Ocucon https://ocucon.com See everything know everything Fri, 25 Sep 2020 08:45:32 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2 The Evolving Role of Loss Prevention https://ocucon.com/loss-prevention-an-evolving-role/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=loss-prevention-an-evolving-role https://ocucon.com/loss-prevention-an-evolving-role/#respond Tue, 22 Sep 2020 14:21:45 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2646 Loss prevention leaders of today work in a dynamic environment, it’s a landscape which has changed dramatically as has the retail industry.  It’s an environment that is multi faceted, with various components and devices used to mitigate risk and protect people and property. Loss Prevention, or LP, leaders are well aware that their environment [...]

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Loss prevention leaders of today work in a dynamic environment, it’s a landscape which has changed dramatically as has the retail industry.  It’s an environment that is multi faceted, with various components and devices used to mitigate risk and protect people and property. Loss Prevention, or LP, leaders are well aware that their environment presents various challenges, from budgetary pressures to limited time and resources. 

What has changed in the Loss Prevention environment is the technology and tools that help LP executives bring greater value to their organisations. In the past, LP was often not included in executive-level discussions. For example, most Loss Prevention executives concentrated and focused almost exclusively on shrink, physical security, and safety. However, risks have evolved in today’s environment and LP professionals are addressing issues and challenges that cross the entire organisation. High-level risks like physical security threats, terrorism, and the loss of proprietary information are beginning to fall under the LP area of responsibility. As such, today’s LP executives are very much an integral part of every business.

A Collaborative and Flexible Approach

Loss Prevention is not a standalone function. Effective loss prevention takes a collaborative approach due to the understanding that loss covers a multitude of areas, as recently demonstrated by Adrian Beck’s work on Total Retail Loss (source).

The LP function should focus on demonstrating an agile and flexible approach to the changing needs of the business. A commercial mindset and holistic view of the enterprise is key in this. Having a seat at the executive table enables LP executives to discuss potential risk exposures and enlighten senior management. Backing this discussion up with insights and analytics is extremely effective. Furthermore, LP teams are more often than not the key-holders of a powerful tool – business data – from measurables such as online/offline transaction data, CCTV and IoT. 

As technology is constantly evolving, LP leaders should be in sync with its functionality and with new innovations. They should look to develop relationships with their IT teams and have a seat at the table when the CIO or CTO are building a prevention strategy.

LP executives should have a solid understanding of the overall business and can identify what is driving their success, and how they can contribute to the bottom line. The best LP executives are proactive and are as concerned about sales and operations as they are about shrinkage reduction. 

The Future of Loss Prevention

Retail organisations must decide when is the best time to invest in the LP function. They must also decide how their chosen technology solutions should support LP. There are a multitude of solutions on the market. Retailers should choose a solution provider that takes a collaborative approach. Ocucon has a proven track record of working directly with retailers to provide bespoke solutions to ensure that LP executives are able to deliver value to their organisation. Contact us today to learn more. 

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How LP Teams Can Add Value & Profitability in the Age of Covid-19 https://ocucon.com/how-lp-teams-can-add-value-profitability-in-the-age-of-covid-19/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-lp-teams-can-add-value-profitability-in-the-age-of-covid-19 https://ocucon.com/how-lp-teams-can-add-value-profitability-in-the-age-of-covid-19/#respond Thu, 03 Sep 2020 13:42:25 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2609 The unprecedented times that we all find ourselves in is proving challenging for all sectors. In retail, policies and procedures are constantly changing on a local and national level. Retailers are also facing a global rise in claims and fraud relating to slips, trips, and falls. Particularly for Retail Loss Prevention teams, adaptability and [...]

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The unprecedented times that we all find ourselves in is proving challenging for all sectors. In retail, policies and procedures are constantly changing on a local and national level. Retailers are also facing a global rise in claims and fraud relating to slips, trips, and falls. Particularly for Retail Loss Prevention teams, adaptability and innovation should be a focus right now.

Fraudulent Injury Claims

It is not uncommon for what appeared to be a minor incident at the time to be manually recorded in a retailer’s ‘incident book.’ Retailers typically store video surveillance for only 30 days. However, the average accident claim arrives after 90 days. Many of these claims are fraudulent, but with many claims coming in 60 to 90 days after the incident, retailers are left without the evidence required to defend these claims. Slips, trips, and falls cost UK retailers £800m annually (hse.gov.uk). Furthermore, these claims are becoming extremely prevalent in the US, a traditionally litigious society.

Current systems have various technological limitations, from providing storage of CCTV video for just 30 days to requiring expensive proprietary hardware. Another issue for retailers is having too much video, and a real challenge is in retaining the relevant video evidence. 

