Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Employee safety tips from AIG corporate security

After receiving a bailout worth billions of dollars in taxpayer money, every move by U.S. financial institutions has been under the watchful eye of an extremely critical audience.

The conversations on blogs and other social networking sites, along with recent protests outside the doors of AIG corporate offices, have become so heated that AIG corporate security is worried for employees’ safety.

Gawker, the online gossip site, claims to have gotten their hands on a leaked AIG memo that includes advice for employees on responding to perceived threats and taking personal security precautions.

The post, titled “AIG Corporate Security's Tips for Surviving an Angry Mob,” features a copy of an AIG document that outlines “certain protective measures all employees can take in order to increase their overall safety and security.”

Employees are advised to call 911 at the very onset of a perceived threat and report any suspicious behaviors or questionable activities to AIG building security. A few of the security guidelines and employee safety tips include:

  • Avoid wearing anything embroidered with the AIG logo
  • Ensure AIG security badges are not visible when leaving the office
  • Do not engage in public conversations regarding the company
  • Walk in pairs and park in well-lit areas

Whether the document is legitimate or not remains a mystery, but the document does back AIG chairman Ed Liddy’s warning message that the company’s “public flogging” may be putting his employees’ safety at risk.

While it's unlikely that your organization will ever have to go through anything quite as public as AIG, employee safety training in dealing with disgruntled customers and the public has become a growing issue since the recession started.

Though overall workplace violence rates have dropped over the past ten years, homicides from customers and clients has steadily grown from 25 in 1997 to 74 workplace murders in 2007.

Workplace violence experts warn that there may be a rise in attacks as the economy continues to struggle. The violence is less likely to come from an angry laid-off employee, but more from an angry public. The employees that work directly with the public must be trained to deal with extremely angry customers and clients.

As the threat grows, so does the importance of building safety and employee training. Read more about how to recognize the risks of violence in the workplace and how to make positive changes to reduce that risk in “Heading off workplace violence: Keep employees safe with practical workplace safety tips” from our TrainingTime Learning Library.

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