WORKPLACE SECURITY PLAN
Procedure 1003.11
Administrative Services

Horizontal Line

Approval Date: 8/25/97

  1. PURPOSE
  2. This procedure establishes the minimum requirements to maintain the goals of our Workplace Security Plan. These goals are: 1) to make every employee aware of the potential for violence in the workplace, 2) to increase the employee's ability to recognize the early warning signs of a potentially violent person or situation, 3) to explain how to record incidents indicative of a potential problem, and 4) to encourage employee's to report suspicious incidents to the appropriate manager through proper procedures.

    Threats and acts of violence in the workplace are increasing both in frequency and severity. Homicides accounted for 31% of fatal on the job injuries in California during 1993. Estimates suggest that up to 10,000 nonfatal workplace violence related injuries occur each year in California. While homicides are the extreme, all threats and acts of aggression or violence must be taken seriously due to the unknown risk that they present. Administrators, faculty, staff and students often experience anxiety and confusion over what to do when they encounter potential or actual workplace violence. This Plan provides information for all District employees to help identify the potential for violence, methods for prevention and intervention, and a plan for post incident recovery.

  3. GENERAL
  4. The District's Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) for workplace security addresses the hazards known to be associated with the three major types of workplace violence. Type I workplace violence involves a violent act by an assailant with no legitimate relationship to the workplace who enters the workplace to commit a robbery or other criminal act. This type may also include an intruder attack at a District office or the taking of hostages. Type II involves a violent act or threat of violence by a recipient of a service provided by the District, such as a student, customer, passenger or a criminal suspect or prisoner. Examples may include a disgruntled student or employee who attempts to retaliate against the actions of faculty or staff such as a threat issued because of poor grades, work assignments and/or personality conflicts. Type III involves a violent act or threat by a current or former employee, student, supervisor or manager, or another employee's or student's spouse or lover, and employee's or student's relative or friend, or another person who has a dispute with one of our employees or students.

  5. DEFINITIONS
  6. Acts of aggression include verbal or physical actions that are intended to create fear or apprehension of bodily harm.

    Acts of violence include intentional physical or verbal attacks that cause injury to a person or property.

  7. REFERENCES
    1. Cal/OSHA Guidelines for Workplace Security
    2. Title 8, CCR, Cal/OSHA Standard 3203
    3. Cal/OSHA: Labor Code 6300
    4. Workplace Violence Safety Act of 1994
    5. Penal Code 653m, Annoying Telephone Calls
    6. Penal Code 601, Trespassing
    7. El Camino College Board Policy 5138
    8. Feb/OSHA 29 U.S.C. 654(a)(1)
  8. RESPONSIBILITY
  9. It is the responsibility of all faculty and staff to immediately report threats, acts of aggression, or acts of violence at the District to their supervisor, ECC Police Department, and/or Human Resources. Threats, acts of aggression, and acts of violence will not be tolerated by the District. For faculty and staff, such actions may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination. For students, such actions may result in disciplinary action, up to and including expulsion. For all of the above, criminal prosecution may result if federal, state, or local laws are violated.

    The IIPP administrator for this Workplace Security Plan is the Vice-President of Administrative Services. This administrator has the authority and responsibility for implementing the provisions of this program for the El Camino Community College District. The Program will be maintained by the Director of Safety and Health.

    All managers and supervisors are responsible for implementing and maintaining the District's IIPP in their work areas and for answering employee questions about the IIPP. A copy of this IIPP is available from each manager and supervisor for review by employees who request to review the Program. All employees and students are also responsible for maintaining and following the terms of this Workplace Security Plan.

  10. COMPLIANCE
  11. The following policy is established to ensure compliance with our rules on workplace security.

    Management of the District is committed to ensuring that all safety and health policies and procedures involving workplace security are clearly communicated and understood by all employees and students.

