Workers’ Compensation Resource for Hawai‘i Employers / Volume 2 Number 2
What is A Portrait of Are You Liable?
Workplace Danger On Your Guard
Disarming the Workplace
H E M I C C O N N E C T I O N 3
H E M I C
Hawai‘i Employers’ Mutual
Insurance Company, Inc.
CEO/President Threat or
S H AY N E D O B B I N S
Director of Information Services
Dear Readers, email@example.com
It has been a tough year for everyone. As Americans and as Hawaii Vice President/Finance and Compliance
residents, we are burdened with a struggling economy plus the fear of the firstname.lastname@example.org
unknown. Stress levels for both employers and employees continue to run
high. It is no wonder that amidst this turmoil, managers—now more than Vice President/Accounting & Budget
ever—need the skills to deal with aggressive, and sometimes even violent, 808 522-5258
Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)
In anticipation of such a need, the State of Hawaii Attorney General’s Ofﬁce Vice President/Claim Services
of the Occupational Safety and Health Act
and the Hawaii Workplace Violence Working Group Committee published a Assistant to the President (OSHA) of 1970, employers are required to
free employer manual titled: “Workplace Violence: Prevention, Intervention email@example.com
provide their employees with a place of
and Recovery.” Compiled by the state’s leading experts in threat management, S TA C Y M I L L E R
employment that “is free from recognizable
security, mental health, and other related disciplines, this manual is Hawaii’s Vice President/Claim Legal Services hazards that are causing or likely to cause
single most comprehensive resource on workplace violence prevention. firstname.lastname@example.org
death or serious harm to employees.” Simply
put, employers have a moral and legal
C O N N I E FA R I A
In other news, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled in Iddings v. Mee Lee that a Director of Underwriting Service responsibility to provide employees with a
managers need to be able to draw the line and intervention programs. It contains policy
manager could be personally sued for injuries suffered on the job. This ruling 808 522-5269
safe environment in which to work.
email@example.com between “conversation” and abuse. Further- and prevention strategies, extensive resources,
emphasizes that supervisory personnel are responsible for both knowing According to the National Institute for
JOE BENEVIDES more, managers need to be aware of how to case studies and practice exercises. By
about a potentially dangerous circumstance as well as taking appropriate and Director of Field Service Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH),
respond so that verbal threats do not escalate following the steps outlined in the manual,
timely action to mitigate the situation. 808 522-8902 workplace violence is any physical assault,
firstname.lastname@example.org into physical violence. employers can learn to: 1) reduce the potential
At HEMIC, we strive to keep you abreast of the events that are changing our threatening behavior or verbal abuse
BOB LONG Workplace Violence: Prevention, for dangerous behavior and, 2) identify when
business climate. As always, we value your partnership in making Hawaii a Director of Network Services occurring in the work setting. It includes, but
Intervention and Recovery was created to the danger has increased to the point that
808 522-5857 is not limited to beatings, stabbings, suicides,
safer place to live and work. email@example.com help Hawaii employers develop and professional threat management assistance
shootings, rapes, near suicides, psychological
FAY E B U E N O implement workplace violence prevention is required.
Director of Administration traumas such as threats, obscene phone calls,
808 522-5253 an intimidating presence, and harassment of
S i n c e r e ly, firstname.lastname@example.org W O R K P L A C E V I O L E N C E is Hawaii Community Foundation
any nature such as being followed, sworn at Hawaii’s ﬁrst comprehensive manual that 900 Fort Street Mall, Suite 1300
HEMIC Connection is published quarterly or shouted at. addresses workplace violence prevention, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
and is a free service exclusively for policy- Although media attention primarily
Robert L. Dove intervention, and recovery initiatives. 808 537-6333
holders of Hawai‘i Employers’ Mutual
President and CEO Insurance Company, Inc. focuses on mass killings by disgruntled Limited hard copies are available for CD-ROM copies of the manual are available
employees, these incidents are rare in pick-up at two locations: by calling Safeguard Services at 808 526-2006.