Not being able to provide the correct video evidence in the event of a personal injury claim leaves retailers exposed to fraud or significantly embellished claims lodged by Claims Management Companies (CMCs).

The most in demand solutions are those which help retailers to collect evidence to validate or invalidate personal liability claims. Cloud by Ocucon provides unlimited storage for unlimited surveillance cameras in the cloud. Cloud by Ocucon enables you to securely store video footage for your chosen length of time, i.e. 6 months. It empowers retailers to successfully defend against fraudulent liability claims, and settle valid claims efficiently. A user friendly incident management tool allows you to retain and bookmark the correct video evidence. 

Forward-thinking LP teams are looking into computer vision technology that can help them proactively prevent slips, trips, and falls before they occur. Ocucon is currently doing groundbreaking research in this area and is looking to partner with retailers to provide live testing of our research and technology.

Responding to Changing Policies and Procedures

A new challenge for retailers is responding to the changing COVID-19 policies and procedures enacted on a national and local level. Ocucon developed a solution, Occupi , in just three weeks when the UK went into lockdown to allow essential businesses, especially retailers, to open and operate safely and efficiently.

We continue to work closely with our customers to ensure that Occupi is responsive to customer needs and can adapt to the changing world we are operating in. We will continue to incorporate new features, like the two new accessibility functions as the system becomes more widely used.

We have estimated that it currently costs retailers around £1000 per week to have staff marshals at the entrances of stores. Occupi can therefore offer retailers savings of up to £15.1 billion annually. Occupi is a solution that LP professionals can bring to their organisation and immediately deliver value and cost savings. 

A Fully Integrated Approach to Risk Mitigation

Ocucon offers retailers a ‘fully-integrated’ approach to mitigating risk. All of our solutions aim to minimise total retail loss and help LP teams improve the bottom line for businesses.

We’re delivering a free webinar aimed at LP Professionals in conjunction with Telaid and LPF on 15th September. Join us to learn how actionable business intelligence can empower you to deliver savings and reduce shrink. You will learn how delivering cost effective tech solutions will generate significant operational efficiencies and cost savings to your organization. 

Our webinar will cover the following topics:

  • Actionable ways in which you can provide further value to your organization 
  • Learn how innovative technology developed in conjunction with a major global retailer can engage various teams across your organization
  • How artificial intelligence and deep learning technology is helping retailers overcome the challenges brought by COVID-19 

Register for our upcoming webinar here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Wj5PJuj3TMy7zdegEh2Y-w

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Making the Business Case for Investing in CCTV https://ocucon.com/making-the-business-case-for-cctv-investment/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=making-the-business-case-for-cctv-investment https://ocucon.com/making-the-business-case-for-cctv-investment/#respond Wed, 12 Aug 2020 14:12:39 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2586 The National Retail Federation has just released its latest research, the National Retail Security Survey 2020.  The study found an actual reduction in the level of collaboration between Loss Prevention and IT teams from 2019 to 2020. Frequent / dedicated collaboration between LP and IT dropped from just over 30% in 2019 to 18% in [...]

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The National Retail Federation has just released its latest research, the National Retail Security Survey 2020.  The study found an actual reduction in the level of collaboration between Loss Prevention and IT teams from 2019 to 2020. Frequent / dedicated collaboration between LP and IT dropped from just over 30% in 2019 to 18% in 2020. This could be in part due to increased levels of shrink or an increased workload for IT teams. It can’t be stressed enough, however, that LP and IT teams work together to increase operational efficiencies and reduce shrink.  

Adrian Beck has released his latest research – the report “The Use of Video in Retail”. This research has uncovered even more data on the need for LP teams to work collaboratively across all departments in their organisation. This blog post will provide a summary of the report plus additional insight into how retail LP teams can work more effectively in order to gain increased investment in security technology. 

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Making the Business Case

It’s important for a retailer’s strategy regarding the use of surveillance video to be a joined up approach across departments. Beck’s report found that across businesses, investment in video technology had to provide more value than just security. One way in which this is achieved is by using video for business intelligence purposes.

 Video surveillance is often a form of ‘insurance policy.’ In the case of retail, the store is able to demonstrate due diligence in the event of a crime being committed. The report uncovered that retail leaders feel video is necessary for providing the police, in particular, with evidence that they sometimes require.

Many respondents to the research noted that video technology plays a positive role in managing Health and Safety claims (whether false or valid). Video, they stated, reduces their insurance premiums by demonstrating due diligence. Furthermore, the use of video in retail enables stores to meet the requirements set by governmental licencing authorities for the sale of alcohol.

