Tuesday, June 23, 2015 by Paul Kazlauskas
Visitors to an office building come in many different forms. A few different types include business guests, contactors, potential new hires, delivery personnel, and employee family members. Some visitors are regulars, while others visit just once and are never seen again in the facility. Regardless of their visitor access needs, all visitors should be processed efficiently and accurately with their intentions documented. Here are 4 tips for well-managed visitor control in office buildings.
1. Verification of identity.
The visitor’s identity needs to be verified without any doubt. A valid driver’s license is the most effective way to accomplish that. A business card should never be accepted as a valid form of identification. The following two questions need to be answered…1) Who is the person seeking access to the facility and 2) can they prove that they are who they say they are? Failure to provide truthful answers to those questions should result in a denial of access to the visitor.
2. Validation of the visit.
Does the person have a valid reason to visit the facility? Every visitor who enters the building should be doing so for a specific reason and they should be up-front about why they are there. A trusted, current employee could have invited the visitor to the place of business for a specific reason or meeting. The host should be expecting them for a meeting or should be prepared to accept a delivery. Solicitation should not be allowed. When a business has a no solicitation policy, they are denying the public from entering the business to make requests, sell something, or ask for donations.
3. Control of access from the building lobby to other areas within the facility.
Is the visitor issued a visitor badge? All visitors who enter an office building should be issued some sort of visitor pass. It can be adhered directly to a person’s clothing or used in conjunction with a badge tag, badge holder, and/or lanyard. Can the visitor badge be used at access control card readers? Some facilities offer plastic visitor I.D. cards, instead of visitor badges, that contain RFID chips and allow visitors to scan certain doors to gain access. The I.D. card should be loaded with the correct access control measures so the visitor isn’t allowed into areas they aren’t authorized to be in. Is an escort required? If so, one should be ready for their duties once the visitor arrives.
4. Screening for contraband.
Do building or company policies require screening for weapons or explosives? After the September 11th attacks, many commercial high-rise operations instituted the use of package x-ray and walkthrough magnetometers for employees and/or visitors. Not all facilities have this protocol in place, but the ones who do have detailed procedures should anything unlawful be found on a visitor trying to enter an office building.
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