So just how important is secure uniform destruction for your company’s identity and reputation?
Uniforms are a quick and easy method of identifying members of a company or business. That’s why when employees leave, it’s in the best interest of the company to collect any uniforms or other company apparel and dispose of them properly. Secure uniform destruction is an often overlooked security and brand protection measure that if done incorrectly, can have far-reaching and damaging consequences.
Incorrect disposal of company uniforms, or lack of secure uniform destruction, can leave a business open to fraud and corporate identity theft. What a lot of people fail to realise is that if disposed of in a regular bin, anyone could retrieve them.
Anything these “dumpster divers” do while in possession of stolen uniforms will be associated with the company. Strangers could pass themselves off as members of the organisation, and their views and actions will reflect on the company for good, or ill.
A recent example of former employees causing trouble with their old uniforms is an incident involving disgraced former Labour Senator Sam Dastyari. Several men made threats and barraged him with racist comments. One of the individuals involved was wearing his old uniform, with the company name Toll on the sleeve. His actions and views on the former senator are going to be forever associated with Toll Holdings.
Whenever the negative press about this incident is broadcast, Toll is mentioned. There is no way to quantify how much of an impact this will have on them financially. What we do know is that if Toll had undertaken secure uniform destruction practices, they would have been safe from this negative press. Due to this incident, one of Toll’s major clients cancelled their contract. The same infamous Toll uniform then ended up in the hands of another party, who was eventually caught in a violent clash with protestors in Melbourne. This caused further damage to Toll’s name and brand.
Aside from damaging a company’s brand, stolen uniforms can also be used to breach security. Recently, a Cathay Pacific stewardess attempted to sell her uniform through eBay. Anyone could have bought the item of clothing and masqueraded as a stewardess for Cathay Pacific. If someone with malicious intentions purchased the uniform and planned to use it to their advantage, it could potentially give them easier access to secure areas of the airport and planes.
While other forms of ID are typically required for an airport, company uniforms would make it easier to access a restricted area in a company that doesn’t observe the same strict security measures. Anyone could walk in uninhibited and potentially access files, office supplies or restricted material usually reserved for staff members.
So in answer to our first question, it is crucial for companies to take secure uniform destruction seriously and always use a service provider that is both skilled and certified.
Secure uniform destruction protects a company’s image, brand and security. Make sure you keep your workplace and brand safe!