    Our system of ensuring that all students, employees, including supervisors and managers, comply with work practices that are designed to make the workplace more secure, and do not engage in threats or physical actions which create a security hazard for others in the workplace, include:

    1. Informing students, employees, supervisors and managers of the provisions of our Workplace Security Plan.
    2. Evaluating the performance of all employees in complying with the District's workplace security measures.
    3. Providing training and/or counseling to employees and students who performance is deficient in complying with work practices designed to ensure workplace security.
    4. Disciplining employees and students for failure to comply with workplace security practices. (See Management Procedure 1003, Section II, General Safety Rules and Code of Safe Practices, and ECC Board Policy 5138, Standard of Conduct and Disciplinary Action).
  12. COMMUNICATION
  13. The District recognizes that to maintain a safe, healthy and secure workplace, it must have open, two-way communication between students, employees, including managers and supervisors, on all workplace safety, health and security issues. The District has a communications system designed to encourage a continuous flow of safety, health and security information between management and our employees without fear of reprisal and in a form that is readily understandable. The District's communication systems, includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    1. New employee orientation on the District's workplace security policies, procedures and work practices.
    2. Training programs designed to address specific aspects of workplace security unique to our establishment.
    3. Monthly safety meetings with all personnel that may include workplace security discussions when possible.
    4. A system to ensure that all employees understand the workplace security policies.
    5. Posted and/or distributed workplace security information.
    6. A system for employees to inform management about workplace security hazards or threats of violence. Employee are encouraged to report all incidents to their immediate supervisor, however, employees may complete the ECC Safety Hazard Identification Form (#20185) to report such hazards.
    7. Procedures for protecting employees who report threats from retaliation by the person making the threats.
    8. Addressing security issues at our Administrative Services Staff meetings and at the ECC Community Policing Advisory Committee meetings.
  14. HAZARD ASSESSMENT
  15. District personnel will perform workplace hazard assessment for workplace security in the form of periodic inspections. Periodic inspections to identify and evaluate workplace security hazards and threats of workplace violence are performed by the following observer(s):

    District Chief of Police, or his designee.
    District Managers and Supervisors

    1. Periodic inspections are performed according to the following schedule:
      1. Monthly, as part of the Facilities Monthly Safety Inspections.
      2. At the initial establishment of the Workplace Security Plan. All Division Managers will complete the "ECC Workplace Security Assessment Form", Appendix A.
      3. When new, previously unidentified security hazards are recognized.
      4. When occupational injuries or threats of injury occur; and
      5. Whenever workplace security conditions warrant an inspection.
    2. Periodic inspections for security hazards consist of identification and evaluation of workplace security hazards and changes in employee work practices, and may require assessing for more than one type of workplace violence. District observers will perform inspections for each type of workplace violence by using the methods specified below to identify and evaluate workplace security hazards.
      1. Inspections for Type I workplace security hazards include assessing:
        1. The exterior and interior of the workplace for its attractiveness to robbers.
        2. The need for security surveillance measures, such as mirrors or cameras.
        3. Posting of signs notifying the public that limited cash is kept on the premises.
        4. Procedures for employee response during a robbery or other criminal act.
        5. Posting of emergency telephone numbers for law enforcement, fire and medical services where employees have access to a telephone with an outside line.
        6. Limiting of the amount of cash on hand, using time access safe for large bills, and providing campus police escorts when appropriate.
      2. Inspections for Type II workplace security hazards include assessing:
        1. Access to, and freedom of movement within the workplace.
        2. Adequacy of workplace security systems, such as door and window locks and physical barriers.
        3. Frequency and severity of threatening or hostile situations that may lead to violent acts by persons who are service recipients of our establishment (i.e. students, patrons, and guests).
        4. Effectiveness of systems and procedures to summons assistance, (e.g. telephones, emergency telephones, alarms or panic buttons.)
        5. The use of work practices such as "buddy" systems to prevent placing employees alone in a high risk area.
      3. Inspections for Type III workplace security hazards assessing:
        1. How well our District's anti-violence policy has been communicated to employees and students.
        2. Access to, and freedom of movement within the workplace by non-employees, including recently discharged employees or students who have been expulsed, or persons with whom on of our employee's is having a dispute.
        3. Frequency and severity of employee and student reports of threats of physical or verbal abuse by other employees or students or the public.
        4. Any prior violent acts, threats of physical violence, verbal abuse, property damage or other signs of strain or pressure in the workplace.
        5. Employee and student disciplinary and discharge or expulsion procedures.
  16. INCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS
  17. The District has established the following policy for investigating incidents of workplace violence. Depending upon the circumstance, investigations will be conducted by the Director of Human Resources, the Chief of Police, the Dean of Student Services, and/or the Director of Safety and Health, or their appropriate designee(s).