Q U EST I O N S & CO M M E N TS
Are there questions and ideas you’d like comparison to the more subtle, but
The Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii The manual can also be downloaded from
to share? Please write us at HEMIC potentially devastating, acts of workplace
Connection P.O. Box 3376, Honolulu, 1132 Bishop Street, Suite 402 http://cpja.ag.state.hi.us/workplaceviolence.
intimidation. Under the guise of jokes and
Hawai‘i 96801 or email us at Honolulu, Hawaii 96813 Reference copies are available at Hawaii
email@example.com. “harmless conversation,” employees are
808 545-4300 State Library branches.
threatened, harassed and victimized. Today’s
4 H A W A I I E M P L O Y E R S ’ M U T U A L H E M I C C O N N E C T I O N 5
A Portrait of Danger
It’s the stuff of old Hollywood movies and adventure novels. The caucasian male with angry eyes and military
Indicators of Potentially
Violent Behavior Any words or conduct that may cause
concern that a person may act out in a
Three Steps for a
Conduct background checks. The best way to
prevent violence is at the time of hire. Check
all references. The initial cost will save you
tremendous grief and money by helping you
avoid potential problems.
Set policies regarding workplace violence.
background whips out his machine gun and takes everyone out. That “look,” or proﬁle, was the old way of Direct or veiled threats of harm, e.g.,
violent manner. Establish and enforce consistent rules
identifying potentially dangerous people. predicting that bad things are going to
regarding ﬁghting, harassment and violence
The problem with proﬁling is that it unfairly singles out a type of person according to physical happen to a co-worker. Personal life crisis, e.g., work-related on all levels. (See Workplace Violence for
characteristics, while ignoring behaviors that can often indicate a propensity toward violence. The key to Intimidating, belligerent, harassing, bullying, circumstances such as termination, sample policies.)
prevention is to intervene early when these indicators are ﬁrst recognized. or other inappropriate and aggressive disciplinary action, ﬁnancial problems, or Are your discipline proceedings fair and
behaviors (physical or verbal). relationship issues. consistent?
Numerous conﬂicts with supervisors and The more indicators an employee exhibits, Are there fair grievance opportunities?
other employees. the more concerned the supervisor should be Do your supervisors promote a respectful
in carefully evaluating the situation. workplace?
Brings a weapon to the workplace, makes
Employers should ensure that they are (or an Are your supervisors attuned to potential
inappropriate references to guns, or
incident response team is) prepared to assist warning signs?
exhibits a fascination with weapons.
supervisors and other employees in dealing Do you have a threat management plan?
Statements shows fascination with incidents with such situations. You may want to consult a threat management
of workplace violence, statements indicate According to John Tsukayama, Director of and assessment specialist. A protection
approval of the use of violence in similar Paciﬁc Threat Management, one of the most professional can help you craft policy and
situations or the use of violence to resolve serious errors an employer can make is to assist with the training of supervisory
a problem. deny a problem exists. If employees are afraid personnel. When you uncover a dangerous
Statements indicate desperation (over family, of an individual, respect their fear and situation, don’t try to handle it by yourself. It
ﬁnancial, and other personal problems) to investigate. “No one just blows up. There are is safer to hire a threat management
the point of contemplating suicide. always warning signs,” says Tsukayama. professional to intervene on your behalf.
Source: Workplace Violence: Prevention, Intervention and
Recovery, page 21 –22.
Unusual or extreme changes in behavior. Be a good listener
Prevention, Policies &
History of violent behavior (including post-
Preparation Did something happen on the
“The farther upstream you can address the job that changed a person’s
Paranoia and perception that individuals
problem, the greater your chances for a point of view? Is something
and/or everyone is “out to get the
peaceful outcome,” says Tsukayama. “When a going on in an employee’s
employee” or is against the employee.
CEO of a company calls me at two in the private life that is affecting
Inability to take criticism and/or morning afraid for his life, I know there were
responsibility for own problems, perceives that individual’s attitude?
steps that should have been taken earlier to
that others are to blame and may verbalize prevent the situation from escalating to this Listen to the grapevine. If
the desire for revenge. point...” Tsukayama stresses “Too often other employees become
Poor impulse control, displays anger and an people call us in for a ‘last minute ﬁx.’ afraid of an individual, take
escalating propensity to push the limits of They’re going to ﬁre someone that morning
note and take action.
normal conduct, with a disregard for the and they’d like a security guard. Instead of
safety of coworkers. following a plan, they react in fear.”
