Workplace Safety desc

Stay Prepared for Physical Threats

Ryan Faith, TEAM Software by WorkWave, CALSAGA Network Partner

Physical security decision-makers at major U.S. companies reported a dramatic increase in threat activity in 2021 and expect that threat to grow, according to a 2022 study examining security challenges and opportunities.

The number of threats that companies will receive or investigate is expected to increase, and the scale of the threats that guards are expected to miss will expand, reports that same study.

Reasons for the expected uptick in physical threats include labor shortages, as there are currently one or fewer unemployed persons per job opening, which makes adequate guard staffing difficult, and economic uncertainties that could simultaneously encourage criminal activity.

Despite the current economic conditions, early preparation that focuses on reducing job hazards, improving safety protocols and ensuring that guards feel safer on the job can help combat physical threats. Staying prepared for physical threats also involves leveraging technology and working closely with staffers to review and improve current hazard plans.

Better monitor guard patrols

For guard monitoring, location tracking technology offers increased visibility over security operations by physically locating guards on duty and electronically recording and tracking their movements. Security professionals can use this type of technology to better identify incidents and respond in a timely, appropriate manner.

Risk mitigation requires making sure that guards are in the right place at the right time, so guards can respond to incidents as quickly as possible. Guard software that uses location tracking technology creates a digital log of incidents that automatically keeps track of updates and assigns security guards to help respond to physical threats.

Digital logs also ensure that physical security decision-makers have the information they need via email and those messages are sent immediately, whenever a new incident is reported. The accurate data derived from location tracking technology is available via on-demand reports, which can be reviewed at a later date to improve hazard plans and continue to mitigate risks.

Expand on-site visibility

While GPS is the most widely used location tracking technology in the industry, it is primarily designed for outdoor location tracking and can therefore be less effective when needing to track guards indoors. This is particularly true for multi-story and high-rise buildings since GPS has no ability to distinguish which floor a guard is located on. To track guards indoors more accurately, modern security software will oftentimes supplement GPS tracking with additional technologies such as QR codes, NFC tags, or Bluetooth Beacons.

QR codes and NFC (near-field communication) tags supplement GPS tracking by providing fixed points in a building that enable a guard to confirm their exact location on a particular floor. Modern software options will also pair data collection alongside these points, making it easy for guards to log any notable information (i.e., a back gate can have a QR code that when scanned, opens a “back gate log form”).

Bluetooth beacons are a powerful, albeit less commonly available, technology used for indoor guard tracking. Using beacons, security companies are able to track each guard’s location in real-time across multiple floors without the guard ever even needing to take their device out of their pocket. This technology is most commonly utilized in large facilities such as airports, high-rise buildings, or shopping malls where implementing individual QR codes/NFC tags might be cumbersome.

Regardless of which tracking is utilized, all of the listed options offer massive improvements over inefficient paper processes and manual record keeping. More so than ever before, having detailed data and analytics has proved paramount to staying prepared for physical threats, but also winning new business.

Automate periodic checks

At times, managers may notice their guards missing regular safety check-ins. Naturally, guards can get distracted, simply forget or find it difficult to respond in a timely manner. As a result, company operating centers can become inundated with missed check alerts and notifications, which can delay the response time to physical threats or other types of emergency situations.

There are tools that aid in the check-in process to help ensure that alerts are being sent and received during emergencies, so incidents can be quickly resolved. With an integrated workforce management system, when a scheduled periodic check is missed, operation centers are alerted and supervisors in the field can also be contacted. This helps employers follow up quickly to ensure their guards are safe and confirm whether or not support is needed.

Guarding software can also send SMS text messages to remind guards to complete their periodic checks. Employees can respond to those text notifications to close period checks without calling in. Enabling SMS text messaging reduces the number of outbound calls necessary to check on remote employees and  makes it easier for guards to complete their periodic checks.

A log of all SMS messages sent to and received from opted-in employees and job phone numbers can help a back office troubleshoot missed messages in the field. It also reinforces the importance of timely communication, especially during emergencies.

