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  • "Don't rock the boat"

    Have you ever worked at a site where the client wanted the security company to 'hear, see, and speak no evil' when it came to safety issues/violations? If the s/o documented security or safety issues that needed to be corrected, the client would complain because they couldn't say they didn't know about it, and it costs $$ to make the changes. If you have experienced this, what did you do?
    Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

  • #2
    Originally posted by Mr. Security
    Have you ever worked at a site where the client wanted the security company to 'hear, see, and speak no evil' when it came to safety issues/violations? If the s/o documented security or safety issues that needed to be corrected, the client would complain because they couldn't say they didn't know about it, and it costs $$ to make the changes. If you have experienced this, what did you do?
    Generally speaking, these issues need to be addressed by a company management representative. If there is a contractual obligation to observe and report safety violations, especially standard of care issues, it is the company's fault if they were failed to be identified by the contract employee.

    In English, you don't write anything down, and the security company can "prove" that you were instructed to document the issues, you are now negligent and liable. The client will sue the security company because its "their job to report this stuff to us," the security company will fire you and possibly sue you as a scape goat.

    The best thing you can do is report it, day in and day out, over and over. Lets say there is the common issue of a street light out on private property, either industrial or residential. If your logs look like this:

    01/01/2006 0001 Patrolled the property. Street Light #53251513 has burned out. Will monitor area. No other incidents noted.
    01/01/2006 0020 Called Florida Power, Florida Power representative advised that Street Light is customer owned.
    01/01/2006 0100 Patrolled the property. Street Light awaiting client repair.
    01/01/2006 0700 End of Shift. Off Duty.
    01/01/2006 2200 On Duty. Street Light #Number is still out.

    Over, and over... Then you have made a diligent effort in reporting the security issue to the client, and it is their inaction, not your "negligence." There is precident where a security officer stopped reporting the light out because the client obviously didn't care, two months later the lack of security lighting created an accident, and the company was negligent for not CONTINUING to document the issue. The client successfully maintained that they were unaware of the light being out, because the guard stopped reporting it. Yes, street lights can magically repair themselves without client intervention, you see.

    If the client flips out, its time to start up two logs. One for the client, the other sent to the company documenting everything the client dosen't want to see. Most security companies are familiar with this concept, they use it as a barganing chip while they're asking the client what they intend to do. By the second log, you cover yourself, as you've reported it to your company.
    Some Kind of Commando Leader

    "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
      There is precident where a security officer stopped reporting the light out because the client obviously didn't care, two months later the lack of security lighting created an accident, and the company was negligent for not CONTINUING to document the issue. The client successfully maintained that they were unaware of the light being out, because the guard stopped reporting it. Yes, street lights can magically repair themselves without client intervention, you see.

      If the client flips out, its time to start up two logs. One for the client, the other sent to the company documenting everything the client dosen't want to see. Most security companies are familiar with this concept, they use it as a barganing chip while they're asking the client what they intend to do. By the second log, you cover yourself, as you've reported it to your company.
      Very sobering precident. I like your idea about the two logs. Thanks
      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Mr. Security
        Very sobering precident. I like your idea about the two logs. Thanks
        Thanks. The games we play with company, client, and less motivated officers are amazing, aren't they?
        Some Kind of Commando Leader

        "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

        Comment


        • #5
          Amazing & frustrating.
          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

          Comment


          • #6
            No, but I have (and currently do) work for a company that is like that.

            I have formed a strong bond with the photocopy machine and the print function on our computers.
            Liability is never above officer safety. Do what you must to make sure you go home safe.

            William-2, 10-6 for 105. Yep, I'm at Starbucks!

            I may be gay, but I'll eff you up!

            Personal Web Site

            Cheap, Quality Web Design! Put a great cop on the beat by helping with my tuition! :-D

            Comment


            • #7
              I used to work for a small liberal arts college as a Campus Safety Officer. They loved to sweep incidents under the carpet because it would create bad press and scare away potential students. For example, we had one ethnic festival where there was a dance with alcohol. During the dance, there were five or more fistfights, two arrests, and code police response (lights, sirens) There was nothing in the local paper about it.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am in that situation now. One of the many things the Plant Manager is rated on each year is the number of security and safety violations that occur at his plant. The company actually takes security seriously, so it is in the Plant Manager's best interest to keep the number of violations low.

                About 6 months after I got hired the Plant Manager took me out to lunch and asked me if I would be willing to send the weekly violation reports to him before I sent them on to my boss, the VP of Safety and Security, so the Plant Manager could "look them over and discuss any issues with me." Read, edit out what he doesn't want the VP to know. In return, the Plant Manager implied that he would give me and my department glowing reviews whenever the VP asked his opinion of the security department, which is pretty frequent. A "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" type of situation.

                Fortunately the security department is not in the Plant Manager's chain of command. I report directly to the VP of Safety and Security, to prevent just issues such as this. I politely told the Plant Manager that I would not do that. The VP and he would get the weekly reports at the same time via e-mail. I told the Plant Manager that he was free to discuss with me anything he did not agree with in the report, but that the VP was still going to get the same copy that he did.

                Needless to say, the Plant Manager and I have been barely on speaking terms since. To his credit, he got on the Shift Supervisors who were being lax in their duties and was the cause of most of the violations, and for the past year the number of violations, accidents, etc. has been drastically reduced.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                  Generally speaking, these issues need to be addressed by a company management representative. If there is a contractual obligation to observe and report safety violations, especially standard of care issues, it is the company's fault if they were failed to be identified by the contract employee.

                  In English, you don't write anything down, and the security company can "prove" that you were instructed to document the issues, you are now negligent and liable. The client will sue the security company because its "their job to report this stuff to us," the security company will fire you and possibly sue you as a scape goat.

