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You are Either too Dumb, or You Were in on it!

October 13th, 2016 Comments off

robertdiniro

Robert De Niro’s character, Sam Rothstein says in the movie Casino “3 jackpots in 20 minutes!? Why didn’t you pull the machines? You’re either too dumb, or you were in on it.”

A little harsh, but worth some consideration in the corporate security world.

You may have put a contingency plan together for travel security, employment screening, a work stoppage or general workplace safety and believe that everything has been considered, but then you see that something is not working out. Don’t beat yourself up over it or pretend it is not happening and hope it gets back on track.

Move quickly and make a change. Simple.

Last week, the Toronto Blue Jays hit back to back to back home runs from the same pitcher. Why didn’t the manager pull the pitcher after the second?

 

pillar jays2 jays-3

Make sure all of your contingency plans allow for change as required, so they remain as fluid documents that you can continuously improve on.

They Did What to a Duck!?

September 7th, 2016 Comments off

stephen blog

Working in the security industry and following social media, I have learned not to be surprised by the sheer stupidity and lack of morality of some people.

Recently, some vandals decided to topple an iconic sandstone rock formation, nicknamed the ‘Duckbill’. Why would someone do that? Luckily it was caught on video, but unfortunately, the Duckbill is in thousands of pieces.

Last week my street was the target of several car break-ins again. I live on a cul-de-sac with very little traffic and a forest at the bottom of the street that is attractive to criminals. Two thieves simultaneously worked each side of the road, checking every car door to see if it was unlocked and took what was of value and moved on.

They even stole an unlocked car with the keys in it.  The owner thought he would help his wife out by leaving the keys in the vehicle on his way to work just minutes before the criminals came walking by.

I know the details of what happened because my home security cameras caught some of the action.

I heard neighbours saying, “How could someone do that?” and “How do they sleep at night?” Well, as noted above, you just cannot be surprised at what some people will do. So prepare for it. To start, leave your exterior lights on and lock your vehicles.

If you are a business, have a site security audit performed and put contingencies in place. Ensure your parking lot lighting is adequate. Have clear plans for an emergency evacuation. Run mock exercises, educate and provide training for workplace harassment and bullying. Also, don’t forget to provide refresher courses from time to time, so nothing falls through the quacks.

AFIMAC’s Peter Martin quoted by Associated Press related to Workplace Emergency Plans, as featured on ABC NEWS

December 16th, 2015 Comments off

Workplace Balance

The terror attack at a social services facility in California has become a sobering reminder to companies of how vulnerable workplaces can be when employees are confronted with active shooters.

Since a gun-wielding husband-and-wife team killed 14 and wounded 21 others this month in San Bernardino, California, employers across the country have been reassessing their emergency plans to ensure they are prepared to deal with workplace violence.

More companies have been calling security and human resources experts to get information on how to prepare for an attack. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said big companies have asked for permission to use its nine-minute video, “Surviving an Active Shooter,” which portrays shootings in an office, a shopping mall and a school.

And “Run. Hide. Fight.,” a six-minute video created by Houston officials on what to do when someone opens fire in the office, has been viewed tens of thousands of times daily since the rampage, the most views since its release around the time of the mass shooting in a Coloradomovie theater in 2012. Jackie Miller, the city of Houston’s community preparedness programs manager, said one company asked for 6,000 wallet-sized cards with the mantra from the video, encouraging workers to hide if they can’t run, and fight if they can’t hide.

The company inquiries come as workplace violence in the U.S. has made international headlines. The most recent official statistics are two years old and show the rate of workplace violence to be steady for the previous two decades. Still, deaths resulting from workplace violence were the second leading cause of job fatalities in the U.S. after transportation incidents in 2013, the latest data available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

And studies show that most companies are ill-equipped to deal with workplace violence. A government survey in 2005 found that 80 percent of companies that experienced a violent incident didn’t subsequently change workplace violence policies or programs. The survey did not spell out what a policy or program would include.

In practice, companies’ response plans range from highly detailed to nonexistent, security experts say. Brent O’Bryan, vice president of AlliedBarton Security Services, said when he gives seminars on workplace violence awareness across the country, about half the attendees say their companies have no policy. “I am not confident that most employers are prepared,” he says.

Part of the problem is that most companies don’t know how to create a workplace violence plan, says Peter Martin, CEO of AFIMAC Global, a security consulting company based in Miami.

Also, there’s a belief by some that workplace violence won’t happen in their office: Indeed, smaller companies may not be particularly concerned about workplace violence following shootings, says Jay Starkman, CEO of Engage PEO, a human resources provider based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

“A lot of employers, especially small and medium-sized businesses, believe even in the wake of all the things you read about: ‘It can’t happen here, not in my company, not with the people I know,'” Starkman says.

Some companies that are aware of the potential for workplace violence are preparing in the event of an active shooting. Choice Hotels, for instance, designates employees who are able to block access to elevators and direct other staffers to evacuation routes. Its response plans are continually evolving, but no changes have been made since the San Bernardino shootings, says Anne Hendrick, vice president of human resources for the hotel company.

Some companies also include in their plans an emphasis on preventing violence before it starts. Beer and wine distributor Monarch Beverage, which has about 650 employees at its Indianapolis headquarters, has a doctor and nurse practitioner onsite who are able to handle mental health issues. Supervisors also are trained to recognize changes in workers’ behavior or to alert security if they anticipate trouble from a negative job review.

“Our people are hyper-vigilant to make sure they involve our security team if they have any concerns whatsoever,” says Natalie Roberts, senior vice president with the Indianapolis company, which also has an emergency plan.

But even when companies prepare for workplace violence, the end result can be tragic. Some of the San Bernardino shooting survivors followed workplace violence training they were given about a year before the killings.

Employees at the San Bernardino County Environmental Health Services division had gotten “active shooter” training in the same conference room where the shootings took place. Two survivors said colleagues reacted by trying to do as they were trained — dropping under the tables and staying quiet to avoid attracting attention.

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