Encourage security guard safety

Industry advancements are being made every day in terms of physical security systems. TEAM Software by WorkWave offers a number of software tools to help support security guard safety. Lighthouse is our mobile workforce management solution, which specializes in location tracking technology and guard monitoring to help teams better respond to high-risk situations.

Ryan is a customer advocate who partners with TEAM Software by WorkWave customers to help identify where software can make their businesses more efficient, competitive and profitable. In his five years with TEAM, Ryan has worked alongside many of the world’s leading security firms and has developed a specialized understanding of the unique challenges faced by the industry.



Jojo Tran, Telepath Corporation, CALSAGA Associate Member

Safety and accountability are critical elements of an effective workplace environment. Whether teaching in a classroom or managing security at a healthcare, every employee wants to feel safe and prepared in an emergency situation.

The body-worn camera makes this desire a reality. With devices now with full HD shift recording in 1080p, pre/post recording capabilities, and multiple ways to connect via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, these devices provide footage of events as they occur.


Every day, school safety professionals face challenges and threats daily as they keep their communities safe.

Providing a real-time perspective during critical incidents when any action is required to protect students, teachers, or themselves is more important than ever. Body-worn cameras capture video and audio, providing accurate and disputable proof of incidents that occur on the grounds while strengthening the trust of the student body and the surrounding community.

Security process and share evidence with school administrators and local law enforcement.

Complying with policies and procedures on how footage should be stored, accessed, and viewed is a key to protecting students, right to privacy. Using video management with the body-worn camera and digital evidence management solutions enables you to do just that.


Security threats and acts of workplace violence in the healthcare industry are on the rise.

This not only undermines the safety of healthcare workers and their quality of patient care, but also places greater demand on healthcare security professionals. Equipping healthcare security with the tools they need to protect others and themselves is a vital part in mitigating workplace violence and creating a safer environment for healthcare operations.

Securely process and share evidence with local law enforcement.

Adherence to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws and local privacy regulations dictating how footage should be accessed and viewed is key to safeguarding patients’ health information and right to privacy. Managing your videos and digital evidence solutions enables you to prepare, process, and share high-quality video evidence from your suite of body-worn cameras in a way that meets privacy regulations.


Workplace violence is rising, bringing more significant demands for security professionals.

Often on the first line in corporate offices, retail outlets, hospitals, and schools, they are responding to increased incidents of aggression. Those who don’t feel safe at work are more likely to leave the company, utilize employer health care services at a higher rate, or bring legal insurance claims against their employer when a safety incident occurs. Providing a security professional’s perspective of an incident when they must use force to protect themselves or the property, they are responsible for is more critical than ever.

Confidently process and share evidence with local law enforcement

Video footage from body-worn cameras can be securely offloaded to video manager systems. It can be accessed by authorized personnel by securely logging in from any computer or tablet connected to a network. It also provides capabilities to links for secure sharing with external agencies for seamless collaboration.

Body-worn cameras are designed for those security professionals who may encounter threats of violence.   These devices can feature rugged exteriors, full shift recording, and provide extended footage of events as they occur, allowing immediate response and providing indisputable evidence.

JoJo Tran is Chief Executive Officer of Telepath Corporation. Tran joined Telepath in 1990 and became CEO in September 2010. Previously, he headed several business units at Telepath, including mission critical infrastructure, customer service, sales and mobile team. Mr. Tran’s vision is to be the industry’s premier sales, service and program management company. Customers and partners will see Telepath as an integral to their success. Telepath will anticipate their needs and deliver on every commitment. People will be proud to work at Telepath. Telepath will create opportunities to achieve the extraordinary and will reward their success.


Tory Brownyard, Brownyard Group

In early April, three women physically attacked a security officer at a Macy’s in Palo Alto, California. When asked to return stolen goods the women punched the officer in the face and the head and assaulted him with pepper spray. Similar situations have become all too common for security professionals, particularly as people struggle to adapt to a new hybrid environment after two years of lockdowns, heightened stress and increased economic pressures. With this spike in aggressive behavior, security firms are faced with new challenges and risks involving the safety of their employees and the success of their business.

The Risks

Security professionals face risks every day. In hospitals, restaurants, airports, office parks and shopping malls, a normally calm situation can quickly escalate. When rising tensions and aggressive behavior are added into the equation, the risk to security firms and their employees can increase significantly. These risks can include: 

  • Employee Safety: Over the past two years security professionals were asked to take on new and added responsibilities, including asking for the vaccination status of members of the public attempting to enter certain facilities, enforcing mask mandates and limiting access to various venues or facilities. In some of these situations, members of the public directed their frustrations at security personnel tasked with ensuring their safety and the safety of others. In more than a few instances, these situations turned violent. 
  • Insurance Risks: From an insurance perspective, the biggest concern with aggressive behavior is the liability associated with bodily injury claims. if an officer is not trained to de-escalate a confrontational situation and the perpetrator turns to violence, a physical altercation can result. Similarly, if the officer is armed with a weapon (such as a firearm or baton) and pulls that weapon, these types of situations can quickly get out of control. If the perpetrator also has a weapon serious injury can occur, involving the perpetrator, security personnel and even innocent bystanders. In such situations, the claim might allege the officer used unnecessary force and could be sued for assault and battery. This is showcased in several recent lawsuits against the LA Dodgers for alleged assault, battery, false imprisonment, violation of civil rights and emotional distress by the team’s security force.
  • Reputational Damage: With increased use of and access to the internet over recent years, people can easily acquire video footage and photographs of altercations between security officers and perpetrators. Additionally, the internet has democratized access to editing software that allows situational embellishments, and even the creation of what are known as deep fake videos designed to alter the public’s perceptions of an issue or situation. This puts security firms and organizations at risk for reputational damage if footage, legitimate or otherwise, made it look like the security offer was the instigator in an act of violence. 

Finally, as in any state, California has specific rules, regulations and trainings that security officers need to be aware of. Security officers are required to physically witness an accused criminal conduct a misdemeanor before arresting them for said crime, leaving little room for error. There is also risk in not keeping up with such regulations. For instance, AB 229 is currently being debated as it seeks to change training requirements around use of force. If security professionals do not follow rules and regulations or keep up with important changes, they put themselves and their organization in jeopardy of compromising safety that can result in damaging litigation and costly fees and fines by the state. 

Managing the Risks

The risks outlined above can damage a security firm’s reputation and financial situation. They can also compromise staff retention if employee safety is compromised. Here are some tips security firms can take to help mitigate risks involved with aggressive behavior. 

  • Utilize de-escalation training: The most important tool in any security officer’s arsenal is de-escalation training. Experts can counsel security professionals on how to use proper body language, redirect or remove people from a situation, show empathy and more. Security firms should consider having such specialists work with their employees regularly to train new officers and review de-escalation tactics with seasoned officers. 
  • Be strategic about firearm usage: Before arming officers, security firms should discuss the implications of carrying firearms or other weapons. While security officers can carry firearms in California, it is only when they are on the job. If an officer were to use their weapon while off duty the security firm would be at risk for litigation. If arming officers, security firms should thoroughly screen all employees with background checks and psychological evaluations. Organizations should also consider utilizing firearm training, in addition to de-escalation training, to minimize misuse. At Brownyard we strongly counsel our insureds to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of arming employees. 
  • Follow all rules and regulations: As laws and regulations change, it is important to have the proper training and avoid fines and litigation. Joining a state association, like CALSAGA, can help security firms stay current with changes and new rules that result from state legislation. 

There is no guarantee a situation will stay calm, even with proper protocols and de-escalation training. Having insurance coverage is important to protect a business and its employees from litigation and financial fallout. While having coverage is important, having the right coverage can mean the difference between success and ruin. For many insurance companies that don’t specialize in the security industry, a standard general liability policy will have restricted language limiting assault and battery coverage to “reasonable force” while firms that specialize in the security industry will broaden this language to “physical force” and while the difference is subtle it does make a significant difference when de-escalation steps do not work and your firm is faced with an assault and battery claim. 

The past two years have increased tensions among the public and security guards alike. Local officials, business owners and even taxpayers have called for more work by private security, and such firms have been asked to take on new, unique responsibilities. While there is risk involved, these responsibilities can become opportunities for security firms with the right training and insurance protection in place.


