When we apply for a job or volunteer position, we may have to undergo a background check. This process involves screening our criminal history and other relevant data to ensure that we are fit for the role.
A common question people often ask is whether physical control shows up on a background check. If they were charged with this offense in the past, would potential employers see it?
“The truth is, the answer isn’t always clear cut,”
In this article, we’ll explore what physical control is, how it differs from driving under the influence (DUI), and whether it can appear on a background check. We’ll also delve into the various elements of a background check and highlight some factors that could affect the outcome.
If you’ve ever been arrested for physical control or any other offense, it’s understandable that you might be concerned about how it will impact your job prospects. Take a deep breath and keep reading – understanding the ins and outs of the background check process can help calm your nerves and give you a better sense of where you stand.
So, let’s shed some light on this topic and uncover the mystery behind physical control and background checks!
What is a physical control?
A physical control is a safety measure that prevents access to hazardous areas or equipment. It involves using structural barriers, such as fences and locked doors, to physically prevent unauthorized access. The goal of physical controls is to reduce the risk of accidents or intentional harm by limiting exposure to hazards.
Definition of physical control
Physical control refers to any measure taken to stop or limit physical access to particular resources or locations. In an organizational context, it can involve preventing employees from accessing sensitive data, controlling entry into restricted areas, or securing assets against theft or damage.
An essential component of many security programs is restricting unauthorized access to buildings and critical spaces. Physical controls provide clear lines of defense in protecting property, information, people, and other valuable resources.
Examples of physical controls
Physical controls can take different forms, depending on the type of threat being addressed and the resources available for implementation. Common examples include:
- Fences – Used to secure outdoor areas such as storage yards, airfields, or critical industrial facilities where intrusion may result in loss of life or severe economic losses.
- Closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems – Provide remote surveillance capability to deter vandalism, theft, crimes, and monitor activities in high-risk areas.
- Alarms – Sensors that are set off when unauthorized persons attempt to access restricted zones, usually triggering an audible alert or notifying a monitoring center which calls assistance teams to check and verify if there is an actual security breach.
- Biometric authentication – Sophisticated technology used to confirm Identity based on unique characteristics like fingerprints, iris scans, face recognition, or voice identification. This type of control is typically used in high-level security environments like data centers, banks, and airports.
- Locks and keys – Simple but essential physical security tools used to restrict access to critical assets or restricted areas that open via specific keys or electronic tokens.
Importance of physical controls
The importance of physical control cannot be overstated in preventing accidents, theft, espionage, sabotage, and other unauthorized activities. Physical controls help organizations meet regulatory requirements while protecting their employees, reputations, assets, and brand from harm. By limiting and monitoring access to sensitive information and valuable resources, it increases the level of transparency and accountability, reduces risks, and prevents costly litigation losses.
“Effective physical control measures are essential components of risk management protocols for any organization operating in high-risk sectors.”- Koorosh Aram, Global Security Director at Astellas Pharma Inc.
A strong physical security program forms a crucial part of an effective cybersecurity system, creating layers of protection that work together to detect and prevent cyber threats. It is as important as firewalls, antivirus software, or intrusion detection systems when defending against hacking attempts or insider threats. Effective physical security flows down from top leadership, with senior executives providing necessary funding, direction, and support throughout the enterprise.
How physical controls differ from other types of controls
While there are different types of controls implemented within organizations, such as preventive, detective, compensating, technical, and administrative, physical controls stand out from others because they are visibly tangible as opposed to being procedural or technical. Technical controls refer to technologies such as encryption software, access controls, and firewalls; Administrative controls include policies, procedures, training, awareness, audits, and compliance while Compensating controls provide alternative strategies to address exceptional circumstances.
Physical controls solely depend on actual barriers which is the most direct and effective means of preventing unauthorized entry to restricted space or from accessing critical equipment. They provide physical deterrence because a person can see them, touch them, and overcome them. Many organizations consider physical controls an essential piece in their layered approach that includes other types of controls.
When you compare physical control to other technical measures such as computer access systems, it’s easy to understand how they differ in effectiveness. A password system may be able to keep out unauthorized individuals online but does nothing to physically prevent access to sensitive data. Conversely, security cameras only positively identify wrongdoers after the act has already happened; physical controls prevent intruders before any compromise occurs and increase situational “attack” awareness.
