Security guards are hired to monitor, patrol and guard residential and commercial properties to prevent violence, theft, robberies, burglaries, and rule infractions. Some guards operate metal detectors and x-ray equipment to identify unwanted items brought onto the premises. The guard might be armed or unarmed and trained to use a variety of tactics and specialized equipment to perform their duties. Securing the premises might require using video cameras, alarms, motion sensors, and non-lethal or lethal weapons that are used in compliance with state regulations.
Most security guards are positioned at public and private institutions, apartment complexes, residential homes, commercial buildings and private property for the sole purpose of protecting assets and humans. Many guards wear uniforms on the job to serve as instant recognition and proper identification of their authority to maintain safety on the premises. Common responsibilities of the security guard include:
- Prevent theft, trespass, and vandalism by watching over specific locations, patrolling areas and making observations to prevent misconduct and identify suspicious behavior.
- Document events in the security log that are occurring on the premises.
- Follow scheduled patrols and shifts to provide on-site protection.
- Watch over owners, employees, guests, visitors, and others and report any unusual activity or escort unruly four unwanted individuals away from the premises.
In addition to using video cameras to monitor zones and patrol the area on foot or in a vehicle, many security guards have the authority to grant access to authorized personnel and visitors into restricted areas. In some incidences, the guard will need to aid others during an emergency. The physical presence of a security guard is often sufficient to deter vandalism, theft, undesirable behavior or assault.
There has been a significant rise in the need for additional security guards. The projected growth is expected to expand to 18.8% before 2020.
If you or a family member was injured while working as a security guard, you are likely entitled to workers compensation benefits. Contact the workers compensation attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC for more information and a free review of your legal rights and options.
Security Guard Injuries
The threats that every security guard faces involving physically active on the job, and exposed to a variety of elements. Common injuries documented every year involving security guards include:
- Assault injuries caused by unruly customers, burglars, trespassers,
- Exposure to hazardous chemicals and smoke,
- Muscle strains or sprain,
- Injuries caused by overexertion,
- Vehicular accidents that occur while the guard is on patrol or chasing fleeing suspects,
- Workplace accidents,
- Slips, trips, and falls,
- Posttraumatic stress disorder,
- Dehydration, sunburn, and heatstroke.
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), approximately 70 security guards die on the job every year, which is slightly higher in percentages than police officers working in the line of duty. Typically, the security guard is the first to arrive on the scene of an incident, long before law enforcement arrives. This practice can expose the guard to dangerous conditions that could lead them mentally, emotionally or physically scarred.
Security Guard Hazards
Even though the daily duties of a security guard seem mundane and boring, there are brief moments of the job with intense action that might place the guard in extreme danger. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2009, the fatality rate in America for security guards was 7.4 for every 100,000 full-time security guards. This rate was more than double the fatality rate of all other workers on average. Of the more than one million individuals who worked as a security guard that year, approximately 8900 of them suffered non-fatal injuries or work-related illnesses requiring time off from work.
Assaults involving security guard fatalities are more common during the overnight shift between 8:00 PM and 4:00 AM than any other time of the day. However, the most common type of non-fatal injury was slipping and falling. Even the most capable security guard faces a wide range of danger on the job while carrying a huge responsibility of maintaining order and ensuring individuals are safe and the premises remains secure. The most common types of risks for guards include:
- Slipping, Tripping and Falling – Security guards are more likely to slip, trip or fall in the workplace than suffer any other type of injury on the job. Common reasons for slipping include walking on wet sidewalks and slippery floor surfaces during inclement weather involving snow, rain or ice while wearing inappropriate footwear.
- Ergonomic Hazards – Many security guards work in poorly lit areas, often without appropriate protective clothing and equipment that is required to maintain safety. Safe work practices include wearing padded gloves and appropriate footwear.
- Working Alone – Many security guards work without the assistance of another coworker and at times without direct supervision. Loan workers are more prone to accidents and physical violence from intruders or unruly customers.
- Violent Assault – In 2011, nearly 2/3 of all fatal security guard injuries occurred through assault and violent acts, followed by transportation accidents as a distant second.
Security Guards' Wages
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016, data concerning the employment statistics of the previous year, 38,070 Security Guards were working in the Chicago, Naperville and Arlington Heights metropolitan area. On average, Security Guards in northeastern Illinois earn $32,160 every year (mean wage), which is $15.46 per hour. The wage is significantly higher than the national average. See Chart
Security Guard Fatalities and Injuries
Many more security guards are injured and killed every year than law enforcement and other first responders. This occurs because the guard is usually the first to arrive at the scene of an accident, crime scene, or incident occurring at a nightclub, bar, outlet, residential area, shopping mall, or commercial property. Some recent fatalities and injuries occurring in America involving security guards include:
- Case 1: September 2017 – A 42-year-old security guard was killed on the first day of his job. On September 4, 2017, just after 8:00 PM, law enforcement received a report that there had been a shooting at a Multiplex Cinema theater. The incident occurred when two security guards were taking a deposit bag full of cash from Domino's Pizza to deposit of the local bank. During the incident, the guards were confronted by two gunmen. One security guard sustained a fatal gunshot injury.
