todaystrainingblog

A great WordPress.com site

Month: October, 2014

The differences in assaults

You may think that, to paraphrase an old poem, an assault is an assault is an assault. But it’s not true and never has been. Some assaults are intentional and others are not. Some are meant in jest and others are meant in anger.
In some cases, people get reported to HR, security, or law enforcement because what they witness is not understood completely. Not saying that assaults should not be taken seriously, but there is always the possibility for us to misinterpret an ‘assault’. Let me give you a few examples from my own misinterpreted past.
In high school, many decades ago, I was at a girl friend’s house. We were outside, in the front yard, playing with her younger brothers and sisters. I was trying to show them how people got beat up on television and not get really hurt. I was adept at the ‘show biz’ fist action. I swung and Pam was a good actress and fell down, without me contacting her.
She then tried it on her youngest sister; she was about 4 or 5 at the time. The little sister didn’t move fast enough. Pam knocked her down and loosened a tooth. A car driving by stopped and flagged down a cop and told them what they had witnessed. Needless to say, I was no longer welcomed back by her parents.
Right after I went blind in 2004, my wife and I were walking together in a large box store. She stopped to look at something. She asked me a question and I began to turn around to handle whatever it was. I swung my arm a little wide and bloodied her nose. A store employee seen that and called the cops for domestic violence. (I wasn’t wearing sun glasses nor was my cane visible in the cart, so…)
Now let’s move to the factory or office area and see what can be misconstrued there. Many things between both friends and enemies can be miss-interpreted very easily in this age of worrying about bullying, harassment, and WPV. Another few examples that I have observed in my 31 years.
“You butt ugly son-of-b****, I’m gonna kick your stinky s*** covered a** when we get to the parking lot!” Then the employee walks with the other employee out the door talking. Is this a threat or a good natured jibe? If you had only heard the exchange you’d be right in thinking it was a threat. And of course it does need to be investigated, but not to the point of suspending employees or calling the police.
If the same sentence was stated to someone and then a finger waggled in front of their nose, or fist, it would be different. Then you could consider that good natured jibe a legitimate threat to another employee, and calling the police or security would be the right choice.
The same goes for one employee to turn around and hit someone on the arm, leg, or back. From a distance it may look like an assault, but was it really? Take in the totality of the facts about the hit. Did the person being hit turn around and try to hit the person who hit them? Was the swing in earnest, accidental or playful?
Assaults and WPV are never something to neither joke about nor ignore just because the people are friends. Employees should always report such things and let HR, security, or management take it from there. What HR, security, or management needs to do is NOT over react to a situation. Ask a couple of good questions and be done before making a snap judgment on suspension or termination, even if you do have a zero-tolerance policy.
In my, never to be humble, opinion zero tolerance policies are nothing but a catch all for HR, security, and management that are over stretched and have limited budgets to get rid of anything that rocks the boat. It really stands for zero brains.

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

References, Statistics, & Other Information

This last blog in the series for NDEAM is basically just throwing out some information for those of you that need a bit more information about possibly hiring someone who is disabled. And as before, I’m giving you the ones that I know of for a fact, those who are blind only. So, as to not clog your day, let’s get on with it.
Organizations for the Blind:
National Federation for the Blind http://www.nfb.org
American Foundation for the Blind http://www.afb.org
Statistics:
• In the years since the ADA went into effect the unemployment rate for those of us that are disabled has risen 10%.
• The overall unemployment rate for the disabled is 30%
• It has risen from 49% and 59% to 59% and 69% for men and women respectively
Equipment for the Blind:
Computer Programs – There are several programs that assist us that are visually impaired and blind with utilizing the computer. Some of these are expensive and others less so. But they all help us to be able to use a computer, as well as those of you with sight.
JAWS – From Freedom Scientific this reads the computer screen and websites to those who are blind. It allows us to do everything that you can do with a variety of voice styles and languages.
Magic does the same thing but is by a different provider
Window Eyes & Zoom Text is magnifiers. They basically magnify the computer screen so that those who have limited vision can operate this infernal machine as well as anyone.
Braille text writers for the computer enable those who can read braille, to use the computer and take orders/complaints for example in a call center. Depending on how fast you can read it, they can be as fast as any sighted CSR.
Other Equipment for Disabled:
Think all of those wonderful gadgets that talk and are so convenient nowadays were developed for sighted people only? Not a chance! Talking watches, smart phones, micro digital recorders, talking machines (of all kinds), and many other items make it soooo much easier for a person who is disabled to go to work. Some are expensive; others are not and are fairly cheap for a company to purchase to provide accommodations.
Governmental Assistance:
I don’t know all the alphabet soup of agencies that can assist you with helping provide accommodations to those of us who want to work. I would suggest contacting these agencies and organizations;
Social Security
http://www.ssa.gov/
Department of Health & Human Services
http://www.hhs.gov/
Veterans Administration
http://www.va.gov/
State Departments of Vocational Rehabilitation
Non-governmental
Goodwill Industries
The national organizations listed above and other similar