“Physical defense strategies are like being ‘shock absorbers’ since they mitigate the risks involved when standard virtual IT controls fail.”-Bob Maley, CSO Magazine
Implementing proper physical control measures goes a long way in ensuring your organization’s resources and people are safe, secure, and protected. Those who wish not to use tangible barriers will discover later down the road that ultimately the success of these technologies requires real-world integration with robust physical control schemes so that identification verification procedures complemented by tangible barriers become powerful cybersecurity force multipliers.
What types of physical controls are there?
Access controls are a type of physical control that restricts and regulates who can enter a particular area or facility. This might include building entrances, parking lots, elevators, stairwells, or any other area that needs protection from unauthorized access.
Examples of access controls include swipe cards, key fobs, biometric readers, and security badges. These tools allow authorized personnel to gain entry while keeping out those who don’t have permission to be there. Access control systems may also include video surveillance, alarms, and intercoms to further enhance security measures.
“Intrusion detection and prevention technology plays an important role in access control systems by identifying anomalous activity and alerting security personnel when potential threats appear.” – U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Perimeter controls represent another type of physical control aimed at limiting access to areas outside of a facility’s boundaries. The aim is to keep unauthorized people or vehicles away from the premises altogether so that they cannot cause damage or steal anything.
Common examples of perimeter controls include fences, walls, gates, bollards, barriers, and vehicle blockers. These solutions help protect different outdoor spaces, including factories, warehouses, power plants, and government buildings, among others. Surveillance technologies such as cameras and motion sensors can complement perimeter controls to create robust protection against intruders.
“Before looking for cyber-threats, it’s necessary to ensure your company’s physical assets – data centres, main offices, branches – are secured with perimeter defenses: fences, blast doors, steel plates on windows, burglar-proof locks, alarm systems, etc.” – Kaspersky Lab
Another category of physical controls relates to controlling environmental elements such as humidity, air quality, and temperature. These systems are critical in controlled environments such as laboratories, cleanrooms, data centres, or healthcare facilities.
Examples of environmental control solutions include heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, fire suppression systems, water leak detection systems, and backup power supplies. Together these measures provide a safer environment for equipment, personnel, and occupants while minimizing potential risks caused by temperature fluctuations or other environmental hazards.
“For instance, implementing HVAC sensors could make it easier to monitor temperatures, safeguard sensitive materials like vaccines, and manage energy in hospitals or research labs.” – Schneider Electric
The final type of physical control refers to procedures set out to minimize the possibility of human error or negligence that might lead to a security breach. Procedural controls form the core of most data centres’ physical security policies, establishing required protocols and behaviors for staff who work within these facilities.
Procedural controls typically include background checks on employees working within secure areas, restrictions on access to specific areas based on job roles and training levels, specific protocols for handling devices containing confidential information such as keys to server rooms or password lists, among others.
“The first line of defense against unauthorized entry is good security education. Everyone who enters your building should have an understanding of your security policies and be willing to comply with these policies” – Cisco
Physical controls are necessary mechanisms aimed at providing comprehensive security measures across different settings, including commercial, industrial, institutional, medical services, and more. While their implementation does not appear on background checks, they form a crucial part of organizational policy and regulations related to workforce safety and the protection of physical assets.
Do physical controls show up on a background check?
A background check is one of the most common ways that employers screen potential job candidates. It involves checking an individual’s criminal, educational and employment history to determine their suitability for a particular role.
One area that can sometimes be included in a background check is information about an individual’s driving history and any physical controls they may have had on their vehicle. However, whether or not this will show up on a background check depends on several factors which we will explore below.
Factors that determine if physical controls show up on a background check
There are several factors that influence whether or not physical controls show up on a background check. These include:
- The scope of the background check: The level of detail included in a background check can vary depending on the employer and the type of role being filled. Some employers may only run a basic criminal history check while others may conduct a more comprehensive check that includes driving records.
- The state you live in: Driving record regulations vary by state so what shows up on your background check could depend on where you live.
- The position you’re applying for: If you’re applying for a role that requires you to drive as part of your job then it’s likely that your potential employer will want to see your driving record, including any accidents or traffic violations you’ve had.
Types of physical controls that may show up on a background check
If physical control data is included in a background check, there are a few different types of information that might appear. They include:
- License suspension: A license suspension indicates that your driver’s license has been temporarily revoked, usually as the result of committing traffic violations or other offenses while driving. If you have had your license suspended then this information may show up on a background check.