The benefits of video surveillance, therefore, are quite clear. However, if retail leaders want to further invest in cctv surveillance and expand its use in order to take full advantage of recent developments, they must adopt an approach that considers each function across the business. 

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The Use of CCTV Systems in Retail

A core use of video technology in retail addresses issues of staff and customer safety as well as protecting the organisation’s reputation. Beck’s research found that many retailers make the business case for video in order to meet the expectations of law enforcement. 

A challenge that LP teams face is in collating evidence to either make or confirm a persuasive business case for investment in video technology. This is challenging because such data is difficult to gather unless the appropriate process has been put in place. 

Beck’s research, for instance, uncovered a need to improve the active measurement of data around the role that video plays in managing fraudulent injury claims. Many of the study’s respondents highlighted the positive role that video plays in providing evidence in cases of fraudulent claims made by both customers and staff. This in effect can reduce the organisation’s insurance premiums, amongst other costs. It is evident that video therefore enhances the profitability of the organisation. However, the data that proves the value of video systems in this instance, is often not actively measured, analysed, and shared in an overarching business case. 

Getting Buy-in

When asked to declare who has responsibility for the strategic oversight of surveillance equipment, there were a variety of answers from the 22 retailers that took part in Beck’s study. Retailers must be aware that as the functionality of video technology continues to grow and improve, a strategy must be put in place to determine who should take responsibility for it. If retailers fail to do so, it could result in a fragmented, disjointed security strategy. 

As with any case for investment in the retail sector, the case for investment in video surveillance systems should be subject to its usability across the organisation. If the particular technology that is being looked into can benefit multiple business functions, then that is a good starting point. The marketing function, for example, might be interested in the value that data from video analytics provides. It is increasingly the case that in order to win investment in video surveillance systems, it must be multi-functional and involve multiple stakeholders. 

Ocucon provides an innovative solution for CCTV cloud storage. This solution impacts numerous areas of loss prevention as well as the retail organisation overall. Storing surveillance data in the cloud can help your organisation to mitigate fake personal injury claims. Contact us to learn more about how Ocucon cloud storage can help you to drive increased revenue, mitigate risks, and control costs for your organisation. 

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How To Protect The Health and Safety of Security Staff https://ocucon.com/how-to-protect-the-health-and-safety-of-security-staff/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-protect-the-health-and-safety-of-security-staff https://ocucon.com/how-to-protect-the-health-and-safety-of-security-staff/#respond Thu, 21 May 2020 15:34:19 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2533 During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers have found themselves working from home or have been furloughed. Many security employees, however, have continued to work, controlling retail shopping crowds, guarding company assets, and enforcing new rules like wearing a mask, social distancing and limited capacity levels in stores. All of these activities put them at [...]

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During the COVID-19 pandemic, many workers have found themselves working from home or have been furloughed. Many security employees, however, have continued to work, controlling retail shopping crowds, guarding company assets, and enforcing new rules like wearing a mask, social distancing and limited capacity levels in stores. All of these activities put them at a close proximity to the public and individuals who may be infected. 

Private Officer International, a U.S. private security and law enforcement organisation, has been tracking security officer deaths since early March and has identified 110 security officer deaths as of 16th May. They’ve identified that part of the problem has been a lack of Personal Protective Gear – an issue that is affecting people worldwide (source). 

The Office for National Statistics of England and Wales published their latest figures regarding COVID-19 death by occupation, revealing a high death rate in the security sector. Men working as security guards had one of the highest rates, with 45.7 deaths per 100,000 (63 deaths) (source).

In South Africa, it has been reported that there’s been more than 100 deaths of those working in the security industry. India has also reported that security officers were perishing from the COVID-19 virus at a faster rate than workers in other occupations. Furthermore, other countries have acknowledged that private security officers have both been infected with and died from the COVID-19 virus. They have not yet publicly released any statistical data.

An Increase in Store Violence

In addition to the health risks facing security employees, a range of safety risks are increasing at this time. Central England Co-op has reported a rise in violent offences towards its shop workers, including people threatening to cough and spit on staff. They’ve reported that incidents of verbal abuse have jumped from 11 per week to 24 in the past four weeks. In some cases, this is over four times higher than the same period during 2019 (Source).