    Our procedures for investigating incidents of workplace violence, which includes substantial threats and physical injury, include:

    1. Reviewing all previous incidents.
    2. Visiting the scene of the incident as soon as possible.
    3. Interviewing threatened or injured employees or students and witnesses.
    4. Examining the workplace for security risk factors associated with the incident, including any previous reports of inappropriate behavior by the perpetrator.
    5. Determining the cause of the incident.
    6. Recording the findings and corrective action taken.
  18. HAZARD CORRECTION
  19. Hazards which threaten the security of employees, students, and/or guests shall be corrected in a timely manner based on severity when they are first observed, discovered, or reported.

    Corrective action of workplace hazards largely duplicate the items listed in Section 8, Hazard Assessment, mentioned above.

  20. TRAINING AND INSTRUCTION
  21. The District has established the following policy on training all employees with respect to workplace security.

    All training and instruction regarding workplace security shall be approved by the Director of Safety and Health if such training is provided by an outside contractor.

    All employees, including managers and supervisors, shall have training and instruction on general and job-specific workplace security practices. Training and instruction shall be provided when the Workplace Security Plan is first established and periodically thereafter. Training shall also be provided to all new employees and to other employees for whom training has not previously been provided and to all employees, supervisors and managers given new job assignments for which specific workplace security training for that job assignment has not previously been provided. Additional training and instruction will be provided to all personnel whenever the District is made aware of new or previously unrecognized security hazards.

    General workplace security training and instruction includes, but is not limited to the following:

    1. Explanation of the Workplace Security Plan including measures for reporting any violent act or threats of violence.
      1. All employees should know how and where to report violent acts of threats of violence.

      All District personnel are responsible for notifying their immediate supervisor or a management representative of any threats, acts of aggression, or acts of violence at the District. Even without an actual threat, personnel should also report any behavior they have witnessed which they regard as threatening or violent, when that behavior is job related or might be carried out on a District controlled site.

      In all cases, after official notification to the District of an incident, the Director of Human Resources and/or the Director of Safety and Health, will provide to the victim, or reporting person, a written response of the status of the District's investigation, within five (5) working days of the initial report.

    2. Recognition of workplace security hazards including the risk factors associated with the three types of workplace violence.
    3. Ways to diffuse hostile or threatening situations.
    4. Measures to summon others for assistance.
    5. Employee routes of escape.
    6. Notification to the ECC Police Department when a criminal act may have occurred on District property. Other law enforcement authorities may be notified when the perpetrator is an employee or student of the District and the incident occurs off District property.
    7. Emergency medical care provided in the event of any violent act upon an employee or student; and
    8. Post-event trauma counseling for those employees desiring such assistance.
  22. RECORDKEEPING
  23. Records of workplace security documentation, including inspections and training, will be accomplished in accordance with Management Procedure 1003, Section I. Inspection and training records shall be maintained indefinitely.

    The Office of Safety and Health will report immediately all "serious illness or injury, or death" to Cal/OSHA. In addition, the Cal/OSHA 200 log, which is maintained in the Office of Safety and Health, will be completed for employees who may be involved with workplace assaults or other type of violent act as appropriate.

  24. RECOGNITION
  25. The risk of workplace violence can be minimized by the careful observation of behavior. Specific stress factors, behaviors, and personality traits have been associated, after the fact, with almost every incident of workplace violence. The presence of several of these indicators greatly increases the likelihood of violent actions. Most people will not just "snap". An escalating series of clues usually precedes an act of workplace violence. The risk of a violent outburst is greatly increased when a combination of the following warning signs are ignored.

    1. Warning Signs

    Boundary crossing includes pushing the limits of acceptable workplace behavior and continual testing of established rules.

    Chemical dependence upon alcohol and/or drugs may agitate or create paranoia and aggressive behavior.

    Concentration problems such as difficulty recalling instructions, forgetfulness, repetition of errors, and staring into space indicate a troubled employee.

    Depression causes nearly one in seven sufferers to commit a violent act either upon themselves or others. Symptoms of depression include; despair, ambivalence, slowed work pace, continual sad or blank facial expressions, withdrawal, self-condemnation and self-destructive behavior, hopelessness, helplessness, inappropriate guilt/shame, and poor personal hygiene.

    History of violence, includes domestic abuse, is the best predictor of violent behavior.

    Inconsistent work patterns and attendance problems include periods of very high and very low productivity as well as unexplained or improbable excuses for absences.

    Obsessive interest in weapons and violent incidents may be revealed in casual conversations, subscriptions to magazines such as Soldier of Fortune, and by preoccupation with hobbies such as marksmanship. An obsession with an impending apocalypse, or destruction of the world, is also common among unstable individuals.