6 H A W A I I E M P L O Y E R S ’ M U T U A L H E M I C C O N N E C T I O N 7
Are You Liable? On Your Guard
Do armed guards mean you’re safer? Not situations? Are they reliable observers who
necessarily, says Albert “Spike” Denis, will hold up in court?
President of Safeguard Services, Inc. “For Ask your guard service for a list of clients
example, if a bank robber sees an armed and contacts. Call references. Make sure their
Targeted violence is the result guard, his priority switches from making a security ability matches your needs.
clean getaway to “taking out the guard.” As a Once you’ve chosen your security
of an escalating process that
result, the presence of the armed guard may service, ask for a comprehensive
can be inﬂuenced once a proper escalate the violence, rather than reduce it.” plan. How will the guards integrate
assessment is conducted. “The key to effective security,” says Denis, with your parking personnel? Will
“is to conduct an extensive analysis of the guards rotate or will they be assigned
property.” Security services evaluate the to your building? Guards who are
client’s incident history against the “standard alert to patterns are more apt to
of care” for that type of business. This notice if something is amiss.
Targeted violence is the Was that situation probably going to result
information provides a guideline as to the What makes security guards
result of an escalating in injury if not addressed?
number and caliber of guards needed to effective?
process that can be Did the manager consciously fail to act to
protect a speciﬁc property size and tenant mix. Deterrent to a crime —Guards at
influenced once a proper prevent the probable harm?
Do all businesses adhere to the the door of retail outlets, walking in
assessment is conducted. Example: A dangerous dog is brought into
standard? Denis warns that companies that parking lots and patrolling
What does this mean to a kennel. The dog-owner’s veterinarian
choose to under-protect (do not take commercial buildings help to
you? Supervisors and warns the kennel operator that the doc is
reasonable steps to protect their customers) discourage illegal activity.
employers who do not likely to bit if not kept muzzled. The
run the risk of higher liability when Reliable witnesses —Guards who
appropriately identify, assess kennel manager does not inform her
incidents occur. are trained in observation skills
and address a potentially employees of the risk and does not require
How to choose a security service: provide key testimony in the
violent situation may be held employees to take precautions. As a result,
Research the experience and quality of apprehension and prosecution of
responsible for the outcome. the dog lunges at a kennel employee
the guards (as well as the service). Find out criminals.
Violence does not occur causing severe injuries.
how much the guards are being paid and Your eyes and ears—Guards who are
in a vacuum. If you suspect a In the example above, the manager failed
what their hiring requirements are. Are the familiar with your premises and employees
problem, the sooner the to act responsibly to protect the well-being of
guards trained to handle dangerous will alert you to unusual activity.
situation can be addressed the employee, and may be liable.
by experienced individuals,
Stop. Before you plan your the better the chances for a peaceful HEMIC would like to thank the following for their contributions to this newsletter:
response to potentially violent resolution.
Note: In some jurisdictions, the normal
situations, there are two recent workers' compensation exclusive remedy John K. Tsukayama, Certified Protection Professional, Certified Fraud Examiner
developments that you should Manager personal liability.
statute may not prevent suit against the John Tsukayama is the Executive Vice President of Safeguard Services, Inc., and the
be aware of. In Iddings v. Mee Lee, the Hawaii
individual manager. It is also unlikely that Director of Safeguard’s Pacific Threat Management division. Tsukayama served as a
a manager's homeowners' insurance policy protection consultant for Workplace Violence: Prevention, Intervention and Recovery.
Violent outcomes can be inﬂuenced. Supreme Court laid out the basis under
would cover work-related liability.