Protecting Staff With Innovative Technology

One such solution that will keep your security employees safe is an automated store occupancy system. The best solutions on the market, such as Occupi by Ocucon, interact with your store’s access control system and use Deep Learning technology to recognise people and count the numbers entering and exiting the store. Occupi allows access only when the total number of customers falls below the number set for the store. This system allows for a fully automated, unmanned control over the store occupancy level, therefore removing the health and safety risk to security staff by removing the need for them to act as “door marshals.” It also removes human error from occupancy levels, keeps customers safe, and reduces the ongoing costs associated with manned security. Remote commissioning and service is available and Ocucon will supply a complete solution and all necessary training and briefing to the customer on the installation, setup and running of the system. Contact us today for more information on Occupi. 

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How Retailers Can Deliver a High Quality Experience Whilst Following Social Distancing Rules https://ocucon.com/how-retailers-can-deliver-a-high-quality-experience-whilst-following-social-distancing-rules/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-retailers-can-deliver-a-high-quality-experience-whilst-following-social-distancing-rules https://ocucon.com/how-retailers-can-deliver-a-high-quality-experience-whilst-following-social-distancing-rules/#respond Thu, 07 May 2020 09:25:28 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2524 Most retailers have in some way modified their store operations in order to facilitate social distancing to protect customers and staff from the coronavirus. However, key challenges remain, such as: — Difficulty determining which stores to reopen due to the uneven nature of the recovery — Consumer behaviour may be altered — Potential for [...]

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Most retailers have in some way modified their store operations in order to facilitate social distancing to protect customers and staff from the coronavirus. However, key challenges remain, such as:

— Difficulty determining which stores to reopen due to the uneven nature of the recovery

— Consumer behaviour may be altered

— Potential for too many customers in the store at one time

— Crowds forming outside due to set maximum entry limits at store entrances

This blog post will offer solutions for retailers who want to still deliver a high quality experience to their customers whilst also following social distancing rules. This post will offer a range of solutions to the four challenges as set out above. For full UK Government guidance on social distancing, please visit the gov.uk dedicated web page

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Altered Consumer Behaviour:

A recent survey commissioned by global commerce services company PFS found that when asked about their perceptions of brands’ responses to the pandemic, 52% of all consumers agree that they feel greater loyalty towards brands that effectively communicate with them and show how they’re helping people during this time (source ). This finding is really valuable for retailers as it can help shape your brand’s strategy in a multitude of ways. For instance it can inform your marketing messaging as well as your in store operations and staff training programme. An idea could be to open your stores at different times of the day and with tailored offers. Think about best practices in your industry. These tailored offers could include offering contact-free deliveries and elderly-only trading hours. Overall, it’s important to think about the long-term implications of the lockdown and not just the short-term impact of our current restrictions.

How to Determine Which Stores to Reopen:

Many retailers across the globe are using a phased strategy to reopen stores. In the US, this will depend on each state’s ordinances and agreements. Some retailers have opened select trial stores that operate shorter opening hours. 

Before stores reopen however, ensure that all systems are functioning and that you’re able to deliver an effective flow of information both internally and with your customers and suppliers. For instance, any out-of-stock situations that occurred in the past must be solved and supported by clear communication about when shelves will be restocked for full service. This is about managing customer expectations and delivering on your brand promise which  is the best way to reassure customers and retain their loyalty.

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Potential for Too Many Customers in the Store at One Time:

In order for customers to feel comfortable shopping in your store, it’s really important to ensure that social distancing is possible. It’s advisable to first consider the size of your store and look up regulations to check if there is a rule as to how many people are allowed per square metre (or feet) in indoor spaces (such as in Australia). This will help you determine the desired maximum occupancy number for your store. Knowing this figure is important as there are now technology solutions on the market that provide automated real time occupancy management. One such solution is Occupi which works with access control to allow the store to set the maximum occupancy level. When this number has been met, the sign at the entrance will display ‘FULL’ and the automatic doors will not open. It’s a really cost-effective solution for facilitating social distancing. 

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Crowds Forming Outside Due to Set Maximum Entry Limits at Store Entrances: 

Where queuing is taking place, you should use a queue management system to maintain a safe distance. Signage should be used to inform customers of the system and to make them aware of how the system works.

It’s also a good idea to stagger the amount of customers that can enter your store at one time during the first hour of opening every day. Such a feature can be easily configured with an automated occupancy system, such as Occupi. Furthermore, a system with a remote connection allows Store Managers to change the occupancy level at any time, to respond to events on site and control the flow of customers. 

Occupi allows your store to easily control occupancy levels in an orderly fashion, without the need for staff to monitor access to the store. This removes human error from occupancy levels, keeps staff and customers safe, and reduces ongoing costs associated with manned security.