- Accidents: Your driving record will also show any accidents you’ve been involved in. This could include details such as whether you were at fault for an accident and if anyone was injured as a result of the incident.
- Traffic violations: Traffic violations such as speeding tickets and DUIs are often included on driving records which can be accessed by employers during a background check.
If you’re concerned about what might show up on your background check before applying to a job that requires physical control data, it’s a good idea to contact your state DMV or department of licensing, who can provide you with more information and advice.
“If an employer uses credit checks or driving records as part of their hiring process in order to eliminate candidates without evidence about how those categories may impact job performance, they must ensure that its use is not discriminatory.” -Nana Gyamfi, Attorney-at-Law
Whether or not physical controls show up in a background check depends on several factors including the scope of the check, the position you’re applying for, and the state you live in. If you’re concerned about what might appear on your background check, consider reaching out to your state DMV or department of licensing for guidance.
What is the purpose of physical controls?
Minimizing risk of physical harm or injury
Physical controls are put in place to ensure the safety and well-being of individuals. They provide a measure of security against potential dangers such as fires, falls, explosions, or other hazards that may cause serious bodily injuries or even death.
Examples of physical controls for minimizing risks of harm include: fire alarms, smoke detectors, sprinkler systems, emergency exit signs, first-aid kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), guardrails on elevated platforms or staircases, etc.
“OSHA primarily requires employers to implement engineering and administrative controls before resorting to PPE to protect workers from hazards.” -Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Protecting assets and property
The second main purpose of physical controls is to safeguard materials, equipment, structures, and premises from theft, vandalism, sabotage, or natural disasters (e.g., floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc.). Physical controls help prevent unauthorized access to sensitive areas by limiting entry points, installing barriers, locks, CCTV cameras, and alarm systems.
These measures not only prevent financial losses but also enhance client trust, reputation, and business continuity. Potential clients might ask about a company’s physical controls when evaluating whether or not to do business with them. Therefore, having strong physical controls is often seen as an important competitive advantage in many industries.
“Effective physical security cannot be achieved without pursuing a ‘total-protection’ philosophy where all aspects of vulnerability are addressed.” -Jerry Brennan, Security Management Consultant
Complying with regulations and standards
Finally, another key reason why organizations use physical controls is to comply with legal requirements and regulatory frameworks (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR, PCI-DSS, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, etc.). Governments and industry groups have established many rules and standards for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of sensitive information and assets. Organizations that fail to comply with these regulations may face legal penalties, reputational damage, or loss of business.
Physical controls can help companies demonstrate their compliance by providing written policies, procedures, training programs, audits, assessments, and certifications. These measures show that the company is committed to protecting its stakeholders from harm and complying with applicable laws and regulations.
“To achieve good governance, there must be clarity on roles and responsibilities, accountability mechanisms at all levels of an organization, as well as guidelines for reporting practices.” -International Federation of Accountants (IFAC)In conclusion, physical controls are essential in minimizing risks of harm, protecting valuable assets and property, and staying compliant with various regulations and standards. While not fool-proof, they provide some level of protection against unforeseen circumstances that can cause significant damages to individuals, businesses, and society as a whole.
How can physical controls affect employment opportunities?
A physical control is defined as anything that requires the use of motor skills to complete job tasks. Physical controls vary from jobs, some requiring employees to lift heavy objects or stand for extended periods in industries such as construction or hospitality. Other jobs may demand a greater range of motions and dexterity in completing job duties, such as those found in healthcare or mechanics.
Jobs that require physical controls as part of the job duties
Employers have the right to ask potential hires about their current health status and any injuries they may have at the time of the interview/ screening process. For certain professions such as firefighting or law enforcement, candidates must pass strenuous physical fitness tests to be considered for employment. In these types of positions, employers desire staff with a higher level of physical aptitude, so physical controls become an even more critical factor during the hiring phase.
In order to determine whether or not a candidate meets the technical requirements of a particular role, employers sometimes will request that interested parties demonstrate the necessary degree of muscle strength, stamina, and flexibility required to perform a particular set of skills and job responsibilities.