Tory Brownyard, CPCU, is president of Brownyard Group, an insurance program administrator with specialty programs for select industry groups. In addition to his responsibilities as president, he currently spearheads the Brownguard® security guard insurance program.


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, Network Partner

Since the start of the pandemic in March 2020, many previously low-risk workplaces are now at a higher risk for workplace violence. Many people frustrated by mask mandates, social distancing restrictions, and endless line-ups have resulted in a population with hair-trigger tempers. Some workplaces are recognized to be at significantly greater risk than others, like healthcare facilities. An emergency room in San Leandro, California, recently went into lockdown when a visitor, frustrated by Covid-19 restrictions, threatened to bring a gun into the hospital. 

However, workplace violence in healthcare was already on the rise pre-pandemic. The U.S. Department of Labor Statistics reports that in 2019, 47% of emergency department physicians reported being physically assaulted during work, and 71% of nurses reported experiencing sexual harassment at the hands of patients. This year, according to the National Nurses Union (NNU), a recent nationwide survey of more than 5,000 registered nurses, 31% of hospital RNs said that they faced a small or significant increase in workplace violence, up from 22 percent since March 2021.

An unfortunate silver lining to the pandemic has allowed hospitals to review their safety protocols. Across the U.S., hospitals and other facilities have installed more security cameras and video surveillance, limited entry points to monitor visitors more closely, and hired additional security officers. They have also provided de-escalating training, equipped staff with Bluetooth-enabled panic buttons, and in some cases, brought in K9 patrols. 

Security Officers at Risk

At present, the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) only has rules that regulate workplace violence in the healthcare industry. Still, there are no regulations covering workplace violence in other sectors. The Cal/OSHA Guidelines for Workplace Security have been in circulation since March 1995, so workplace violence has been a concern for a long time in California. The guidelines include specific factors that may put employers at a higher risk for violence, many of which are characteristic of the role security officers play in the workplace, such as:

  • Lone workers
  • Security officers transporting money between financial institutions
  • Armed security officers at cannabis dispensaries and plants
  • Safety ambassadors at healthcare facilities
  • Public safety officers in communities and cities
  • Public-facing security officers enforcing mask mandates and social distancing rules

Identifying Workplace Security Issues 

Many workplaces are at risk for workplace violence, but specific workplaces are significantly more at risk than others. Therefore, every employer should perform an initial assessment to identify workplace security issues. The security assessment should begin with a physical tour of the workplace in question, a review of security procedures already in place to identify any potential vulnerabilities. 

As you tour the workplace, consider the following ten questions: 

  • Where could someone easily access the building? 
  • Are potential entrances secured? 
  • Is there any form of access control upon entering the building? Is identification required? 
  • What is the procedure for visitors to the building? 
  • Have potential escape routes been explored in the event of a threat? 
  • Is the building a shared space? Do other tenants share your security concerns? 
  • Are there blind corners, hedges, or unlit areas where someone might hide? 
  • Are all the gates and fences surrounding the building secure with no gaps? 
  • Is the parking area well lit and maintained? 
  • Are doors left open and unlocked? 

Crafting the Workplace Security Plan

Once the workplace tour is complete, create a workplace security plan using the information you collected. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all security plan that employers can download and implement. Every employer needs a plan tailored to its particular environment and takes company culture, physical layout, resources, and management styles into account. 

Craft your security plan with the following suggestions in mind. 

Secure your workplace – Consider using physical barriers likes fences and gates, access control systems, door locks, and video surveillance. 

Create an access control plan – Use keys that cannot be replicated, electronic access cards, or a biometric option like fingerprint, palm print, or iris scanning. Provide badges for visitors. 

Contract security officers – Hire security officers to perform foot or mobile patrols and checkpoint tours. Officers can also assist with visitor screening and monitoring access control systems. 

Position security cameras where you need them – Security surveillance is key to monitoring who enters and exits the building at all times. 

Provide good lighting – Make sure that employee entrances and exits are located in well-lit areas, and interiors, corridors, stairwells, and parking lots are illuminated. 

Consider using alarms – Ensure that entrances and exits are equipped with alarm systems that warn employees if unauthorized individuals try to enter the building. 

Create a map of the building – Identify entrances and exits, stairwells, doors, and security cameras. It will help you determine where to deploy extra security, video surveillance, and extra lighting. 

Review and revise your security plan – The review should ensure that doors are closed or locked, the locks are working, and security officers properly screen visitors. 

Redesigning aspects of your workplace can reduce the likelihood of violence and keep your security officers and the people and facilities or institutions they protect secure. Consider revisiting your security plan today with some of these suggestions.

Debbie Howlett

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.
Twitter: @TrackTik 



Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, Preferred Broker

With the weather so hot, I thought it would be a good reminder to the members on the Heat Illness Prevention Plan requirements. CALSAGA has previously published articles about heat injury illness prevention yet many members do not have a plan implemented.

With the change in seasons comes the warmer weather and it is imperative (and required by Cal/OSHA!) that all employers train their supervisors and employees on heat illness prevention. The safety of your employees is the responsibility of the employer and if an unfortunate event does occur, Cal/OSHA may be investigating the event. If so, they will be asking if you have your Heat Illness Prevention Program in place. The investigation will include verification that you have provided training to your supervisors and employees. 

A Cal/OSHA study identified the key role that employers play in preventing worker fatalities due to heat illness. The findings highlighted the value of training supervisors so that they can make the fullest use of their power to control safety on the job. 

California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3395 Heat Illness Prevention requires all employers to have a Heat Illness Prevention Program which includes the following: 

Provide fresh/potable drinking water 
Employers must provide employees with fresh, pure, and suitably cool water, free of charge. Enough water must be provided for each employee to drink at least one quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, per hour and the water must be located as close as practicable to the work area. Employers are also required to encourage employees to drink water frequently 

Provide access to shade 
When temperatures exceed 80 degrees, employees must be provided shade at all times in an area that is ventilated, cooled, or open to air and that is as close as practicable to the work area. There must be sufficient space provided in the shade to accommodate all employees taking rest. When temperatures do not exceed 80 degrees, employees must be provided timely access to shade upon request. Employees should be allowed and encouraged to take preventative cool-down rest as needed, for at least 5 minutes per rest needed. 

Have high heat procedures in place 
High heat procedures are required of agricultural employers when temperatures exceed 95 degrees. The procedures must provide for the maintenance of effective communication with supervisors at all times, observance of employees for symptoms of heat illness, procedures for calling for emergency medical services, reminders for employees to drink water, pre-shift meetings to review heat procedures and the encouragement of employees to drink plenty of water and take preventative cool-down rest as needed.

Agricultural employers must additionally ensure employees take, at a minimum, one 10-minute preventative cool-down rest period every two hours in periods of high heat. 

Allow for acclimatization 
New employees or those newly assigned to a high heat area must be closely observed for the first 14 days of their assignment. All employees must be observed for signs of heat illness during heat waves. A “heat wave” is any day where the temperature predicted is at least 80 degrees and/or 10 degrees higher than the average high daily temperature the preceding 5 days. 

Train all employees regarding heat illness prevention Employees must be trained regarding the risk factors of heat illness and the employers’ procedures and obligations for complying with the Cal/OSHA requirements for heat illness prevention. Supervisors must additionally be trained regarding their obligations under the heat illness prevention plan and how to monitor weather reports and how to respond to heat warnings. 

Have emergency response procedures 
Employers must have sufficient emergency response procedures to ensure employees exhibiting signs of heat illness are monitored and emergency medical services are called if necessary. 

Have a Heat Illness Prevention Plan 
Employers must have a written heat illness prevention plan that includes, at a minimum, the procedures for access to shade and water, high heat procedures, emergency response procedures, and acclimatization methods and procedures.

Download a sample Heat Illness Prevention Plan

With all of the constant changes and updates required by CalOSHA compliance, if you do not have a dedicated Safety Manager, Tolman & Wiker highly recommends hiring a Safety Consultant to make it easier on you to stay current. Tolman & Wiker has worked with EEAP/Got Safety for many years to customize Safety Plans and keep clients compliant.  At this time, EEAP/Got Safety has partnered with Tolman & Wiker to provide CALSAGA clients with a reduced rate which is very reasonable. Please let them know that Tolman & Wiker referred you and they will take care of you.