- Case 2: Riverside, California – A 48-year-old owner of a security services company was gunned down after stepping in front of two young suspects he began firing at the Grant Terrace Skating Rink in the early morning hours of New Year's Eve 2015. The security guard was able to return fire but succumbed to his injuries sometime later.
- Case 3: Las Vegas, Nevada – Two security guards were killed in an Arizona Charlie's Decatur hotel room in Las Vegas involving an unarmed male security guard and an armed female guard. According to eyewitness accounts, and surveillance equipment inside the facility, the 29-year-old shooter allowed the guards to enter the room where an argument ensued. As the shooting began, the officer never drew her weapon. By the time law enforcement arrived at the scene, the shooter had run out of the facility to a nearby neighborhood and attempted to carjackings that failed. The alleged gunman was later caught and charged with various felony charges including two counts of murder.
- Case 4: Eudora, Kansas – A 36-year-old suspect was charged with murder after gunning down a 32-year-old security guard after a fight that occurred outside a bar. The alleged shooter was charged with first-degree murder and an additional two charges of attempted first-degree murder. According to eyewitnesses, the alleged gunman got into a fight with an individual outside of the bar. The security guard responded to check on the situation, where he was subsequently shot. The guard succumbed to his injuries the following day during surgery.
- Case 5: Cincinnati, Ohio – In December 2017, an alleged suspect caring two handguns stormed into the psychiatric emergency room in an Ohio Hospital firing at a police officer and wounding a security guard before fatally shooting himself. The actions of the 20-year-old alleged shooter were caught on surveillance video camera equipment. No motive was determined. The security guard was shot twice in the torso and transported to the nearby Medical Emergency Center.
- Case 6: Houston, Texas – A security guard died after being shot while attempting to keep an individual from entering a condominium property at a complex in the Southwest Houston area. It was the 51-year-old armed guard's second day on the job. The incident involved a confrontation between the guard and th man attempting to get into the property. Police are investigating the incident and reviewing security logs and surveillance video to generate leads the could apprehend the shooter.
Staying Safe on the Job
Even though the security guard is charged with maintaining safety for others, many of the risks to their health and well-being that are associated with the job can be avoided by taking specific measures. Some of the simple steps include:
- Make a Plan – Been prepared for nearly any scenario or eventuality can save your life and protect you against serious injury. Being ready for difficult challenges and knowing what to do quickly can minimize viable job-related risks.
- Understand the Environment – Becoming familiar with their surroundings during quiet times will affect the ease of moving through your environment during emergencies. Learn where every safety hazard, exit, doorway, stairway, or obstruction is to use your surroundings to your benefit when an emergency arises.
- Wear Body Armor – If you work in a high crime rate area, known for burglaries in armed robberies, you are likely at greater risk of violence, physical assault and encountering gunfire. Wearing body armor designed to guard against forceful threats and assault using guns, knives, and other weapons can save your life to minimize your injuries.
- Use the Best Equipment – Never carry radiocommunication devices that function erratically or wear minimally functional safety vests or slippery shoes. Using the best equipment is a key component to maintaining your safety in your work environment every day.
- Know Your Limits – Even though your job is to protect others, placing yourself in grave danger Is not always a wise decision. Avoid attempting to be the hero when confronting dangerous Criminal activity. Instead, observe your surroundings, assess the situation and make the appropriate decision. Making good quick decisions might include calling emergency services or law enforcement officers when necessary.
Understanding your bounds as a security officer in your capacity to do your job correctly will go a long way to your longevity in the occupation. Acting cautiously and responsibly might include never picking up a suspicious looking package, never using excessive force nor inciting others to behave even more erratically during potentially violent situations. Appropriate training can minimize your potential for injury and death in nearly any dangerous setting.
Do You Need Assistance to File Your Accident Injury Claim?
Our law firm helps injured Security Guards obtain financial compensation under the IL Worker's Compensation Act and through civil lawsuits. Call us today for a Free Consultation.
Many occupational injuries are severe and at times life-threatening. If you have been injured, hiring an employment injury attorney could be beneficial to your financial future. Your lawyer can ensure you receive financial recompense through multiple sources. The law firm will assist you in organizing and filing a complicated claim for benefits. Additionally, your lawyer might determine that other parties are also at fault for your injuries.
Contact A Security Guard Workers Compensation & Injury Law Firm
Working on your behalf, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers (888-424-5757) can issue a complaint, file your compensation claim, gather evidence, build your case, and negotiate an out of court settlement or take your lawsuit to trial.
You are not required to pay any upfront fees or retainers because our personal injury law firm accepts all compensation cases through contingency fee arrangements. This agreement allows the payment your legal fees to be postponed until after our attorneys have successfully resolved your case at trial or through a negotiated out of court settlement. We guarantee if we do not win, you do not pay!