Risk Assessment in Shopping Centres: Why is it needed?

Effective, efficient and tailor-made retail security management plans are required for shopping centres, to ensure the safety of patrons, store employees, management staff, and physical assets within their premises.

What is Risk Assessment? The process of identifying possible hazards and threats to the establishment and their level of vulnerability to threats.
The risks are assessed by measuring the levels of threat and vulnerability individually. When neither of the two is present, chances of risk would be thin. To ensure zero risks, security management plans are devised to reduce threats and decrease the establishment’s vulnerabilities.

Threats are classified into two: Internal and External.

Internal are those which originate within the establishment/shopping centres

Examples: Workplace accidents, entrapment/rescue (machinery, water, confined space, high angle), structural failure/collapse, mechanical breakdown, standard violations, safety hazards, staff theft, or a structural problem that endangers the public.

External are those which emanate from outside or external forces

Examples: Labour strike, demonstrations, civil disturbance, bomb threat, robbery, sniper incident, terrorism, arson…

Vulnerabilities are the doorways to threats. They can be physical (poor architecture and planning, weak doors) or social (unaware of security and safety protocols) and more…

Risk assessment aims to cover the following:

  • Emergency Response – Informing and creating awareness amongst the shop owners and respective staff about handling a crisis or emergency, informational signage’s that direct the shopping public in case of emergencies
  • Physical Security – Are the shopping centres well equipped with escalators, elevators and functioning? Are the staffs from the facilities identifying and addressing the issues properly to avoid any possible risk? Are there any physical structures to help prevent injury and assist senior citizens and the challenged?
  • Material Security – Are the delivery areas protected and not vulnerable? Is there a system to check suspicious packages and to alert the management?
  • Access control – Is there a system to control the flow of people coming to the shopping centres during peak periods? Are there traffic controllers to help direct patrons to park and exit?
  • Management Policies – The level of support from the management and its involvement. Are the plans and policies in place and how often these policies are reviewed?

Why is risk assessment important?

The risk assessment forms an integral part of work health and safety management plan and it helps

  • Create awareness about hazards and risk
  • Identify who may be at risk (e.g., patrons, store employees, management staff, and physical assets)
  • Determine whether a control program is required for a particular hazard
  • Determine if the existing control measures are adequate
  • Prioritize hazards and control measures
  • Meet legal requirements wherever applicable

In the end, all that matters is ensuring the safety of the people coming to the shopping centres on a daily basis. Risk assessment helps in devising an effective, efficient and comprehensive security management plan.

We, Southern Cross Group is one of Australia’s leading integrated service solutions providers. Our services include:

Soft Services

  • Security
  • Cleaning
  • Concierge & Valet
  • Traffic Control
  • Ground Maintenance

Hard Services

  • Building maintenance
  • Fire services
  • Air conditioning and chiller servicing
  • General plumbing, electrical and construction
  • Line marking
  • Retail/commercial fit-out
  • Painting services
  • Pest control services

Contact us now for a consultation or to know how we may be of service to your shopping centre.

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Founded in Sydney in 2005, Southern Cross Group is one of the few remaining, wholly owned Australian services company with a focus on delivering Facility, Training and Technology solutions. Working in partnership with our clients, Southern Cross Group provide a consultative approach to truly understand our clients’ needs. We deliver comprehensive integrated services to over 800 client sites across Australia. We provide a wealth of experience and solutions in complex environments, ranging from retail, commercial/corporate, infrastructure, government, health, industrial, manufacturing, events and entertainment. Southern Cross Group – where facility, training and technology solutions merge to deliver peak efficiency.
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