    Obsession with job may cause a deeper sense of loss in the case of a poor performance review or termination. These individuals may be loners, having little else of importance in their lives.

    Paranoia indicating an irrational thought of being "Set-up".

    Pathological "blamers" cannot take responsibility for their own actions. They will not admit wrongdoing, even for minor mistakes, always blaming other people, the organization, or the system.

    Personality disorders can result in antisocial behavior such as repeated fighting and domestic violence. These individuals have little remorse about wrongdoing and will find ways to justify their violent behavior. Mood shifts, inappropriate anger, skillful manipulation of others, and preoccupation with self are indicators of personality disorders.

    Personal stress can result in excessive personal phone calls, desk pounding or throwing of objects, crying, lapses in attention, and general frustration with the surrounding environment. Debt, separation, divorce, or the death of a relative can all cause excessive stress.

    A pattern of Poor interpersonal relationships may result in belligerence, overreaction to criticism, and verbal harassment.

    Psychosis is a loss of contact with reality which may be manifested as paranoia, loss of association during conversations, flat facial expressions, extreme ambivalence, hallucinations, poor insight, talking to self, or bizarre delusions.

    Romantic obsession is a fixation upon and idealized romantic love for another person. Behavioral signs may include stalking, numerous phone calls, spying, and unwanted visits and gifts.

    Safety issues like recklessness and a sudden increase in accident rate reveal lapses in concentration and disregard for personal/coworker safety.

    Unusual/changed behavior includes verbal outbursts, inappropriate remarks, and threats such as "they'll regret this." A series of escalating threats is a particularly important indicator of the potential violent actions.

  26. PREVENTION
  27. Management and employees alike will be trained on how to recognize possible warning signs of a potentially hostile or violent situation to be able to report their observations so appropriate action can be taken to prevent a violent incident from occurring.

    These preventative measures can be used to minimize the risk of violence in the workplace:

    1. Careful and thoughtful management of people is the best tool to avoid incidents of workplace violence. Handle problems with and between employees quickly, fairly, and consistently using standard District procedures.
    2. Maintain open lines of communication with employees. Keep all employees informed of pertinent workplace issues. Conduct open meetings with staff when practical. Ask your employees for safety suggestions and, when feasible, implement them as soon as possible.
    3. Lock doors that lead to non-public work areas. Only lock doors from the outside, so that emergency exits are not obstructed.
    4. Whenever possible, design work areas so that there is an unobstructed secondary escape exit.
    5. Coordinate all phases of the disciplinary process through the Human Resources Division. In cases involving students, coordinate all processes through the Dean of Student Services and the Police Department. Improperly handled discipline can cause serious humiliation and anger.
    6. Plan ahead and contact the ECC Police Department for added security prior to a visit from an individual who is a known threat.
    7. Take all threats of violence very seriously. Watch for and document the "warning signs".
    8. Make use of all psychological services and other programs available from Human Resources and the Student Health Center.
    9. Departmental staff should work together to devise specific approaches to implement these guidelines.
  28. GUIDELINES FOR HANDLING A POTENTIALLY VIOLENT CONFRONTATION
  29. Study these guidelines periodically, so that you will be able to remember them while under the stress of a threatening situation.

    1. Try to stay calm. Raising your own voice may increase the anxiety of the potentially violent person.
    2. Speak slowly, softly, and clearly to reduce the momentum of the situation.
    3. Move away from any objects, such as scissors or heavy objects, that may be employed as a weapon.
    4. Avoid challenging body language such as placing your hands on your hips, moving toward the person, or staring directly at them. Remain seated and do not turn your back on the individual.
    5. Position yourself, if possible, so that an exit route is readily accessible.
    6. Listen empathetically by really paying attention to what the person is saying. Let the person know that you will help them within your ability to do so or you will send for additional help.
    7. Remain helpful while you summon your supervisor for assistance. Sometimes, the opportunity to talk to the boss will help satisfy an irritated person.
    8. Neither agree with distorted statements nor attempt to argue - REMAIN CALM. Avoid defensive statements. This is not the time to place blame back on the enraged person.
    9. Ask the belligerent person to leave and come back at a time when they feel more calm.
    10. Ask questions to help regain control of the conversation.
    11. Ask uninvolved parties to leave the area if this can be done safely.
    12. Never challenge, try to bargain, or make promises that you cannot keep.
    13. Describe the consequences of any violent behavior.
    14. Do not physically touch an outraged person, or try to force them to leave.
    15. Calmly ask the person to place any weapon in a neutral location while you continue to talk to them.
    16. Never attempt to disarm or accept a weapon from the person in question. Weapon retrieval is only to be done by an ECC or other police officer.
  30. THREAT INCIDENT REPORT
  31. District procedures require employees to report all threats or incidents of violent behavior which they observe or are informed about to the Director of Human Resources, the Chief of Police, the Dean of Student Services, and/or the Director of Safety and Health. A threat incident report should be completed as quickly as possible, including private interviews of the victim(s) and witnesses(s). The report will be used to asses the safety of the workplace, and to decide upon a plan of action. The following facts should be included in the threat incident report:

    Note:This section applies to incident reports by employees. Management investigations will be conducted in accordance with Section 9, INCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS, above.

    1. Name of the threat-maker and his/her relationship to the District and to the recipient
    2. Name(s) of the victims or potential victims
    3. When and where the incident occurred
    4. What happened immediately prior to the incident
    5. The specific language of the threat
    6. Any physical conduct that would substantiate an intention to follow through on the threat
    7. How the threat-maker appeared (physically and emotionally)
    8. Names of others who were directly involved and any actions they took
    9. How the incident ended
    10. Names of witnesses
    11. What happened to the threat-maker after the incident
    12. Names of any supervisory staff involved and how they responded
    13. What event(s) triggered the incident
    14. Any history leading up to the incident
    15. The steps which have been taken to ensure that the threat will not be carried out
    16. Suggestions for preventing workplace violence in the future.
  32. RESPONDING TO WORKPLACE VIOLENCE
  33. As part of this Workplace Security Plan, it is essential that the following procedures be utilized when responding to an incident:

    1. Immediate Response Procedures:
      1. The ECC Police Department will obtain control over the situation as soon as possible.
      2. The ECC Police Department will provide first aid and summons paramedics for medical services beyond first aid.
      3. The ECC Police Department will secure the affected area.
      4. The ECC Police Department will contact additional law enforcement and other emergency response agencies, if necessary.
      5. The ECC Crisis Intervention Team will provide initial psychological assistance to victims and witnesses.
      6. The ECC Chief of Police will notify the Superintendent/President as soon as possible; and
      7. The Director of Public Information and/or the Chief of Police will address the media in cases of emergency.
    2. Follow-up Response Procedures:
      1. Under the direction of the Chief of Police and/or the Director of Safety and Health, the Facilities Division personnel will repair and clean-up of workplace to remove any and all reminders of violent occurrence, if necessary.
      2. Investigation procedures will commence in accordance with Section 9, INCIDENT INVESTIGATIONS, above
      3. Under the direction of the Director of Human Resources and/or the Dean of Student Services, provision of post-event trauma counseling and emotional assistance to employees, students, and others affected to reduce the short and long-term emotional effects of the incident, will be arranged.
  34. CONCLUSION

This Workplace Security Plan is an attempt to provide guidelines to respond to this complex problem of workplace violence. This procedure will be reviewed annually and updated as necessary as the District commits itself to continuing its efforts to bring employees the latest practical information on workplace violence.

El Camino Community College District

 

APPENDIX A

Management Procedure 1003.11, Workplace Security Plan

WORKPLACE SECURITY ASSESSMENT FORM FOR TYPES I and II

Date ____________________ Division ______________________________________
Division Assessor _________________________ Division Manager _____________________

(Name and signature) (Name and signature)

 

Department/Area Name _________________________________ Building Number _________

Describe the physical layout of the department/area. Indicate its location to other departments or
buildings in the area and access to the street.

 __________________________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________ 

__________________________________________________________________________ 

Normal Hours of Operation ____________________________

Number/Gender of employees, if any, on campus between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. _______________

Describe nature and frequency of client/customer/student/patient/passenger/other contact

__________________________________________________________________________ 

__________________________________________________________________________ 

Are cash transactions conducted with the public during working hours? If yes, how much cash is
kept in the cash register or in another place accessible to a robber? ________________________

Is there a safe or lock-box on the premises into which cash is deposited? ___________________

What is the security history of the department and environs? _____________________________

 What physical security measures are present? _______________________________________

__________________________________________________________________________ 

What work practices have been implemented to increase security, if any? ___________________

__________________________________________________________________________ 

Have the employees in the department received security training? If so, has the training been effective?

__________________________________________________________________________