EEAP/Got Safety
Rick Rohmann, Operations Manager
Cell: 661-433-7063 – (Preferred Contact Method)
Office: 800-734-3574 Ext #102
Direct & Fax: 435-708-0014
Be safe and call Tolman & Wiker if you need assistance!

Shaun KellySr. VP, Risk Advisor
Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services
(661) 616-4712

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, Network Partner

With tensions at an all-time high right now, it’s important to ensure that our frontline security officers remain as calm, cool, and collected as possible during these difficult and trying times. One of the best ways a security company can ensure the safety of their security teams, and especially lone workers, is to equip them with the very best tools to support and protect them. Ensuring the safety and well-being of your security officers also confirms your commitment that as a security company you are complying with your health and safety obligations towards your security personnel. 

California, like many states across the U.S., is under a statewide order issued by California’s governor requiring people to wear face coverings while entering most indoor settings to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. But across the U.S., face masks have become a topic of hot debate, with some parts of the population flat-out refusing to wear masks while others argue that masks could save lives. 


As a result, there have been several instances of violence against security officers for enforcing safety policies across the country. 

In Flint, Michigan, a security officer was fatally shot after telling a customer to wear a state-mandated face mask. The officer was simply doing his job by upholding the governor’s executive order related to the Covid-19 pandemic for the safety of store employees and customers.  

In Chicago, two sisters were charged with attempted murder after they attacked a security officer in a shoe store who told them to wear face masks and use hand sanitizer. 

Another security officer, this time in Van Nuys, California, walked away from a fight with a broken arm after two men refused to wear masks inside a Target store.

Risky Work Environments

As more major U.S. retailers require their customers to wear face masks, store employees are often being confronted by unreasonable and sometimes violent customers who refuse to comply with the mask mandates. In August, Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union, asked companies to hire security staff to enforce a store’s mask policy instead of burdening employees with the task. “Employees should not be expected to put their safety and their life on the line for the employer. That’s an unreasonable expectation,” Appelbaum said. 

However, security experts are also encouraging security officers to adopt calm, non-confrontational tones when speaking with customers about wearing a face mask. Instead of saying “You need to wear a face mask,” experts suggest using phrases like “This business has a policy requiring face masks? Are you able to get a face mask?” At the end of the day though, if a confrontation ensues, security officers, like store employees, should always escalate risky situations to law enforcement. 

Lone Work Safety

In the past, security companies were forced to rely on paper reports and check-ins via radio to know what was going on during an officer’s shift. Not anymore. Lone worker systems ensure that you are always aware of where your security officers are. These systems – which include GPS tracking and other key features – were designed to ensure that your workers are always safe and secure. 

Here are a few technologies that could save a security officer’s life: 

  • Instant Incident Reporting & Video Recording

Modern lone worker systems allow for your security officers to take video footage and photos in real-time at the location of an incident, while also sending instant alerts to the office support staff that something is amiss. Video recording (sometimes referred to as “Watch Mode”) can also improve lone worker safety by providing officers with the ability to record interventions and other potentially dangerous situations they may encounter during a shift. For example, let’s say that one of your security officers encounters an intruder while on patrol. Rather than attempting to describe the suspect afterwards, they can instead activate Watch Mode to capture a clear image of the perpetrator. This not only helps law enforcement take proper action, but it can also protect your officer against legal concerns if there is a dispute surrounding the incident. 

  • GPS Tracking 

One of the most frequently highlighted features of lone worker systems is GPS tracking, which allows you to keep tabs on a security officer’s location at all times. Many lone worker systems take things a step further with the implementation of geofencing systems and other alarm features. By establishing geofence boundaries for a particular site, you will automatically be notified if an officer strayed outside their assigned area. This allows you to check in on your officer and make sure everything is okay.

  • Checkpoints

Checkpoints along your security officer’s route also make it easier to track their progress and safety. Lone worker systems can send automatic notifications when an officer reaches a checkpoint, or when they fail to show up on time. This allows you to become aware of a potential incident, even if your officer hasn’t called in to report a problem. 

