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Keep your Employees Safe! Key Safety Policies and Procedures

culture people planning safety Apr 30, 2024
Safety Policies and Procedures

I never thought I would be at the hospital's Intensive Care Unit waiting on news on a unit manager who got shot under my supervision during a business robbery.

I was only in my second week working at the company as director of operations. I barely knew this manager, but I was there hoping for the best, thinking about how I had acted, and what I could do to make sure that situation didn't happen again. 

The good news is that the manager fully recovered from this horrible event and since then, no one else has been hurt under my leadership.

  • But sadly, emergencies can happen at any time and we are at risk constantly.

As a business owner or franchise leader, you are responsible for your staff’s safety, so you have to do everything in your power to protect them. That’s what we’ll review in this blog post.

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However, it will be up to you to establish those safety processes and ensure they are followed by your leaders and team members at all times. Otherwise, it can cost you profits or worse, a person's life. 

The following are some, but not all, of the security processes you need to implement at your business. There may be others depending on the type of business, industry, building, or location of your franchise.

  1. Background check. During the recruitment and hiring process, don't offer a contract to anyone without thoroughly validating their background. If you don't do this, you could put your team and business at risk. 
  2. Non-slip shoes. The number one accident that occurs in restaurants is a slip-and-fall. Requiring all your employees to wear non-slip shoes at all times is a common practice, but not often followed.
    Especially if you own a restaurant, you must check your employees' shoes and send them back home if they don't have the right footwear.
  3. Backdoor policy. A lot of robberies happen through the back doors. Make sure you have a strong backdoor policy that includes having a security peephole and opening the door only during the day. 
  4. Opening and closing procedures. These are the most vulnerable times for your business so always have two people during business opening and closing hours. This “companion system” will help you keep them safe, especially if your store is isolated. 
  5. Cash Management Policy. The biggest motivation for robberies is access to cash and it only takes a moment of carelessness to put your business at risk.
    Make sure you have clear processes on who can access the money and that these custodial and deposit policies are implemented with strict discipline.
    The fewer people handling the cash in your place, the more likely you are to minimize the possibility of theft from within.
  6. Training. During a crisis, many people get a shock and don't know what to do. They often act on instinct, and sometimes that can cost them a lot.
    To prevent this, it is important that you clearly define and teach the necessary steps to take in the event of an emergency so everyone knows what to do.
    Make sure that these processes are part of
    the employee handbook and review if they're in the brand's operations manual.
  7. Zero Tolerance. Breaking security policies should have zero tolerance because they can put everyone at risk.
    One of the casual food brands I know fires any manager who leaves the store without leaving another manager in charge, even if it's just to cross the road to get something to eat. There's no flexibility in that rule and for good reason. 

Don’t miss: Protect your Business from Theft! Tips to Shield your Operations

Safety policies are your friends. When you write your company's safety policies, visit your local police station and review what you have in mind with a police officer. He will be able to guide you in the best way to protect your business and probably has ideas that haven't occurred to you. 

Another person you can contact for assistance is your insurance agent, especially if they have experience in your industry. 

They can help you carry out a risk assessment, identify the types of accidents that may occur, and make recommendations on how to prevent them. Just be sure to apply everything you learn or your legal liability risk will increase.


What to do in case of an accident? 

Here are some general rules for what to do if there's an accident at your store. This is for accidents such as slips and falls, cuts, or poisoning. Add anything you think applies to your business and check with the experts if anything is missing. 

  1. Take care of the employee. Review their safety data sheet (SDS) and call 911 or your local emergency number if necessary.
  2. Fill out an incident report.
  3. Call the supervisor or district manager if they are not on the premises.
  4. Make a plan of action for what you will do to prevent that accident or incident from happening again. 
What to do in case of theft?

These are some general guidelines on what you can include in your theft incident training. Add anything you think applies to your business and learn from the experts. 

  1. Don't resist. There's nothing worth risking your life.
  2. When the thief leaves, close the door.
  3. Call 911 or your local emergency number.
  4. Make sure everyone on the team is okay.
  5. Call the owner, supervisor, or district manager if they are not on the premises.
  6. As soon as you can, write a full statement of everything you remember.
  7. Ask your team members to do the same if they're willing to.
  8. Share these statements with the police. 
Leverage your franchisor

In a prior blog post, we reviewed how your franchisor can help you. And in this safety matter, you can also take advantage of belonging to a franchise network.

Some brands have safety and security policies as part of the operations manual. Review them and implement all those that apply to you. Make them part of your daily procedures. 

Some franchise brands even have a safety and security department. If yours is one of them, ask them for guidance and best practices you should implement in your business to keep everyone safe

Also, ask your fellow franchisees if they have additional ideas that make sense for you to implement. You don't want to have an incident and, until then, think about what to do or what you could have done better.

If you want to acquire more knowledge on what other systems, processes, policies, and procedures you should implement in your franchise business to protect your employees and your profits, I would like to invite you to explore our leadership and management training programs

We have great programs for unit managers, for multi-unit leaders, and for multi-unit franchisees. They are designed specifically to give these professionals the tools, knowledge, leadership, and management skills they need to be successful. 

Learn more about our programs by clicking here!


  • How are you keeping your employees safe within the four walls of your business?
  • Have you documented your safety policies and procedures so all your staff is aware of them?
  • What are the most common accidents within your business? What are you doing to prevent them from happening?
  • In case there’s a theft incident, do your employees know how to act?