From blind, deaf, paraplegic, Asperger’s, quadriplegic, and every other kind of disability you can think of, can now work if they wish to. And trust me most of us who worked all of our lives until our disability caused us not to be able to, want to.
So, the next time a disabled person wanders into your business and wants to apply for a job, why automatically put the file in ‘round file #13? I’m hoping that I’ve given you plenty of answers and things to think about when it comes to hiring the disabled into your business. Whether that be security, customer service, media, stock room clerk, or just as a janitor, we can do the same jobs you can do with no disabilities.

Most great people have their greatest success one step beyond their greatest failure
Napoleon Hilli

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. He has spent 31 years in the field and despite going blind in 2003, he still writes, blogs, and appears in the media as an expert. He has written 2 books, more than 2 dozen articles, and a twice weekly blog since going blind.

Disabled People and their jobs -3

What kind of jobs can blind people have and get? That question comes up every so often at a networking meeting. That is when people aren’t ‘scared’ to approach and talk to me. I simply start naming off some of the people and their disabilities and what they do;
Frank Vance – Director of Rehabilitation at the Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Frank has been here for more than a decade and is an absolute joy to work with. His primary job is directing the rehabilitation training program at ACBVI. He’s been blind for nearly 3 decades.

Stevie Wondar and Ray Charles, professional entertainers, and think no one would ever believe that these 2 let their disability hold them back from anything they accomplished. Gold records, Grammy’s, #1 songs/albums, popular live shows. And both blind as abat.

Jennifer Johnson Aspergers but a wonderful research assistenat for me during the writing of my book ‘One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence’. And she continues to help out and research WPV incidents for me.

Eric Winemiller motivational speaker. This youngman has accomplished a lot in his life. Namely he climbs mountains as well as being a motivational speaker. He is out there in public view and does juse fine without his vision.

And now as a salute; How about all of the wounded warriors that have come home from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, & soon to be Syria. They are coming back with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Synbdrome), lost limbs, Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI’s), lost hearing, vision, and numerous other issues. They are paralyzed from the chest/waist down and can’t move well. Yet they continue to go to work and prove themselves valuable to to America.
One of these is Corey Rimsberg, a veteran I met a couple of months at an ASIS Intl meeting. He can barely talk andhas many months, if not years, of rehab left to go. But he is pushing thru and will become an inspiration as well as as someone who can help contribute to the country in some way doing work he knows and loves.

The disabled person doesn’t necessarily have a stigma attached to them. The disability isn’t contagious, although I’ve seen that reaction from hundreds of people – including family members of friends. All they, and I, want is to work and provide for ourselves and our families. And for many of us it’s being dismissed.
It’s amazing that, from well wishers and family members, we get the attitude ‘That’s a good blind person, you want to go to work. That’s so good for you’. Sometimes I feel like I should roll over and let them rub my tummy!
Give us a chance and you may be pleasantly surprised at what we can do for you and your company.

I have a ton of good luck. And the harder I work the more I have of it.
Unknown

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. He has spent 31 years in the field and despite going blind in 2003, he still writes, blogs, and appears in the media as an expert. He has written 2 books, more than 2 dozen articles, and a twice weekly blog since going blind.

Why Not Hire the Disabled?

(This is a paraphrased version of an article I wrote for Dynamics, a quarterly publication of ASIS International, the world’s largest organization of security professionals. It’s been shortened to fit this blog)
Being blind, and having been around a number of disabled people in the past few years, I can tell you that we may not be able to do some jobs as fast as a non-disabled employee, but we can still accomplish it. We just have to take pains to do it our way. And doing it our way may not necessarily be the standard way but as long as it is done on time and is right…
Obviously, a blind or deaf person can’t stand a post as a security officer in most cases. People that are confined to wheelchairs are not suited to being on a post that requires a lot of walking, especially if it is outside the building, or one that requires them to move quickly and evacuate the facility.
However, those of us that are disabled can contribute to the safety and well-being of a company’s employees. You may ask how can a blind or wheelchair bound security person contribute very well to any company, especially in an industry that is so visually and shoe leather oriented. In the interest of this blog length, I will shorten these stories.

