Are you afraid of being sued over security? You should be!

by todaystrainingblog

Some security companies and their clients need to read this post closely. Mainly because neither one doesn’t know the several ways you can be sued. This would be in spite of the ‘disclaimer’ clause in most contracts. And if you don’t know them, then they might get bit in the butt even if they claim they knew…which is another issue altogether.

Unfortunately not knowing, or paying close enough attention to these, can lead to financial disaster for both of you in bankruptcy court. So, it is in the best interest of both to look at these and then decide whether or not you can wiggle out of these. There are literally hundreds of terms that attorneys will use in their filings, but it basically comes down to three main areas;

Negligent hiring

If you hire the wrong person it could cost you literally millions of dollars. A recent survey stated that even for front line employees with minimal training, it could cost the company as much as $20,000 to replace them. Remember, it’s not just the hiring but add in the recruiting, training, time consumption in the process, and other such things.

If you hire a convicted felon, even if they did so by false pretenses, and they assault someone on the job, you could lose cash and have your officers, not to mention office staff, wearing barrel pants. And even if you manage to stay in business, your insurance will go up. This means that your clients will be demanding that your background checks have overwhelming proof they were completed… and were thorough. Which also means extra expended financial, and time, resources?

As for other hiring issues, such as those with a hidden mental disability or illness? Many people with depression, and other mental issues, can hide it well. That is until it rises up and explodes. And there are a multitude of issues that can cause a negligent hiring suit. Therefore, with diligent action, you may be able to avoid these issues. But it will cost some resources to ensure it.

 Inadequate training

           What if your security officers and supervisors were not properly trained for the duties that they were assigned to the post to complete? If you work in the contract industry this is one of the biggest issues that you have, training your officers adequately, effectively, and completely to ensure this issue doesn’t suddenly arise and result in loss.

On the other hand if your supervisors or managers aren’t properly trained, they don’t know what to do, efficiently. That’s as bad as putting an untrained person on site if that person who should know doesn’t know what to do in certain situations on a particular post. Those situations can end badly for everyone concerned if not addressed, even if they are relatively rare.

A prime example of this is in the nursing field. A nurse who is supposed to know how to handle certain medical issues doesn’t, because she has been out of school too long and never been refreshed. Would that be negligent training and the possibility of a suit against both the hospital and the nurse?

 Inadequate Security/Staffing

More than likely, somewhere in the paperwork that is filed, there will be a case for not having enough security or staffing on the site when an incident occurred. This could mean a multitude of issues have happened.  Or possibly not, just an attempt to get something from the corporate deep pockets.  No one was observing the video monitors, abandoned the front door for the restroom or, that the company didn’t pay enough for a good pad lock on the gate. Unfortunately, there are innumerable other reasons this would be cited in a lawsuit.

What about if you’re short an officer, or an employee, to observe the back door while materials are being brought in? You have to avoid, at all costs, the all too common WBS when filling a post, whether it is a call off or a no show. It is one of the riskiest ways for you to fill a post at the last moment.  Far too many security companies fall into this trap and rely on this at 0300.  This usually occurs so a contract violation can be avoided.

You may be asking what WBS is? In the contract security industry if you run short of people, for a multitude of reasons, you may plug someone into a place they’ve never worked at before, causing Warm Body Syndrome. And if that post requires even a minuscule amount of training, then you’ve committed WBS because the ‘guard’ they’ve posted there has no clue and no training there. Which can lead to other even worse issues.

          In today’s litigious society that we live in, and especially the supposedly deep pockets of businesses, you have to ensure that you cross your T’s and dot your I’s on everything. Otherwise, someone will spill hot coffee on themselves and sue you for serving them hot coffee or some other nonsense.

Attorneys will have innumerable phrases and legal terms to file, and they hope befuddle, against you. But they mostly come down to the 3 areas listed above. So you have to ensure that everything is operating the way it should with no shortcuts that may threaten the business. Shortcuts are fine, as long as they don’t come back to bite you in the butt. Cross the T’s and dot the I’s. And try not to violate the 3 areas above.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent 33 years in the security field. Contact him at 480-251-5197 or Visit his Facebook page,  here you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues.