popular is CCTV. Today’s technology really has transformed how this medium can be used for monitoring. Examining footage in high definition allows you to see an exceptional level of detail, which means any problem areas can be quickly identified. HD IP CCTV – high definition cameras connected to your network – will give you hands-on access to real time footage from a variety of zones within your premises, courtesy of just a small number of cameras.
IP CCTV systems allow control over cameras remotely via the internet. For businesses with multiple sites, the fact you are able to centrally monitor and record what is happening across them all is a major advantage. Functions include choosing a particular feed, pausing it, rewinding or forwarding and zooming in and out, all of which enable detailed observations to be made and evidence to be recorded which can be used for a number of reasons, including defending false claims and training.
The monitoring possibilities are endless and include pinpointing hazards in real time so that immediate action can be taken; identifying dangerous behaviour and overcrowding in public places; revealing irregularities in processes and detecting unauthorised access that could lead to a health and safety breach. The latter can be integrated with access control systems for a sophisticated method of preventing an issue arising.
Important Things to Consider When Using CCTV for Monitoring
There are important legal considerations to follow when using CCTV for monitoring, and it is also good practice to ensure the relationship between employer and employee is not damaged. Data protection laws must also be adhered to: there are regulations that govern how a business owner can collect and process ‘personal data’, and this includes footage collected via CCTV.
Employees have the right to ask which data is being held about them and the reasons why. Limits are also placed on how long this data can be held. Human rights law also dictates that CCTV monitoring is proportionate and not overly intrusive.
Unless CCTV is being used for purposes where it needs to be covert – for example in crime detection – then employees should be notified that it is being used, how it is being used and why, as well as how their privacy rights will be protected. Secret filming should be avoided, and in any case will rarely be admissible as evidence of any wrongdoing. There’s more information about this within the Information Commissioner’s Office Employment Practices Code.
If you are looking to introduce CCTV into your organisation for health and safety monitoring, talk to the experts at Barry Bros Security. We’ve been tailoring integrated solutions for monitoring for many years and can provide access to all the latest technology, as well as bespoke advice from experts who fully understand the law surrounding data protection and human rights.