Physical Security Audit Vs Health & Safety in terms of RISK


Throughout Alwinco’s 30+ years in crime prevention, we’ve never encountered a business or home capable of providing us with their Physical Security Audit via an Independent Security Risk Assessment. Documentation provided, particularly by companies, has often been a Health & Safety Report mistaken for a Risk Assessment.

Health & Safety Vs Security Risk Assessment

Although many people don’t realize it, these two principles are, in fact, vastly different and at opposite ends of the spectrum.

One group favors easily opening exit doors, while the other group prefers to make access into and out of the building more difficult. Unfortunately, Health & Safety typically garner more attention due to legal enforcement, whereas security does not.

Another influencing factor is that, particularly in South Africa, the Health & Safety Officer often serves as the Security Manager as well.


The Key to Crime Prevention is Opportunity

Health & Safety focus on probability, while security addresses the opportunities for crime within your physical security. Our methodology emphasizes removing these opportunities to prevent victimization. The Security Risk Assessment, a form of Physical Security Audit, involves an in-depth investigation of system weaknesses and vulnerabilities that could facilitate crime.

The Grading Method is inaccurate
Security Risk Assessment - Incorrect Process - Physical Security- Alwinco Independent Security Risk Consultant Security GP #SRA #SA South Africa Local Natal KwaZulu-Natal Amajuba eThekwini iLembe Sisonke Ugu uMgungundlovu uMkhanyakude Umzinyathi uThukela Uthungulu Zululand Durban
Security Risk Assessment – Incorrect Process

The confusion arises from adapting the grading technique or risk matrix used in Health & Safety to define security risk. However, this translation has proven largely inaccurate in conducting a Physical Security Audit.

This is because it is a rather more subjective approach.
As a rather unfit and short assessor, I might rate a very high wall as a ‘1’ for low risk because I couldn’t imagine scaling this wall myself. But the determined criminal will not be deterred by this obstacle in the slightest.

Little-to-no risk areas

This results in neglecting areas that should receive more attention because the risk is considered low. Time and time again, individuals and entities have approached us after experiencing this type of assessment conducted on their properties, only to discover that the Physical Security Audit performed in this manner proved incorrect. The areas rated ‘little to no risk’ are actually where the security breach occurred.


Crime Prevention Triangle Alwinco Security Risk Assessment Physical Security Audit #SRA Crime Prevention Opportunity South Africa security assessment JHB Johannesburg Joburg Egoli Meyersdal Eco Estate Orange Farm Soweto North / South Eye of Africa Golf Estate Sandton City Sandton Square Nelson Mandela S quare MADIBA midrand CBD M1 N1 N1 Western Bypass Grand Central Airport Parktown Inner City University of Witwatersrand Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital Westcliff Saxonworld Houghton Rosebank Retail Shipping Parkhurst The Parks Parktown Morth Craighall Park Greenside Hyde Park Sandton Morningside Rosebank Wanderers Stadium JSE Securities Exchange CBD Alexandria
Crime Prevention Triangle


For a crime to occur, there are 3 aspects that need to be in place. The one we cannot alter at all—this would be the desire of the criminal, as it is inherent. We can attempt to curb or hinder him in terms of his ability, but if we remove the opportunity for a crime to occur, we can proactively prevent the crime.

Please refer to the link “opportunity” for relevant case study as to how opportunity plays a vital role in crime

Written by André Mundell Alwinco independent risk consultancy.

Pretoria, Johannesburg, Midrand, Sandton, Arcadia, Fichardt Park, Durban, Claremont, and many other South African cities are among those that our independent security consultants service.

Defense Against Unexpected Attack – Security likened to 3 Man Chess

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Written by Andre Mundell

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