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How to Monitor Store Occupancy https://ocucon.com/how-to-monitor-store-occupancy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-monitor-store-occupancy https://ocucon.com/how-to-monitor-store-occupancy/#respond Thu, 16 Apr 2020 14:59:52 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2480 In response to the coronavirus pandemic, retailers, particularly supermarkets, have had to quickly adapt. This blog post will explore the challenge retailers face in monitoring their store occupancy levels but will also provide information about solutions available.  - A Challenge: Monitoring Store Occupancy Levels Of the many recommendations for retail stores during this challenging [...]

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In response to the coronavirus pandemic, retailers, particularly supermarkets, have had to quickly adapt. This blog post will explore the challenge retailers face in monitoring their store occupancy levels but will also provide information about solutions available. 

A Challenge: Monitoring Store Occupancy Levels

Of the many recommendations for retail stores during this challenging time, one is to decrease the number of customers allowed in the store at a time (source).  A store’s maximum occupancy depends on its size, as well as the number of customers it serves daily. Many retail stores have adopted this measure, having announced that they are limiting the number of people who will be allowed inside their stores at one time in an effort to promote social distancing (source). And once a store reaches its capacity, customers are then admitted inside on a ‘1-out-1-in’ basis.

Many stores now employ marshals or “greeters” at the store entrance. Their role is to ensure a limited number of shoppers only enter the store at any one time. They also ensure shoppers are queuing responsibly and are standing two metres apart from each other. 

However, a common issue occurs at the entrance of stores. At this location there are shoppers queuing outside, often in disarray with a staff member on the door trying to control the flow. This issue is twofold; one problem is how to effectively control store occupancy levels and the second is the high added cost of employing staff to marshal the store entrance.  

The Solution: Occupancy Management

The first part of the solution is to “foot print” the store’s outside entrance area with social distancing markers spaced 2 metres or 6 feet apart. This is in accordance with recommendations from the CDC and the UK Government that people stay at least 2 metres (6 feet) apart from each other, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The second part of the solution is an illuminated sign or a traffic light above the entrance door. It enables shoppers to queue in accordance with social distancing with signage at the front door explaining the situation. Furthermore, an automated system that counts people in and out in accordance with the store’s maximum capacity guidelines solves the costly problem of providing additional staff to marshal the entrance. 

 Benefits of a Live Occupancy Management Solution

  1. Positive ROI: Significant cost savings can be realised by deploying an automated live occupancy management system
  2. Labour deployment efficiency and savings: It is no longer necessary to employ staff to deal with a situation where they have little to no training and are in close contact with the general public
  3. It is a simple, innovative solution to bring order to the queue outside the store
  4. A rapid deployment of a standalone system will control the situation and release key staff
  5. Reassures both employees and the general public that it is safe to shop in your store
  6. Mitigate risk during peak shopping experience (i.e. Black Friday)
  7. Comply with the “new norm” for social distancing and shopping experience: this is critical for the current Covid-19 pandemic and for the new retail norm post pandemic
  8. It is a future proof solution that will continue to benefit retailers for years to come

Solution Availability 

Occupi by Ocucon is our latest product. It uses Deep Learning technology to recognise people and count the numbers entering and exiting the store. Occupi allows access only when the total number of customers falls below the store’s set threshold. It allows for a fully automated, unmanned control over the store occupancy level. Interested in learning more about Occupi? Click here or contact us to learn more. 

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Are Retail Stores Getting More Safe? https://ocucon.com/are-retail-stores-getting-more-safe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=are-retail-stores-getting-more-safe https://ocucon.com/are-retail-stores-getting-more-safe/#respond Wed, 11 Mar 2020 16:02:53 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2470 Are retail stores getting more safe for workers? The latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest otherwise.  - In fact, the retail sector was the only US sector with an increase in the number of injuries in 2018. The total recordable cases rate increased from 2017 to 2018 from 3.3 cases [...]

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Are retail stores getting more safe for workers? The latest figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest otherwise. 

In fact, the retail sector was the only US sector with an increase in the number of injuries in 2018. The total recordable cases rate increased from 2017 to 2018 from 3.3 cases to 3.5 cases per 100 full-time employees. Injuries to first-line retail supervisors increased by 25% in 2018. 

Across retail categories, injuries and illnesses were up. General merchandise stores reported the most injuries and illnesses (96,000), followed by food and beverage stores (92,600 cases); motor vehicle and parts dealers (61,500 cases); and building material and garden supply stores (53,800 cases).