In the mid 90’s I worked for Allied Security and had an individual wheel himself into our office and put in an application. Not even thinking we would be able to accommodate him, we took the app and interviewed him. He was intelligent and motivated to go back to work. I put him through our orientation program. We had a position in the security operations center of our largest client, where he fit in wonderfully. Other jobs for wheelchair/blind people in security are as follows, as long as everything is equal;
• Access control points checking ID badges
• Access Control points signing people in & out
• Dispatch/control centers
• Training
• Consulting
• Receptionist
• Administration
• Customer Service
• Front Desk at a client/company site
The question is simple. Do you have any jobs within your company that can be done safely by someone who is disabled? Look at the jobs you have and then answer that honestly.
Misconceptions among Employers:
One of the myths about those of us who are disabled and want to work is that we are out to get what we want and how much we can get, and get away with, or figure a way to sue the employer. Nothing can be further from the truth!
Is this saying that there aren’t people out there who do want to sue the company if you don’t spit on the griddle? No I’m not. One example is when you get a cup of coffee from a drive-thru, is it hot? If you didn’t order it iced, it better be. Then why do we have to have signs on the windows telling us it’s hot?
What do we expect from an employer
• Computer programs that allow us to do our jobs i.e. JAWS
• Keep aisles clear of boxes and such
• Close the filing cabinets above waist level, away from out canes
• If you borrow something off my desk, put it back in the same place
• Let me know if you have something in your hands or arms when I’m coming to you
• Common courtesy and professionalism in the office
The way to treat us in the business
The exact same way you treat any other employee. By making exceptions and catering to or avoiding us, it draws attention to our disability. And we just want to blend and make the company safe or profitable.
If we need help, we’ll ask. If we need something, we’ll ask. And we won’t be rude, surly, cop an attitude, yell, scream, or anything of the sort. Will we get angry and frustrated at things? Of course we will, the same as you do. When I’m talking to someone and they tell me that they didn’t know I was blind because of the way I conduct myself, what a compliment! I don’t want special privileges or exceptions.
So as we move further into the future towards a world that can make disabled people more ‘whole’ or as some would say ‘ normal’, let’s throw out the misconceptions, back of the brain discrimination, and don’t judge a book by its cover. Look at what we can do to enhance the safety and security of the company, its employees, and assets. If you don’t, you may lose out on a wealth of innovation, knowledge, skill, & experience.
We are what we repeatedly do
Socrates

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. He has spent 31 years in the field and despite going blind in 2003, he still writes, blogs, and appears in the media as an expert. He has written 2 books, more than 2 dozen articles, and a twice weekly blog since going blind.

Apology and bits & pieces

The first thing I want to do is apologize to all of my readers and those who follow me on social media. I, once again, had issues with Century Link and having internet access. I finally got it resolved, for now. I hope that these disruptions will not be so prevalent in the future.

Secondly, I don’t have a blog necessarily written for today, so I’m going to give you some bits and pieces of security stories and other items that I hope you may find interesting.

As of October 1st, more than 58,000 law enforcement officers had been physically assaulted while the job in the United States. At the same time more than 91 of these brave men and women were killed on the job this year. I do not have the exact numbers on security officers, we should also consider them among the law enforcement community as well.

Have you purchased a copy of the book ‘One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence’? It’s available at any of your favorite on-line book stores.

Five Tips on Preventing Workplace Violence
Employer LINC (10/15/2014) Bruce, Philip

Attorney Philip Bruce says there are five things employers can do to balance safety and security and potential legal liability associated with their efforts to prevent workplace violence. Safety must take priority over the desire to reduce legal liability, Bruce says, which means employers must take immediate action when necessary to prevent workplace violence and worry about potential legal liability later. The second tip is to perform background checks while being mindful of the legal restrictions that apply in a given state. For example, many states ban outright employment discrimination on the basis of a criminal record. Third is to create comprehensive security policies and enforce them. Such policies should include topics such as workplace violence, weapons, and bullying. Fourth, employers should work to keep employee morale high for the simple reason that happy employees are less likely to become violent. Finally, employers should handle terminations with care, as they can be a flashpoint for workplace violence. Ensure that more than two people are presenting during the termination and find the best time of the day and week to conduct the termination. Terminations should also be carried out promptly and decisively, rather than allowing the issue to fester.
I have to agree with most of this. But those of you who know me also know that I’m not opposed to bending the rules until they are ready to break to get the job done. You can’t be afraid of being sued over an incident, if you do then you’ll institute stupid policies such as zero tolerance ones. Remember my business book is ‘If it ain’t broke, Break it!’

