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Do I Need CCTV in My Workplace?

Safety in the workplace is incredibly important, whether you run a high-risk business or just want to make employees feel comfortable. Over the years, closed-circuit television or CCTV has continued to increase in popularity. Technology has become more available and, even the smallest businesses and premises, can now afford to have CCTV installed around the workplace. But, when does this become essential? And, are there any legal requirements that state you must have it installed? Read our latest guide to discover more.

What is CCTV

Also known as video surveillance, CCTV is a system of networks with cameras and recording equipment. It is used to monitor a building and its surroundings 24/7 with recorded images and audio available for download as needed. They are known as ‘closed circuit’ systems, as they operate independently from other receivers and offer a private means of monitoring. Generally, these systems make use of high-end surveillance cameras that feature lenses designed to improve the image quality, even in low-light conditions or at night time.

Why Is it Important for Business?

Reports have shown that having a CCTV system fitted on business premises can reduce certain types of crime. Many business owners, especially those with smaller or private companies, cannot afford the loss or damage that can come from a burglary or theft. The financial implications this entails, as well as the threat to downtime and the impact it can have on the mental health of employees, can be devastating. Private CCTV systems have risen in popularity as a result with private cameras said to outnumber public cameras by as much as 70 to 1.

Having one of these systems in place can:

  • Help you to ‘witness’ a crime for yourself.
  • Provide evidence during a court case to strengthen the fight for a conviction.
  • Make it easier to identify the individuals who caused the damage.
  • Provide eyes on ‘hidden’ areas around the property.
  • Be used more widely as a neighbourhood crime deterrent too.
  • Provides a view of your property when it is empty.
  • Provide a means of monitoring a property that is cheaper than hiring security staff.
  • Helps to reduce the risk of fraudulent insurance claims.
  • Offers a level of protection for your employees.

CCTV can also be used to monitor employees if required. For example, if you believe someone to be stealing from or not following the proper rules while you’re not on-site, this monitoring system can be used to prove or disprove your case. There are a multitude of reasons why you may choose to install a CCTV system.

Do I Need to Have It?

There are many legal requirements you need to follow when starting a business. And, if you’re doing so out of your pocket or with limited funds, paying out for a CCTV system may be one of those costs you’re wondering if you can eliminate. In the UK and to date, there are no legal regulations in place that state that you have to have a surveillance system in place. The choice is entirely up to you as to whether you feel like this is a vital addition to the business or whether you can afford to leave it for a while.

If you do choose to have CCTV installed, you must make sure that you follow the data protection laws and use the system only for the purpose it was intended. You will need to register your details with the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) and pay a data protection fee unless you are exempt.

And, on top of this, you will need to:

  • Implement a system to control who has access to the recordings.
  • Use safety signs appropriately to tell people that they are being recorded.

How to Install it Safely in the Workplace

If you decide that CCTV surveillance is essential in the workplace, you will need to:

  • Make sure all employees and visitors are alerted to the fact that they are being recorded.
  • Ensure that cameras are not installed in private areas of the workplace where there is an expectation of privacy, such as toilets or changing rooms.
  • Provide access to anyone who requests footage from your cameras within one month.
  • Appoint a dedicated person within the business who is responsible for the management, storage and review of the footage taken.

It also pays to make sure you stick within other legal guidelines and take into account the risks associated with installing CCTV.

Think about:

  • Will the installation of CCTV cause damage to employee trust? This can be overcome by training sessions to explain the implementation of these systems and guidance on the benefits it will offer, such as more job security.
  • Whether your system will become an infringement on GDPR. You will need to maintain high levels of security around the personal data that is collected and should only be kept for a designated period. Actions must be taken to prevent unauthorised access and safety signs must be used to make sure employees and visitors are fully aware.
  • Is CCTV surveillance in any way overly intrusive? Be aware of the Human Rights Act 1998 and make sure that none of the cameras or footage extracted could be violating the privacy of your employees.

How Can Safety Signs Help?

As we’ve mentioned above, you need to make sure that everyone is aware that they are being monitored. Safety signs are an effective way to do this, giving clear and legible information to both visitors and employees. The implementation of ISO 7010 has ensured that the logos, colours and messages used on modern-day signs can be read and understood universally, eliminating the risk of miscommunication.

At Lasting Impressions, we have a wide selection of CCTV related signs to help you with this. From our CCTV in Operation Security Sign and our CCTV Images Are Being Recorded Security Sign with fillable fields for contact information and management title. We have a variety of choices to suit your business, in both landscape and portrait, as well as numerous sizes and both self-adhesive vinyl and 1mm rigid plastic.

For more information about installing CCTV safely in the workplace or to speak to a member of our team, please do get in contact here today.