Retail injuries figures BLC

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Slips, trips, and falls continue to be a major risk in the retail sector. Of 126,580 days away from retail work in 2018, 34,190 were a result of slip, trip, and fall injuries – an increase of 11% from 2017. Injuries resulting from contact with objects and equipment saw an increase of 10% to 38,940 cases. These events had a higher rate for workers in the retail sector than for workers in private industry. 

Data also shows injuries by occupation- 15 occupations had at least 1,000 “days away from work” cases in 2018. Injuries and illnesses to retail salespersons accounted for 20% of these cases. These cases increased from 23,240 in 2017 to 25,600 in 2018.

Retail Injuries Figure2

Ensuring a Safer Retail Environment

  • Focus on influencing work processes rather than safety rules. Enable a culture where there is an inherent understanding that a supervisor expects workers to complete each task safely. Store associates should understand that safety is implicit in every job task they’re asked to perform.
  • Calculate safety costs per supervisor. If injury costs are not properly allocated, supervisors will have little motivation to spend time on health and safety activities. Enact positive reinforcement towards supervisors whose teams’ have superior safety records.
  • Establish safety expectations as soon as new employees arrive. In these situations, timing is critical. Safety expectations for stores and warehouses are likely to go beyond what a worker would typically do. Therefore it’s important to emphasize that you take them seriously as soon as each new employee arrives. 

Right click to download this infographic on injuries in the retail sector: 

infographic on retail safety

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Slips, Trips and Falls in the Retail Sector: Reducing the Risk https://ocucon.com/slips-trips-and-falls-in-the-retail-sector/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=slips-trips-and-falls-in-the-retail-sector https://ocucon.com/slips-trips-and-falls-in-the-retail-sector/#respond Mon, 10 Feb 2020 14:32:13 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2426 Did you know that nearly 50% of all claims made against retailers are slips, trips and falls cases? (source). It’s also important to be aware that slips, trips and falls are the second highest single cause of workplace injuries (source).  If a slip and fall accident occurs in your place of business, it can [...]

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Did you know that nearly 50% of all claims made against retailers are slips, trips and falls cases? (source). It’s also important to be aware that slips, trips and falls are the second highest single cause of workplace injuries (source). 

If a slip and fall accident occurs in your place of business, it can be difficult to defend your operations if due diligence has not been carried out in providing a safe environment for customers and employees. In order to effectively protect employees and customers, slip and fall prevention must be viewed holistically and a full risk assessment should be carried out. 

Compiling such a Risk Assessment should follow 6 steps;

Identify Risks

Begin by analysing previous slips to identify any particular issues. This involves identifying areas where slips, trips, and falls have happened and where they are more likely to happen. Consult with staff to find out if they are aware of any problems or if they have slipped in the past.

Then, identify all sources of liquid, for example; equipment using water/ liquid, cleaning store, toilets, loose fruit and vegetables, flowers and plants, etc. It’s important to know that viscous liquid spills can be highly hazardous. This is because as the viscosity of a likely spill increases, the surface roughness required increases. 

Prevent

A number of steps should be taken to prevent slips, trips, and falls caused by spills. The following should all be considered as part of your risk management strategy;

– Use floor mats near liquid containers

– Provide containers for customers to carry their goods

– Maintain equipment and pipework in good working order with proper seals and valves

– Dispose of packing material and other wrappings carefully. Merchandising material & paper/ magazine inserts can be hazardous

– Display any store liquids so it’s not likely to spill onto walkways. Don’t put containers of liquid too close to the front of shelves

– Invest in a software tool which alerts management as soon as hazardous material spills/ appears on the floor. Alerts should be set up to automatically send a notification in such an event.

Contain

In 2012, 35% of workplace visits by the Health and Safety Authority found that the employer didn’t have a procedure in place for the use of floor mats to reduce slip risks. It’s important that measures are taken to contain spills – these include;

– Use floor mats where appropriate

– Where spills are likely, provide tools designed to contain spills

– Provide drains in areas where spills are a frequent occurrence

– Hang mops and other wet equipment over buckets

– Exercise particular caution at entrances and exits 

Detect

Your business should be monitoring spill detection on a frequent, regular, and planned basis. Use a checklist to ensure monitoring of spills is carried out. 

Keep in mind that often, measures taken to bring awareness to a spill are generally not reliable. This is because the visibility of a fluid is dependent on numerous factors.

Actions which may increase the visibility of a fluid spill on a floor include:

  • Increase ambient lighting, especially around entrances and exits
  • Cordon off or place markers at the edges of a wet area
  • Ensure colour contrast between flooring and likely fluid contaminants, such as cleaning products
  • Use AI technology to identify hazardous spills as soon as they occur

Cordon

Ensure that spills are immediately removed using absorbent material. 

