Forest Service handbook southern research station

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6709.11, 51.04-51.11

Page of

Forest Service handbook

southern research station

Asheville, North Carolina

fsH 6709.11 – health and safety code handbook
chapteR 50 – employee safety, security, and health
Supplement No.: srs_6709.11-2003-2
Effective Date: August 22, 2003
Duration: This supplement is effective until superseded or removed.

Approved: peter j. roussopoulos

Station Director

Date Approved: 08/07/2003

Posting Instructions: Supplements are numbered consecutively by Handbook number and calendar year. Post by document; remove the entire document and replace it with this supplement. Retain this transmittal as the first page(s) of this document. The last supplement to this Handbook was srs_6709.11-2003-1 to 51.

New Document

6709.11, 51.04-51.11

6 Pages

Superseded Document(s) by Issuance Number and Effective Date

6709.11, 51 (Supplement srs_6709.11-2003-1, 07/08/2003)

6 Pages

Revises the direction previously issued in srs_6709.11-2003-1, to remove references to field work.

51.1 – Removes from procedure 1 the item c. Field Work.

51.11 – Removes paragraph entitled Field Work (para. 5).

51 – employee safety and security. 3

51.04 - Responsibility. 3

51.1 - Procedures. 4

51.11 - Safety Practices. 6

51 – employee safety and security.

Acts or threats of violence against person or property will not be tolerated. This includes acts of intimidation or harassment, or other inappropriate behavior which causes fear for personal safety. These acts or threats will be cause for serious disciplinary action and possible criminal charges. SRS procedures in this section are designed to provide for employee safety and security.

51.04 - Responsibility.

Management and employees share the responsibility to provide for safety in the work place.

1. Managers and Supervisors. Managers and supervisors should focus on workplace violence during at least one safety meeting each year, and address current, related safety practices, talk to employees about how to react to hostile situations, and solicit employee input on current conditions and vulnerabilities. Ensure that all employees know where fire and security alarms are and how to contact local law enforcement authorities. Tell employees what to expect when a panic button is pushed, what the police response will be, and possible responses to expect from the police. Employees should also be provided with materials that address violence-both workplace and domestic violence, early warning signs of violence, and indicators that someone is losing control.

2. All Employees. All employees have the responsibility to report all acts of workplace violence promptly to supervisors and managers and, in case of an emergency, directly to law enforcement officials.

3. Hostile Behavior Response Team. A hostile behavior response team will be established as needed to evaluate and map out the long-range response to situations where hostile behavior has been reported or threatened. The team would consist of the Civil Rights Director, a Human Resources Representative, and a Representative from Law Enforcement.

This team would receive reports of hostile behavior and work with the local manager of the affected unit to evaluate the situation and take appropriate action(s) to ensure that employees are protected. Examples of such actions are:

  1. Correcting deficiencies in security systems.

  2. Providing special protection to any employee who is threatened by an acquaintance.

  3. Taking legal action to prohibit someone from entering a facility.

  4. Referring someone to the Employee Assistance Program.

  5. Disciplinary Action, and/or,

  6. Arranging dispute resolution services.

4. Civil Rights Director. The Civil Rights Director shall review annually the Violence in the Workplace Program for effectiveness in providing working conditions that ensure employees are free from the threat of workplace violence.

51.1 - Procedures.

1. Each Director’s representative should identify the minimum protective measures that are to be taken in the following:

  1. Building security

  2. Work activities involving public contact

  3. Meetings

  4. Interpretive activities

  5. Travel

Each Director’s Representative is responsible for notifying the Civil Rights Director when these reviews are completed and additionally when updates have been made to the plan. A copy of the approved plan must be submitted to the Civil Rights Director.

2. Work sites and work practices should be evaluated annually and hazards identified and addressed through the job hazard analysis. The possibility of dealing with hostile people must always be considered. Any conditions or practices which could lead to employees being unprotected from, or placed in undue risk of, being threatened, harassed, or physically injured by a hostile person should be corrected.

3. Any employee who receives a bomb threat call should complete the Bomb Threat Checklist distributed to all employees and take the action described on that sheet. Additionally, a bomb threat call that threatens damage to the building within the next few minutes triggers the need to vacate the building as soon as possible. Be observant. While leaving the building observe if any parcels, packages, briefcase, etc. that don’t belong in your area are present so that you can report their location to police when they arrive. Responding officers will not know what belongs in your area and what does not. Any employee receiving this type call should pull the fire alarm pull station nearest your office, so that all employees are warned to vacate the building and then notify the designated representative as soon as it is safe to do so.

4. All incidents should be reported. At the very least, hostile or disruptive behavior creates an atmosphere of disrespect in the workplace and will not be tolerated. Often, low-level forms of disruptive behavior can be debilitating to the target employees, and/or lead to poor morale. Low-level forms of hostility also frequently precede openly violent behavior. Examples of hostile behavior include:

  1. Belligerence

  2. Malicious gossip

  3. Bullying

  4. Intimidation

  5. Belittling or “putdowns”

  6. Constant arguing

  7. Harassment

  8. Violent outbursts

  9. Fighting

  10. Unauthorized possession of a weapon

  11. Assault (physical, sexual, verbal)

  12. Suicide threat

  13. Threat of injury to people or destruction/damage to property

Any incident involving workplace violence (hostile behavior) should be reported immediately. Reports should be made either directly or through an employee’s supervisor or line officer to the Employee Relations Specialist, the Civil Rights Director or the Human Resources Director either verbally or using the Incident Report Form.

51.11 - Safety Practices.

1. Travel Precautions. When in travel status, employees should use transportation systems and arrange travel schedules to ensure travel is done adhering to safety. Employees should stay in reputable hotels/motels, and stay out of high crime areas. Meetings should be arranged in safe facilities. Employees who jog or walk for exercise during off duty hours should check out the route they plan to take with the hotel, to ensure their personal safety.

2. Cell Phone Usage. Fleet cell phones should be available to be used only for fleet vehicle emergencies such as flat tires or breakdowns.

3. Training. Training requirements for all new employees should include showing the employee(s) the locations of panic buttons and the fire alarm pull stations. During this training the employee(s) should be given instructions and directions on what to do in the event of encountering a dangerous or potentially dangerous situation.

4. Work Activities Involving Public Contact. Employees who work directly with the public inside of buildings (receptionists, personnel clerks and so forth), should be working in a setting where they can observe people approaching and where they have the opportunity to leave the area without approaching potentially hostile persons, if the need arises. Employees working in the building alone on weekends or nights should insure that they know where the closest panic button is located in case the need arises.

5. Meetings and Interpretive Activities. Employees should not meet alone with people who have exhibited hostile behavior toward government officials. When arranging such meetings, they should make sure that they have a readily available means of calling for assistance, should it be needed. For example, they could have a location-established code word or phrase they would use if they wish to be provided with assistance.

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