So far this year I’ve cataloged this number of WPV incidents in the United States, along with the number of dead and wounded. These numbers only record those are in the news and are a far cry from the more than 15 MILLION that are seen every year;
Number of incidents: 132 Arizona:43
67 Dead 168 Wounded

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.
His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others.
He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/OneistooMany Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. And whether you believe it’s a serious problem or not, unfortunately, many times it becomes the problem of management, security, & HR as well. But why should it be, when it’s such a personal issue and relegated to a ‘domestic’ problem not work

The issue becomes important and pertinent to us all because domestic violence can come into our businesses and create chaos, havoc, & destruction on everyone inside. Whether they are there when an incident occurs or not.

It can wreck and ruin lives, and basically create chaos within the walls of the business. And if the company does nothing to combat it before it starts and enters the business, then they can be held liable for the death and destruction that can visit the company.

Statistics:

A few statistics that may bring home DV to anyone who may not have been visited by its insidious presence before and realized its impact on the workplace;

40% of all murders in the workplace involving women are related to domestic violence

3 – 4 women are murdered by their significant others every single day of the year

Murder is the #1 cause of death for women at work

5% of all WPV is committed by someone with a connection to the worker

Between 3 – 5 billion annually in lost productivity, absenteeism, and health care

High Profile Incidents:

  • December 2012, Kansas City Chiefs Jevon Belcher committed suicide at the team’s practice facility. He had murdered his girlfriend at their home.
  • Anyone remember Rae CArruth of the Carolina Panthers? He hired someone to kill his pregnant girlfriend
  • The recent incident of Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens knocking his girlfriend out and dragging her to their room at a hotel
  • And then Barry Bonds harassing & threatening his girlfriend here in the Phoenix – married at the time
  • Do you remember Claus Von Bulow? He ‘supposedly’ murdered his heiress wife Sunny for money

And this list could go on for an entire blog or book. The point is that these are just the high profile incidents that I can pull up at the time. There are literally hundreds, more likely millions, more. And while most DV incidents are forgotten about soon after and rarely lead to death it is the same. We all scream and yell at our significant others. And once in a while that anger can explode into physical contact that can hurt beyond the physical.

As for statistics, think about the one above of 3-4 women are killed every day by their significant other. This is the same number that was killed in the workplace every day in the 90’s. We were all in such an up-roar then over that. Where is the outrage over DV because of these numbers? Is it because it happens at home and not at a business?

Prevention:

So the statistics may be unsettling for some. But after they have been digested and you have accepted them the next question is how to protect your employees. For both victims and co-workers alike. It’s more than just protecting the business and its financial resources. Here are a few areas that you need to think about for DV prevention occurring in your business.

  • Listening and believing that the employee may be abused
  • Looking for the signs of abuse – even if they deny it
  • Security procedures for an abused employee
  • Assistance programs (EAP) for an abused employee
  • Legal, security, & spiritual help for the employee (don’t let legal tell you that you can’t)
  • Ease of transferring of employees to different shifts or locations to avoid the abuser
  • Extra security measures in parking lots, entrances, & such
  • Recording (or ability) of phone calls on the employees phone
  • Surveillance of the employee, escorted or not, to and from their vehicle
  • Privacy of the employee if they are abused (should be limited to a ‘need to know’ basis)

Conclusion:

                DV is not just a personal issue, especially when it comes into the workplace and threatens co-workers, customers, employees, and the well-being of everyone there. It is an issue that literally can make some employees fear for their lives, whether they are the victim or not.

Many television shows and movies have shown DV in a humorous situation. And while it can be put into a humorous light, it is seldom funny to the victim. The Honeymooners, All in the Family, & Family Guy. There was never any doubt that Ralph Kramden and Archie Bunker loved their wives, but the yelling, berating, & threats were DV.

As security and HR professionals we need to recognize the potential of DV to invade our work spaces and cause injury. And the injury will typically not just be relegated to the abused employee. Many times it will spill over to co-workers – and if it’s a customer…

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. With numerous interviews, blogs, articles, and 2 books he has proven himself in the security arena for more than 31 years, and 23 studying workplace violence issues.

