Closed circuit television, or CCTV, is used in abundance across the country, in a range of settings and for a vast variety of circumstances. Using cameras in the workplace is very common, as it can be an extremely valuable resource.
We have outlined 6 key ways organisations can use CCTV, and the benefits it can bring:
Security is a major reason for installing CCTV in the workplace, as it is proven to have a deterring effect on criminal activity, and can also provide evidence if a crime has been committed.
It is an effective way to improve the safety of employees, customers and visitors, as well as increase the safety of your premises and assets.
People can also view CCTV footage remotely, and set up alerts when unusual activity is occurring at specific times of the day or night, further increasing safety.
However many people think security is the only use of CCTV, and this is not the case…
Health and safety
In addition to safety from criminal activity, CCTV can be used to improve the health and safety of the people in your workplace. Cameras can allow management to view working practices and ensure health and safety regulations and procedures are being complied with, and record footage in the event of a breach. It also allows them to review health and safety procedures and improve them according to the footage filmed – for example, adding more signage in areas where there are reoccurring incidents.
This use of CCTV is particularly prevalent in industrial and oil and gas environments, however a whole host of companies use it for this purpose.
Monitoring and improving processes
CCTV enables the monitoring of movement and processes within a company, which thus allows management to review and improve these to make the business more effective and efficient.
For example, CCTV could show you that customers and visitors regularly get lost or confused upon entering your building, that employees take a particularly long time to complete certain processes, or even that there is overcrowding in areas of the building. This footage allows management to flag up these issues, and subsequently review, refine and improve them.
Ultimately, CCTV can be another tool in your arsenal to drive cost savings and efficiencies.
Training of staff can be central to many organisations, and CCTV can be an effective tool to use. CCTV footage can be used in training videos, for example, to show how to, or how not to, undertake certain tasks. Similarly, staff that are being trained up could be monitored via CCTV for a specified period, to ensure they are completing tasks correctly and are not putting themselves at any risk.
Some organisations will be required to have CCTV in areas of their premises to comply with legal and regulatory obligations. This is often seen in companies in the financial sector, amongst others.
Disputes and issues
CCTV can also be useful if there are any complaints or disputes raised in the workplace, as footage can be reviewed to determine what happened and can be used as evidence if action is to be taken.
We can clearly see that there are a whole host of uses for CCTV at work, beyond simply security. However, although CCTV can bring many useful and tangible benefits to a business, there are also key rules you must abide by to avoid discrepancies or legal issues.
Here are the key things you should know:
- You must tell people that they may be recorded, and this is most commonly achieved by displaying signs in the premises that are clearly visible.
- You must also inform the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) your reasons for using CCTV in your place of work.
- It is also advised that you strictly control who has access to the CCTV recordings, and ensure that it is only ever used for the purpose intended. For example, if you have opted to use CCTV to monitor crime, it cannot be used to monitor the work of your employees.
- Anyone can request to see the footage of him or her recorded via your CCTV, and you must provide this within 40 days. You can, however, charge up to £10 for this.