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Security Guards in the Firing Line

Security Guards in the Firing Line

“Security guards need better working conditions,” says local Labour candidate Dr Rachel Jones.

“The devastating events in Ashburton last week have highlighted the role of security guards in NZ life.

“This is a profession that we normally hear little about but one that deserves more attention as these men and women often face risks in carrying out their jobs.

“And they do that in an industry with low pay and poor conditions.

“I have heard that security companies often lack acceptable health and safety systems. Guards are denied bullet and stab proof vests, appropriate communication technology and back up because of the costs involved.

“That leaves guards alone and vulnerable.

“Training is also inadequate given the risks and responsibilities of the profession, with some guards only studying for one day before going on the job.

Rachel says guards are calling for a nationwide Code of Practice for the profession with a particular emphasis on safety.

“If I get into parliament, I will be calling for Worksafe to produce a Code of Practice similar to ones used by Australian States and to impose minimum safety standards and procedures on employers.

“I’d also like to see compulsory training include a practical component, and tenders for government contracts for security services should require safety policy to be included and audited.”

Rachel notes there is also a range of issues needing to be addressed around guards’ legal powers when they come across incidents and the conditions of employment.

“I was shocked to find out that security guards’ details are made available publically via the licencing system.

That makes these workers vulnerable to organized criminals.

“Security guards are often the only barrier between extensive and expensive property and criminals. We should treat these men and women like the professionals they need to be and train and pay them in a way that reflects the responsibilities they carry."


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