Keeping employees, clients/ visitors safe as well as the protection of physical assets is the major concern of every employer and this is achieved by, amongst other things, the deployment of physical security mechanisms. These mechanisms are divided into three parts namely:

  1. Access control
  2. Surveillance
  3. Testing and response


Surveillance is the covert act of observing or monitoring behavior, activities, or information for the purpose of information gathering, analysing and reaching a conclusion. The most important reason for workplace security surveillance is to protect the assets of the business, employees, and clients/ visitors and prevent the compromising of important or sensitive information.

Workplace surveillance is usually deployed for two (2) purposes which are:

  1. Employee monitoring, which usually forms part of the performance assessment and the employee’s productive contribution.
  2. Security within the workplace and grounds (this will be the subject matter of this discourse).

As stated above, surveillance systems protect businesses, their employees, assets, and clients/ visitors directly or indirectly from external or internal threats or violence. Surveillance systems could be digital i.e. cameras or manual i.e. manned guards.

These systems can be stationed in parking lots, grounds, entrances, passageways, transaction areas etc. to record and monitor activities, security breaches, and incidents. The presence of a surveillance system also acts as a deterrent to intruders, as the possibility of getting caught steers them away.

The employment of surveillance also helps in the prevention of frivolous suits, as incidents are recorded or witnessed by another person.


The importance of the installation of a security surveillance system in the workplace cannot be overemphasized. Some of the importance includes:

  1. Reduces and prevents frivolous lawsuits from employees and visitors.
  2. Enforces safety policies resulting in a safer workplace.
  3. Records cases of accidents, violence, and injuries.
  4. Makes employees feel safer and thus more productive
  5. Spots unsafe working practices.
  6. Harassment prevention.
  7. Helps to detect suspicious activities.
  8. Helps in preventing data theft and office assets damage.
  9. Improves personnel security in the office.
  10. Helps in tracking any intrusion or activity in the past.
  11. Helpful in fixing access control lapses
  12. Helps the company when making an insurance claim.

Before considering the installation of surveillance in a working environment, several things must be considered, including:

  1. The applicable local, state, and national laws with regards to surveillance and monitoring.
  2. Evaluate and access the security needs of your workplace.
  3. Devise an industry/ business specific employee monitoring system or policy
  4. Consider workplace ethics, policies, and social rules.
  5. Enact a privacy policy
  6. Document the entire operations of the system.
  7. Test and regularly maintain the system.

Some other uses of the surveillance system are:

  1. Allows employers to record and watch machinery or equipment, to ensure proper and safe usage.
  2. In the event of workplace accidents, it can be used to verify the cause of an accident and who should bear liability.
  3. Recordings can be used as a source of training material for employees on how to appropriately use certain machinery to avoid damage or accident.
  4. It can be used to determine persons who had access to a particular area of the facility or resources.

To ensure the effectiveness of a surveillance system, it should be deployed to sensitive places, including:

  1. Points of transaction
  2. The exterior of the facility i.e. parking lot, open grounds
  3. Entrances and exits
  4. Storage area
  5. Remote areas, that is isolated areas e.g. garbage area, staircase and elevators, break room.
  6. Open spaces likely to be overcrowded, e.g. reception and lobby.


The importance of deploying a surveillance system at the workplace cannot be overemphasized. It is not only beneficial to the employers but greatly to the employer. It is cost-effective and prevents attending to frivolous issues. At Hogan Guards, we provide trained manned security operatives to help in your surveillance and provide sale, installation and maintenance of digital security systems for operational use.