If you are applying for a position that does not involve safety concerns, background checks may not scrutinize your physical capacity or limitations. However, under specific circumstances, physical exams might be needed before companies make final hiring decisions. Generally speaking, mandatory pre-employment medical testing takes place when there exists a legitimate occupational reason why a condition of hire should be based on meeting specfic medical criteria. This could include positions related to factory work, food preparation, or even driving taxis.
The Americans with Disabilities Act specifically outlines regulations regarding the adjudication of information discovered through medical examinations in the hiring process. In most states in the U.S., Employers are prohibited from asking about existing or past medical conditions before offering employment to anyone.
“The objective of asking healthcare questions is to leave it as an equal playing field for all applicants, giving them the same opportunities regardless of their medical history.” -Indeed.com
Additionally, employees that acquire a health issue while already on staff would not be subject to termination unless continuing with their work created significant risks for themselves and others. Should such situations arise, a company may need to evaluate issuing new job duties that align better with the employee’s current physical capacity or making other reasonable accommodations as outlined by law.
Whether or not physical controls will appear in background checks depends on the kind of tests required as part of the pre-employment screening processes. However, employers are entitled to know if successful candidates can perform necessary or desirable skills related to the role they are hired to fulfill to ensure that public safety were at risk.
What can you do if a physical control shows up on your background check?
A background check is an essential part of the hiring process for many companies. It can involve checking criminal records, employment history, credit score, and education credentials. However, what happens when a “physical control” appears in your background check report? You might wonder if it will affect your future job opportunities.
Understanding the impact of physical controls on employment opportunities
Physical controls are indicators of substance abuse or misuse that appear on a drug test. They can include alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, or over-the-counter medicines taken in excessive amounts. These results can be either positive or negative depending on whether you have used controlled substances before, but any appearance of them on your record can negatively impact your career prospects.
For some jobs, especially those that require working with heavy machinery or driving vehicles, employers may not tolerate any physical controls on their employees’ records. If you are applying to work in a company where safety is a significant concern or that requires security clearance, you must expect zero tolerance for physical controls. In contrast, careers that demand minimal risk and do not need access to confidential information may overlook these issues more readily.
Appealing a decision based on physical controls in a background check
There are ways to challenge the result obtained from your drug testing. Suppose there is any anomaly such as procedural errors during sample collection or laboratory analysis, which could lead to incorrect results. In that case, you should notify your employer and request a retest. Usually, employers allow for at least one opportunity for people who receive false-positive (incorrect) results to retake the test.
If you received a fair assessment, but you’ve been sober for years, you might benefit from programs aimed at helping job seekers with criminal records or physical controls. Programs such as Education and Job Training for Ex-Offenders (REENTRY) help former convicts who have completed their sentences get back on their feet by teaching them professional skills they need to stay out of jail.
Another approach is to ensure that you engage a knowledgeable employment lawyer should your application be denied because of prior drug use, physical control or inaccurate background check results. An experienced attorney might understand the local laws governing how employers handle past offenders in hiring processes and what your options are regarding legal action if necessary.
“Individuals do not have complete autonomy over their background checks. However, there is room for challenging the outcomes when you believe they contain errors.” -Sarah E. Needleman
To summarise, it’s never easy dealing with negative references on your background report like physical controls. More so, when they could cost you your dream job or career advancement. The best course of action lies in understanding what these anomalies mean, knowing whether they matter in your prospective job, and planning accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a physical control?
A physical control is a restriction or limitation placed on an individual’s activities due to their behavior or actions. It can be a court-ordered restriction or a voluntary agreement made by the individual.
Why would a physical control show up on a background check?
A physical control may show up on a background check if the individual has been convicted of a crime or has a history of violent or dangerous behavior. Employers may conduct background checks to ensure the safety of their workplace and other employees.
What types of physical controls are typically reported on a background check?
Types of physical controls that may be reported on a background check include restraining orders, protective orders, and other court-ordered restrictions. In some cases, voluntary agreements made by the individual may also be reported.
How long do physical controls stay on a background check?
The length of time a physical control stays on a background check can vary depending on the type of control and the state laws. In most cases, restraining orders and protective orders will show up on a background check indefinitely.
Can a physical control prevent someone from getting hired?
Depending on the nature of the physical control and the job requirements, it is possible that a physical control could prevent someone from getting hired. Employers have the right to consider an individual’s criminal history and behavior when making hiring decisions.