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What BPOs plan for staff safety

January 03, 2006 08:58 IST

The business process outsourcing industry, in association with the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Call Centre Association of India, Delhi, the Gurgaon police, and private security agencies, had drawn up an action plan for employee security.

This is further to an emergency meeting held by the CCAI with the police, immediately after the Bangalore incident. The details shall be made available over the CCAI Web site (www.ccai.in) on January 4, 2006.

Emphasis was laid on human security as a public-private partnership effort, by synergising the efforts of all stakeholders through a central agency like CII and the CCAI.

Senior management of all leading BPOs and call centres like Genpact, Convergys, IBM Daksh, Hero ITES, Vertex, Keane Worldzen, E Value Serve, WNS, members of the CCAI, leading security agencies like, Group 4, Peregrine, Sentinels, Force Tech, Walson Securities, the Gurgaon and Delhi Police attended the meeting.

Muktesh Chander, ACP (crime), Delhi Police, circulated a list of security / safety precautions for call centre transport vehicles. He also highlighted importance of police verification, linking it to the menace of fake driving licenses and registration papers.

Hanif Qureshi, SSP Gurgaon, said that Gurgaon police will take proactive action in increasing the police presence around BPOs, increase patrolling and spot checks. He accepted the need to complete the verification process within 4-6 weeks' time. He also reassured the industry of the close liaison that existed between the police in the National Capital Region.

J K Mehta, vice chairman, Haryana State Council, said that the CII will proactively engage in dialogue with all stakeholders to facilitate in the implementation process.

CCAI president M R Chopra suggested procedures for ensuring safety by of car parks inside / outside BPOs. The participants agreed on an immediate and long-term plan to counter the problem. Some key points unanimously accepted are:

  • Installation of speed governors and vehicle tracking systems in all vehicles ferrying employees.
  • Pre-employment screening of all third-party service providers, including drivers, by sharing digitised records with the police.
  • Careful selection of routes.
  • Display of important telephone phone of the police control room and the individual company control rooms numbers in all cabs.
  • Sharing of the radio frequency used by cabs with the police.
  • Campaign against rash and drunken driving.
  • Mandatory training and certification of the cab drivers and other third-party service providers.
  • Providing self-defence aids and training to women employees.
  • Sharing of best practices by regular interaction of stakeholders through a central agency like CII or the CCAI.
  • Sharing of blacklisted third-party vendors on a voluntary basis.
  • Physical security of the infrastructure.
  • Distinct markings for BPO employees ferrying vehicles.
  • Procedures of the last employees dropped linking up with the company control room.
  • Patrolling of isolated routes at night by private security agencies assisted by a beat constable.

Participants also suggested the need of counselling, disaster management, emotional training to counter the fear factor.

A Correspondent in New Delhi