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Using Smart Technology to Promote Employee Safety and Security

Our company moves and processes $8 billion in cash every day. We help banks, retailers, and other organizations manage their cash, replenish their ATMs, store their currency, and more. Handling such critical and sensitive tasks means safety and security must always be our top priorities.

Not only are we responsible for getting cash securely to and from our customers, we are also responsible for the safety of our employees while doing so. This is paramount for me as a business leader. And with nearly 10,000 employees across 250 branches on the front lines directly handling the cash, our emphasis on safety and security is critical.

Since joining GardaWorld Cash Services as CEO five years ago, we have made it a mission to be the market leader in safety and security. Here are some of the top things I have learned along the way.

The Importance of a Safety Culture

Safety begins with employees feeling connected to the mission and understanding their roles in building a safety culture.  This is particularly relevant given our challenging industry.

Our driver-messengers are under tremendous stress. They may be armed or operate a 10,000 to 25,000 pound rated vehicle but must always remain on high alert for threats from all directions. They are entrusted to move our customers’ assets safely, while providing high-level customer service, completing strict security protocols and being subject to advanced technological tracking. Servicing an ATM alone requires completion of 45 discrete tasks. We understand how that kind of responsibility can weigh on one’s mind, which is why we instill a commitment to safety and security across the organization.

Safety has always been a priority, and we are investing in technological innovations and a multi-faceted approach to meet our goal to lead the industry in the way of safety. Although the pandemic has presented its own challenges, we remain focused on improvement and have doubled down on safety measures with a sizable investment of both time and money.

Innovating Armored Fleet Design

A large part of keeping our employees safe and secure comes from investing in a best-in-class fleet. Our newest vehicles are the most technologically advanced and state-of-the-art armored vehicles on the road today.

For example, we have invested in a fleet of custom-designed Ford Transit vehicles loaded with security features. They are significantly lighter than our previous vehicles and have a lower center of gravity, making them easier to maneuver and control. We also use technology to limit speed and allow for real-time visibility of employees and assets and equip industry-leading access control and alarm features.

We have upgraded our vehicle inspection process, so drivers can electronically record pre-trip inspections on Zebra scanners at the beginning and end of every shift to check that their vehicle is safe to drive. The electronic data helps track and expedite vehicle maintenance to correct issues at their inception.

Investing in Smart Sensors and Software

Another recent safety innovation is the integration of Samsara dash cameras into our armored fleet. These sophisticated devices utilize artificial intelligence and data to detect high-risk behaviors and incidents in real-time. This technology enables the monitoring of driver behavior both inside and outside the cab. It also provides alerts to proactively support driver safety.

Samsara provides data and analytics of driving behavior, enhancing our ability to address any issues. These metrics are used for productive coaching of drivers while reinforcing safe driving behaviors. Importantly, our objective is to coach, not to punish. Data-driven conversations support our culture of safety and encourage best practices and compliance. The best way to change behavior is through positive reinforcement and mentoring. Any driver could benefit from similar reviews of their driving, which also serves to always keep safety at top of mind.

We are grateful for our branch leaders who lead by example in making safety a top priority, and therefore the priority for their teams.

Multi-faceted Approach Makes Safety Personal

Innovating our armored fleet and investing in smart technologies are only one part of our safety mission. We take a holistic approach to address safety from all angles, with different tools and processes that work together to promote safety and security.

Beyond the technology, we build and reinforce our safety culture through leadership and employee engagement. We offer cash incentives to promote safety and accident avoidance. We hold frequent safety and security huddles.  This attention to safety is also embedded within employee training, vehicle maintenance and investments, compliance measures, escalation policies, safety committees, mental health programs, and more.

This past year, we had a double-digit decrease in the number of incidents. I credit our employees with this achievement. Our employees appreciate the investments made and support our push for safety, which makes sense, because they’re the main reason we launched this initiative.

Fewer incidents mean lower costs, fewer employees missing work, and happier customers, who appreciate knowing that we will safely deliver on our promises.

But those are side benefits. To be effective, you have to promote safety for the right reason: to protect lives—those of employees and of the public at large.

With the right commitment supported by the right technology, safety can become a pillar in any workplace culture.

Stéphane Gonthier is CEO of GardaWorld Cash Services. Sponsored Content by Samsara.