                  The best thing you can do is report it, day in and day out, over and over. Lets say there is the common issue of a street light out on private property, either industrial or residential. If your logs look like this:

                  01/01/2006 0001 Patrolled the property. Street Light #53251513 has burned out. Will monitor area. No other incidents noted.
                  01/01/2006 0020 Called Florida Power, Florida Power representative advised that Street Light is customer owned.
                  01/01/2006 0100 Patrolled the property. Street Light awaiting client repair.
                  01/01/2006 0700 End of Shift. Off Duty.
                  01/01/2006 2200 On Duty. Street Light #Number is still out.

                  Over, and over... Then you have made a diligent effort in reporting the security issue to the client, and it is their inaction, not your "negligence." There is precident where a security officer stopped reporting the light out because the client obviously didn't care, two months later the lack of security lighting created an accident, and the company was negligent for not CONTINUING to document the issue. The client successfully maintained that they were unaware of the light being out, because the guard stopped reporting it. Yes, street lights can magically repair themselves without client intervention, you see.

                  If the client flips out, its time to start up two logs. One for the client, the other sent to the company documenting everything the client dosen't want to see. Most security companies are familiar with this concept, they use it as a barganing chip while they're asking the client what they intend to do. By the second log, you cover yourself, as you've reported it to your company.
                  N. A., there needs to be more people like you. You would not make it federal civil service or the military: "Leadership to employees/service personnel - the rules are what I say they are and subject to my whim."
                  When a security person observes a safety or security related issue, not correcting that issue may place that person in harms way.
                  What would a prudent person do in the same instance? That should always guide us.
                  Enjoy the day,
                  Bill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by N. A. Corbier
                    If the client flips out, its time to start up two logs. One for the client, the other sent to the company documenting everything the client dosen't want to see. Most security companies are familiar with this concept, they use it as a barganing chip while they're asking the client what they intend to do. By the second log, you cover yourself, as you've reported it to your company.
                    Another suggestion, and one that has worked for me in the past. I request an e-mail or letter/fax from the client telling us that they no longer want the officer to report the issue with the lights or other specific concern. 99% of the time, they will realize what this will do to their liability and they fix the issue. If they take 1% give us the letter, I will still give them a biweekly update during normal client contact ie: site supervisor, Operations Manger etc. and document the issues. The concern I have with the ?second? log of issues is the client can still say that you should have continue to inform them unless you have it in writing that they dont want that.
                    www.oramsecurity.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SgtUSMC8541
                      Another suggestion, and one that has worked for me in the past. I request an e-mail or letter/fax from the client telling us that they no longer want the officer to report the issue with the lights or other specific concern. 99% of the time, they will realize what this will do to their liability and they fix the issue. If they take 1% give us the letter, I will still give them a biweekly update during normal client contact ie: site supervisor, Operations Manger etc. and document the issues. The concern I have with the ?second? log of issues is the client can still say that you should have continue to inform them unless you have it in writing that they dont want that.
                      One of the many problems with WBS is that many companies will side with the client even when it means, "looking the other way" regarding security and safety issues. Keeping the account is paramount. If you don't play along, you're out of a job. I know because it happened to me. I conscientiously reported serious safety problems on my report and then, to avoid irritating the client, I only reported the problems verbally to my supervisor.

                      The client told my company to find some reason to get rid of me. The reason: I E-mailed my supervisor about a safety violation and this was considered a breech of confidentiality!

                      The lesson learned: I don't make waves anymore. I report it once and that's it. Do I like it that way? NO. Do I want to keep my job? YES.
                      Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I had one customer who would NOT fix a hole in their fence.

                        We were hired to randomly patrol a 10 acre lot perimeter, looking for people in the lot/compound. THis was AFTER a theft from the yard.

                        I wrote and faxed a report every single day to the office. They got angry with me, and I told them that MY liability insurance was NOT going to cover their lack of repair. I forwarded the 90 some reports and photos to their insurance company as well.

                        I am unsure whether or not this former client actually fixed the fence or not. I, as an owner, WILL NOT put up with this kind of crap for the sake of a few dollars.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Warren
                          I had one customer who would NOT fix a hole in their fence....
                          Ironically, so did the client that had the problem with my safety report. A tractor-trailer ripped a 15-20 foot hole in the perimeter fence and dragged down power lines to the lights in the truck parking area, forcing other drivers to maneuver their rigs in pitch darkness. Did the client or security company care? No way. It took months before it was repaired.
                          Security: Freedom from fear; danger; safe; a feeling of well-being. (Webster's)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Warren
                            I had one customer who would NOT fix a hole in their fence.

                            We were hired to randomly patrol a 10 acre lot perimeter, looking for people in the lot/compound. THis was AFTER a theft from the yard.

                            I wrote and faxed a report every single day to the office. They got angry with me, and I told them that MY liability insurance was NOT going to cover their lack of repair. I forwarded the 90 some reports and photos to their insurance company as well.

                            I am unsure whether or not this former client actually fixed the fence or not. I, as an owner, WILL NOT put up with this kind of crap for the sake of a few dollars.
                            Especially since your still contractually bound to be responsible for thefts on your client's property if it is "preventable" by your employee. One missed instance of reporting that fence, and your in for a negligence lawsuit, material breach of contract, and liability game.

                            Company First.
                            Employee Second.
                            Client Third.

                            Why? Because your business isn't the clients. It dosen't cost you as much to gain a client as it does to train an employee. And the client will never hold loyalty to you, unless its developed into a personal relationship. Your employees will hold loyalty to your company, however, as its what pays them and allows them to do what they want to do.
                            Some Kind of Commando Leader

                            "Every time I see another crazy Florida post, I'm glad I don't work there." ~ Minneapolis Security on Florida Security Law

                            Comment

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