In some instances, it may not be possible to remove a spill straight away, for example, large spills, spills of viscous or hazardous liquids. In such circumstances, it may be necessary to cordon off the spill using signs or markers.

Remove

Spills should be dealt with immediately. To be proactive, provide cleaning materials to remove spills at identified high risk areas. Ensure spills are thoroughly cleaned and dried. Often, a superficial effort made to clean or dry the surface can cause a greater risk than that of the original spill. 

Emerging technology that detects hazards such as liquid spills as soon as they occur can significantly reduce risk. It is predicted that this innovative technology will be commercially available this year and will greatly improve retail operations.

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Opportunities in VSaaS for Loss Prevention https://ocucon.com/opportunities-in-vsaas-for-loss-prevention/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=opportunities-in-vsaas-for-loss-prevention https://ocucon.com/opportunities-in-vsaas-for-loss-prevention/#respond Thu, 30 Jan 2020 09:52:42 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2421 This post will detail how video surveillance as a service, or VSaaS, is an innovative solution to the challenges that Loss Prevention professionals face.  Current Challenges The Loss Prevention team is an integral part of any business. Loss prevention leaders face numerous challenges in all aspects of the job. In the past, the average [...]

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This post will detail how video surveillance as a service, or VSaaS, is an innovative solution to the challenges that Loss Prevention professionals face. 

Current Challenges

The Loss Prevention team is an integral part of any business. Loss prevention leaders face numerous challenges in all aspects of the job. In the past, the average LP leader focused almost entirely on shrink, safety, and physical security. However, risks have changed and LP professionals must address challenges that span the entire business. New high-level risks such as terrorism, evolved physical security threats, fraud, and the theft of proprietary information are now often considered the responsibility of the Loss Prevention team.  

Loss Prevention professionals are often responsible for the organisation’s surveillance technology in order to deter crime and promote safety.  When tasked with retrieving video from for example, LP teams find it tedious, requiring endless searching to find the required footage. Sharing and archiving footage is often cumbersome, wasting technical and management resources. Loss prevention leaders are busy; they’re pressed for the time it takes to thoroughly analyse and test solutions. And of course, there are constant budgetary pressures. Furthermore, as technology is constantly evolving, it is important to continuously adjust.

What is VSaaS?

Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) provides on demand network access to surveillance data. This data can then be quickly obtained and easily released with little service provider interaction or management effort. For the end user, the process is as follows; an on-site camera records the audio/video data, transmits it using an internet connection to the cloud, and the Video Management Software (VMS) delivers the footage on-demand to the end-user/client. 

VSaaS was one of the first applications of cloud technology as it offers unparalleled benefits in cost, ease of implementation, maintenance, usage, scaling, and security. The best VSaaS providers offer open integration and low cost scalability. Such providers are built upon a price effective business model and are constantly evolving their technology. 

The market for VSaaS is growing quickly; the value of the global VSaaS market is expected to reach £1.5 billion in 2020. The two driving factors of this market are due to the rising installation of surveillance technology for security purposes and the growing demand for IP cameras due to reduced cost and superior functionality. I’ve personally witnessed the increase in demand for this technology in the commercial vertical due to Loss Prevention teams’ desire to enhance security, reduce theft, and gather data in order to take a long-term view of risk. 

Opportunities

It’s important to first carry out a well-reasoned, thoroughly researched financial justification for introducing new surveillance technology. This will promote “buy-in” for the project, and helps the LP team make the case to senior management. 

Intelligent video services and analytics

VSaaS providers are continuously looking for ways to innovate. Many VSaaS solutions include Intelligent Video Analytics which provides LP teams with crucial data such as; audio detection, defocusing detection, face detection, fog detection, intrusion, loitering, motion detection, sound classification including; explosion, glass break, gunshot, scream, tampering detection, and virtual line crossing. 

Storage on EDGE technology

Edge storage makes it possible for surveillance video recording to be flexible and reliable, ensures bandwidth usage is optimised, and lowers the cost for remote site recording. This technology offers remote site recording that is affordable wherever bandwidth is either absent or limited. Edge storage offers fail-over recording, meaning that in the case of a network failure, images can be temporarily stored on the camera’s SD card. 

Mobile Access

VSaaS is managed in the cloud, therefore users benefit from the ability to access data from anywhere at anytime via their desktop, laptop, or mobile device. This is beneficial to LP teams as they are frequently on the move, and this feature allows connected remote working that is secure. 

Fraud Prevention and Asset Protection

Fraudulent slips, trips, and falls claims cost UK businesses more than half a billion a year. It is estimated that many organisations are losing around five per cent of their annual revenue to fraud.

Audit tracking, litigation and fraudulent claims have resulted in an increased requirement for businesses to store and retrieve security footage over longer periods of time. This is in order to help effectively defend against wrongful allegations.

Making an investment in upgrading your surveillance technology could realistically achieve ROI within a year through better prevention of theft and fraudulent claims in addition to improved operational oversight. Technological advances in digital IP video cameras and recorders has resulted in captured images are clearer, no matter what the lighting conditions are. 

A VSaaS provider will work with you to ensure video data is easily retrievable, ensuring collection of surveillance video evidence doesn’t take up extra time or resources. This also enables your team to ensure the swift collection of compensation when any store property is damaged or stolen. Your team will be able to work from anywhere, as storing data in the cloud will allow them to efficiently monitor any store location from anywhere with an internet connection. 

Choosing a VSaaS Provider

When selecting a VSaaS provider, it’s advised to choose a provider that goes beyond simply submitting a standardised proposal. The best client/provider relationship is typically one where the provider can create a bespoke commercial solution that reflects the client’s unique requirements and challenges. Look for a provider that will first gain a deep understanding of the unique nature of your challenges. They should then explore how their solution can add value to your bottom line.

If your business deals with any amount of fraudulent claims or wrongful allegations, explore solutions that provide the flexibility to store uncapped amounts of data for as long as required. This revolutionises the way in which businesses defend against fraud. It will allow for greater post-recording video analytics that will ultimately generate significant security and business insights.

A VSaaS solution should be hassle-free. Look for a completely turnkey solution; the provider should liaise with your incumbent IT and communications suppliers, and provision and manage new internet connectivity. The solution should be completely off network – not interfering with any of your existing CCTV hardware. The right provider should be willing to work with open systems – they won’t be tied to a particular brand and will be happy to recommend best-in-class products and services. Contact us today to speak with us about the value that Ocucon’s solutions provide. 

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Do you Need a Privacy Impact Assessment for your Surveillance System? https://ocucon.com/privacy-impact-assessment-surveillance-systems/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=privacy-impact-assessment-surveillance-systems https://ocucon.com/privacy-impact-assessment-surveillance-systems/#respond Thu, 23 Jan 2020 09:59:49 +0000 https://ocucon.com/?p=2394 The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice Principle 2 states that; “The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified” (source). The best way to ensure compliance with Principle 2? Conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment(PIA). The one [...]

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The Surveillance Camera Code of Practice Principle 2 states that; “The use of a surveillance camera system must take into account its effect on individuals and their privacy, with regular reviews to ensure its use remains justified” (source).

The best way to ensure compliance with Principle 2? Conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment(PIA). The one provided by the Surveillance Camera Commissioner (available here ) should serve as your primary resource. Conducting a PIA allows surveillance systems operators to dissect risks to compliance with GDPR and the ICO CCTV code of practice.

A PIA should take into account the purpose for such a system and the impact that recording may have on an individual’s privacy. Decide whether the proposed system can be justified as proportionate to the reason it is required. Read on to find out if you need to conduct such an assessment….

Should I Conduct a Privacy Impact Assessment?

The Surveillance Camera Commission recommends that a privacy impact assessment is carried out when any of the following apply:

Cameras are added or removed from systems

  • When conducting a review of your system to ensure that it is justified (in accordance with Principle 10 of the Surveillance Camera Code of Practice and with the ICO CCTV code of practice). It is recommended that businesses conduct this review once a year.

Cameras are moved or change position

  • When you are changing the location or field of view of a camera or any such similar changes
  • When you increase the area captured by your surveillance camera systems

Whole or parts of systems are upgraded

  • The activity or change will engage heightened privacy concerns such as voice recording and biometric recognition such as facial and gait recognition
  • When you change the way in which the recorded images and information is handled, used, or disclosed.
  • If you are considering the capture of an additional identifier such as vehicle registration mark to enable automatic number plate recognition (ANPR).

New systems are installed

  • Considering introducing new or additional technology that may affect privacy (for example body worn cameras, drones, or multi sensor extremely high resolution cameras)
  • If your system involves any form of cross referencing to other collections of personal information
  • If your system involves more than one company or agency undertaking activities either on your behalf or in their own right
  • When you change or add an end user or recipient for the recorded information or information derived from it

In summary; if in doubt over whether to conduct a PIA, consider the nature and scope of the surveillance camera activities and the potential to impact upon an individual’s privacy.

Scroll down to view the checklist we created and right click to save so that you can use this checklist for your own business!

PIA cctv

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