Disarming the Workplace HEMIC

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Disarming the Workplace HEMIC Powered By Docstoc
					          Workers’ Compensation Resource for Hawai‘i Employers / Volume 2 Number 2


                 What is              A Portrait of         Are You Liable?
                Workplace               Danger              On Your Guard
                Violence?




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.
President’s Message
                                                                                               BOB DOVE
                                                                                                CEO/President                     Threat or
                                                                                                                                  Conversation
                                                                                                808 522-5500
                                                                                              bdove@hemic.com
                                                                                         S H AY N E D O B B I N S
                                                                                       Director of Information Services
                                                                                                678 585-0449
Dear Readers,                                                                              sdobbins@hemic.com
                                                                                                JOE HEE
It has been a tough year for everyone. As Americans and as Hawaii                  Vice President/Finance and Compliance
                                                                                                808 522-5257
residents, we are burdened with a struggling economy plus the fear of the                     jhee@hemic.com
unknown. Stress levels for both employers and employees continue to run
                                                                                           JASON YOSHIMI
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
behavior.                                                                                   jyoshimi@hemic.com
                                                                                                                                  Under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)
                                                                                             KAREN HONG
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
                                                                                                808 535-5465
free employer manual titled: “Workplace Violence: Prevention, Intervention                   khong@hemic.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
                                                                                                808 522-8909
single most comprehensive resource on workplace violence prevention.                         smiller@hemic.com
                                                                                                                                  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.
                                                                                             cfaria@hemic.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,
                                                                                           jbenevides@hemic.com                                                                      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.                                                                blong@hemic.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,                                         fbueno@hemic.com                                                                         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
                                                                                  info@hemic.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
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Safer Workplace
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     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
                                                                                                                        Drug/alcohol abuse.
                                                                                                                                                                          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
                                                                                                                          employment).
                                                                                                                                                                          “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.)
                                            HEMIC
                                            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
                                             522-5279                          1-888-522-5295




Protect your business and your employees.
Report all injuries within 24-hours.



                                                                                                           PRESORTED
  Hawaii Employers’ Mutual                                                                                  S TA N D A R D

  Insurance Company, Inc.                                                                              U . S . P O S TA G E PA I D
                                                                                                         HONOLULU, HI
                                                                                                        PERMIT NO. 564

  1001 Bishop Street,
  Pauhai Tower, Suite 1000
  Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96813

  Mailing Address:
    HEMIC
    P.O. Box 3376
    Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96801

  Island of O‘ahu:
    Tel: (808) 524-3642
    Fax: (808) 522-5855

  Neighbor Islands:
    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.

				
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