Groundbreaking studies by the National which an employee could sue a manager for Albert “Spike” Denis, Certified Protection Professional, Certified Fraud Examiner
Institute of Justice, US Bureau of Prisons, injuries suffered on the job. The three main (This document is not intended to provide Mr. Denis is the President of Safeguard Services, Inc., a security services, investigation
and the Secret Service have been combined tests for personal liability in the wake of such legal advice, Please contact a licensed and security-consulting firm with more than 600 employees. His clients include Bank
with the cumulative experience of specialized injuries are: attorney for speciﬁc legal counsel relating to of Hawaii, Davies Pacific Center, Alii Place, Central Pacific Plaza, Beta West and
threat management ﬁrms such as Gavin de Was the manager aware of a dangerous the ramiﬁcations of Iddings v. Mee Lee in Chaney, Brooks & Co.
Becker, Inc. One over-riding view emerged: situation? individual situations.)
F R A U D H OT L I N E
If you suspect an employee or co-worker is
re c e iv i n g wo r ke r s ’ c o m p e n s a t i o n b e n e f i t s
due to a fraudulent claim, call the hotline
t o d a y. A l l c a l l s a r e s t r i c t l y c o n f i d e n t i a l .
On Oahu Call Neighbor Islands Toll Free
Protect your business and your employees.
Report all injuries within 24-hours.
Hawaii Employers’ Mutual S TA N D A R D
Insurance Company, Inc. U . S . P O S TA G E PA I D
PERMIT NO. 564
1001 Bishop Street,
Pauhai Tower, Suite 1000
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813
P.O. Box 3376
Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96801
Island of O‘ahu:
Tel: (808) 524-3642
Fax: (808) 522-5855
Toll Free: 888 292-3642
Toll Free Fax: 888 686-5510
9 H A W A I I E M P L O Y E R S ’ M U T U A L H E M I C C O N N E C T I O N 9
On Your Guard
D o armed guards mean
you’re safer? Not necessarily, says Albert
“Spike” Denis, President of Safeguard
Services, Inc. “For example, if a bank robber
sees an armed guard, his priority switches
ask for a comprehensive
plan. How will the guards
integrate with your parking
personnel? Will guards
rotate or will they be
from making a clean getaway to “taking out assigned to your building?
the guard.” As a result, the presence of the Guards who are alert to
armed guard may escalate the violence, rather patterns are more apt to
than reduce it.” notice if something is amiss.
“The key to effective security,” says Denis, What makes security
“is to conduct an extensive analysis of the guards effective?
property.” Security services evaluate the Deterrent to a crime —
client’s incident history against the “standard Guards at the door of retail
of care” for that type of business. This outlets, walking in parking
information provides a guideline as to the lots and patrolling
number and caliber of guards needed to commercial buildings help to
protect a speciﬁc property size and tenant mix. discourage illegal activity.
Do all businesses adhere to the standard? Reliable witnesses —
Denis warns that companies that choose to Guards who are trained in observation skills Your eyes and ears—Guards who are
under-protect (do not take reasonable steps provide key testimony in the apprehension familiar with your premises and employees
to protect their customers) run the risk of and prosecution of criminals. will alert you to unusual activity.
higher liability when incidents occur.
How to choose a security service: HEMIC would like to thank the following for their contributions to this newsletter:
Research the experience and quality of the John K. Tsukayama, Certiﬁed Protection Professional, Certiﬁed Fraud Examiner
guards (as well as the service). Find out how John Tsukayama is the Executive Vice President of Safeguard Services, Inc., and the
much the guards are being paid and what their Director of Safeguard’s Paciﬁc Threat Management division5. Tsukayama served as a
hiring requirements are. Are the guards trained protection consultant for Workplace Violence: Prevention, Intervention and Recovery.
to handle dangerous situations? Are they
reliable observers who will hold up in court? Albert “Spike” Denis, Certiﬁed Protection Professional, Certiﬁed Fraud Examiner
Ask your guard service for a list of clients Mr. Denis is the President of Safeguard Services, Inc., a security services, investigation and
and contacts. Call references. Make sure their security-consulting ﬁrm with more than 600 employees. His clients include Bank of
security ability matches your needs. Hawaii, Davies Paciﬁc Center, Alii Place, Central Paciﬁc Plaza, Beta West and Chaney,
Once you’ve chosen your security service, Brooks & Co.