Attaining a 100-percent safe and secure work place is a lofty goal that we should strive for but will never completely realize. Reasonably safe and secure is a more realistic, although subjective, goal. In the case of safety, you can never eliminate all risk of accidents, but you can take precautions to lower the likelihood of them occurring. The phrase, "Accidents do happen," is always applicable.
In the case of security, theft and vandalism, the same rules apply. You can take steps to make it difficult for someone to steal or damage property, but if someone is intent, you can't stop them from doing the dirty work. While I worked on a golf course in Massachusetts, I saw this all the time. We encountered burglars stealing gas from our pumps, flag poles from greens, tee markers from tees and pine trees from the roughs (to be used as Christmas decorations). We took steps to deter these thefts -- such as collecting flags at night, making inexpensive, easily replaceable cement tee markers with plastic-foam cups as forms and a nail as the tee-marker anchor and spray-painting susceptible Christmas trees -- but they occured anyway. Some of the vandalism acts seem funny in retrospect, but they weren't at the time. One morning, we found marshmallows covering the first fairway making it difficult for the day's first golfer to find his golf ball among the similar-sized and -colored marshmallows. Another time we found a Molotov cocktail -- a beer bottle filled with gasoline and a fuel-soaked cloth for a fuse. Fortunately, the bottle didn't break when the perpetrator threw it, and the fuse burned out. Other times, we found car and motorcycle skid marks on greens. We even had horses and a herd of cows wander about the course leaving behind 2-inch-deep hoof prints (though I doubt if they had any malicious intent!). Remembering these dastardly deeds, this issue focuses on safety and security.
A fence provides the first line of your property's defense against safety and security problems. While some fences aren't very attractive, the proper choice can be a design asset. The vast array of fencing materials and styles offers many choices to meet your or your customer's needs. Learn about fencing options in "Secure, elegant, functional...fencing" by Keith Fitzgerald and Valerie Smith Buxton, with the American Fence Association (page 14).
Fences won't stop every determined vandal, but at least they act as a deterrent. For instance, consider the person who selects one of your buildings on which to paint graffiti. A fence may make that person think twice about your building vs. another, more accessible one. But what happens when your's is selected as a graffiti canvas? Experts agree that you need to get the graffiti off as soon as possible or it will attract more graffiti "artists." Find out "How To: Remove graffiti" on page 30.
Prevention applies to not only security but to safety. You can take steps that minimize accidents, such as exposure to hazardous substances, by using personal protective equipment (PPE). For an overview of your PPE options, see "What's New: Personal protective equipment" (page 33).
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