The past couple of years has been interesting for the security guard industry. In the near future, the growing regulations are likely to increase. Simultaneously, the demand for guards has climbed in sectors such as retail and healthcare. This is the result of lockdowns, vaccine requirements, mask mandates, and other new elements in society.
That is why it is vital more than ever for security guard companies to pay more attention to liability issues. A small mistake from a security guard can lead to a big lawsuit, and that is not something security guard companies want to deal with. Let’s take a look at some of the liabilities that guards should be careful of in 2022.
Assault And Battery
This basically means that a security guard has harmed someone physically when trying to remove or subdue them. It is one of the most common issues mentioned in lawsuits against security guard companies. While state laws can differ, this can result in civil suits or criminal charges. For this reason, guards should always avoid violence.
But what to do when force is necessary to handle a situation? Remembering your training and proper understanding of the situation is necessary. Typically, security guards are allowed to use force that is minimally required to deal with the situation. Weapons of all sorts should be avoided unless it is necessary to save someone from getting hurt. In situations that are particularly dangerous, the actions of a security guard can fall under self-defense, minimizing the risk of liability.
Illegally Arresting Or Detaining
Security guards aren’t allowed to do things that law enforcement can. They are also not as protected from a lawsuit as law enforcement. Illegally arresting or detaining someone on a job is a common example of this. Falsely imprisoning someone carries serious liability risks.
Impersonating A Police Officer
This is an issue that can occur when guards interact with other people. Guards cannot and should not identify themselves as police officers or order someone like law enforcement. This is illegal and can cause trouble for the guard.
Guards without current training and proper licensing should not use a firearm, period. This should not be included in their kit because using it can add to any potential liability issues.
Negligence During Altercations
If the actions of a security guard cause harm to someone through negligence, then the security guard company could become liable for his action. A typical example of this would be a security guard pushing people in his way to reach an incident and someone falling and getting hurt because of his push. Security guards need to maintain the safety of everyone around them, including someone they are trying to restrain.
Damaging the property while working can also lead to liability issues. The matter of relief is that, compared to injuries and related issues, this one is a relatively minor matter. Nonetheless, all property damage should be documented carefully in order to avoid misunderstandings.
A final note for security guard companies: if any accident occurs, corroboration is particularly valuable. That is why teams should do security patrols wherever possible. Security footage can be very useful when verifying what actually occurred. This type of evidence and testimony can be very helpful in dealing with lawsuits and other issues.