His latest book ‘one is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace violence is available for numerous e-book formats. It helps all organizations to reduce their risk and limit their liability of an incident. And it does this by breaking the rules in several ways, as well as following conventional wisdom in others. And DV plays a part in the book as well.

He utilizes his years of field knowledge to give real life examples of incidents pulled from both his own experiences and the news headlines. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page (One is too Many), Here you will see and read about other items related to WPV/SV as well as incidents you may not have heard or thought about.

October is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Starting today, October 1st, this is another one of those inane awareness months that most people don’t care about or even want to hear. However, I have to say that for most of us who are disabled, this month is very important to us, just like Domestic Violence Awareness Month is to victims of DV, and breast Cancer Awareness Month is to breast cancer survivors and their families.

Mainly it’s because we want to work and not be on the ‘government dole’! Yes, I know that SSDI is our right and we earned it while we were working, but let me ask you a question.

If you were suddenly disabled and told you couldn’t work anymore what would you do? Over and above the jokes about finally taking a vacation and a nice long rest, how would you feel down deep inside your heart and gut? Think of it this way;

            You try and look for work, but can’t find any, and it doesn’t have that much to do with the economy. You worked in a field that requires you to be mobile and have some vision (if you’ve went blind). And no one wants to hire you because you’re blind and disabled. So what are some of the reasons, or observations you make while on the job hunt?

            You get treated like you’re a pariah. You’re stupid, overnight, because you’re blind. What can you tell me about …? You’re blind, you can’t do the things we want and need you to do. You’ll cost us too much money to accommodate, therefore we won’t even interview you and find a reason to deny the application so you don’t hire us.

            Being blunt, many companies when they see someone with a disability coming to their door to apply for a job, they simply don’t want anything to do with the person, despite what their policies say. They have anti-discrimination policies and mission statements, but those are just for current employees. Not necessarily for a new hire. To paraphrase an old adage ‘Why hire a potential problem, when you can just ignore it and it’ll go away?’

So what are some of the disadvantages to being disabled and trying to find a job? Here is a small list of them. And again these are only for me. There are others who will have similar or worse job search issues.

  • Dial-a-Ride. To get to an ASIS International Phoenix Chapter meeting. It takes me more than 4 hours to get there and more than 4 hours to get home. Because I have to transfer from East Valley Dial-a-Ride into a ‘short bus’. Then I have to wait for the bus to pick-up and drop-off others before I get to 27th & Dunlap from Scottsdale. A 1 hour meeting takes all day. A non-disabled person can drive there and back in 2 hours. And this is for those of us who have access to such programs.
  • Getting the proper training. The state of Arizona has cut back on its Vocational Rehabilitation budget to the point where it’s nearly impossible for someone to get into voc rehab and a job training program. The waiting list is at least 12 months for most of us. If you can even get your counselor to call you back and set the proper times for you.
  • Then there is the cost of the equipment that the employer may have to provide for you to do your job. Most employers don’t realize that Social Security and other programs are available to compensate them for the expenditures – and most won’t even get the chance to hear it because you shouldn’t bring such things up before an interview.

So, those are just a couple of the items that those of us

Have issues with in finding a job. Are their ways around those? For some of them, yes. For others, both issues and people, no there isn’t. So the job search process makes us more stressed and irritable as  a presidential candidate on election night. And unfortunately feeling totally helpless and useless.

Yes, I said useless. Despite what we mean to our families, many of us feel absolutely useless to the world and many others because we can’t work. As useless as having a uni-cycle for carrying passengers! We can’t contribute to the household monetarily ($1,000 doesn’t go too far anymore) and mentally we linger in the area wondering if we should just sit on a street corner and be done with everything and everyone, begging for pity with a tin cup.

Look for a couple more blogs on the subject of hiring the disabled, from my standpoint of course, in the coming few weeks. I will attempt to enlighten you as to what we can and can’t do, and what we will and won’t do. This will be both in security and outside the security field.

And just a lil statistic that no one ever talks about… Of the blind people who want to work and not necessarily be on the ‘dole’ the unemployment rates are staggering. 59% of men and 69% of women! Those are depression era numbers for regular people! And you wanna tell me that there isn’t an employment issue with the disabled?

 

‘Pessimists see difficulties in every opportunity. Optimists see opportunity in every difficulty’

Winston Churchill

Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on workplace violence prevention and other security issues. He has spent 31 years in the field and despite going blind in 2003, he still writes, blogs, and appears in the media as an expert. He has written 2 books, more than 2 dozen articles, and a twice weekly blog since going blind.