  • Panic Button

For situations when your officer is in serious trouble, the inclusion of a panic button ensures that your officer can send an immediate alert to your office team. A list of emergency contacts – individuals security officers can call in the event of an 

emergency – should also be available to lone workers. Your site-dedicated emergency contact can then take swift action to call emergency services and get the necessary support to your officer. Being able to respond quickly to this type of notification could very well save a security officer’s life.

By providing a reliable method of monitoring your security officers during their shift, lone worker systems provide a better approach to safety while also promoting overall peace of mind. This ensures that your officers receive the protection and support they need when dispatched to new sites or locations where face mask policies and other safety protocols are in place and need to be enforced.

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.


Debbie Howlett, TrackTik, CALSAGA Network Partner

The pandemic has impacted virtually every industry in the U.S. including the professional security services industry. Since the start of the pandemic, security officers have been on the frontline, providing essential services in difficult circumstances, increasing their occupational risk of COVID-19 exposure due to their frequent interactions with the public as part of their routine duties.

In California, with increased virus transmissions statewide and rising hospitalization numbers in many communities, the governor has recently reintroduced restrictions to slow the transmission. Affected businesses include restaurants, bars, movie theatres, family entertainment centers, gyms and fitness centers, zoos, museums, and more. The state will continue to update and issue guidance based on the best available public health data and the best practices currently employed.

For security services companies, a top priority is keeping their workforce safe, especially those who are routinely in contact with the general public. Here’s a checklist of safety precautions for security officers to help minimize their risk of exposure.


Recommended Security Officer Precautions for Protecting Against COVID-19


  1. Practice Hand Hygiene. One of the most effective ways for officers to protect themselves is to wash their hands often (optimally every two hours), for at least 20 seconds. Use proper technique, thoroughly scrubbing your palms and backs of your hands. In some locations, however, soap and water may not always be available, so ensuring teams have access to alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as active ingredients. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with your hands to reduce the risk of exposure from contaminated surfaces.


  1. Provide PPE (personal protection equipment). To ensure the safety of your security teams, it is highly recommended that security services companies provide safety goggles, disposable nitrile gloves, and masks for security officers who are frequently in contact with the public.


  1. Implement protective measures. Adapt work areas or security stations to limit the spread of the virus. Taking a cue from retail locations, tape can be used to mark a 6-foot distance around security stations or as floor markings to remind people who are standing in line to maintain appropriate distance from the security officer and other people in line. Plexiglas or acrylic glass barriers can also be installed to safeguard employees.


  1. Disinfect common surfaces often. Although it is unclear how long the virus can last on surfaces, it’s prudent to frequently disinfect common work areas. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant on counter tops that security officers and people may touch.


  1. Limit close contact with others. Keep a recommended minimum of six feet of distance. When performing patrols, keep as much distance from people as possible.


  1. Wash uniforms after every shift. After a long patrol shift, especially at locations where officers are in constant contact with the public such as healthcare facilities and grocery stores, washing your uniform and drying it at a high temperature setting will provide an added measure of safety.


  1. Sanitize your mobile phone. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant or antiviral wipe to disinfect your mobile phone, radio, gear, keyboard, and other equipment to help lower your risk of infection.


It is important that all security officers receive training on the new safety protocols and protective measures that have been implemented in response to COVID-19. Training might include proper use of PPE, and conflict de-escalation strategies and techniques in the event of an encounter with an agitated member of the public. Supervisors should also check in frequently with officers via mobile phone to monitor for any issues and ensure that all COVID-19 related procedures are being followed. Staying current with state/regional and local news alerts on COVID-19 is also highly recommended.

Debbie is an experienced writer with a demonstrated history of working in the security industry. She is based in Montreal, Canada, with TrackTik—a dynamic and cutting-edge tech company that sells cloud-based security workforce management software.


Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

As you may recall, Governor Newsom signed an executive order on May 6, 2020  creating a temporary, rebuttable presumption that COVID-19 is work-related (industrial) for employees who meet the specific conditions below:


  • This Executive Order provides that COVID-19 cases for some employees will be presumed to be work-related (industrial) if certain conditions are met. This makes it easier for qualified employees to obtain workers’ compensation benefits because it shifts the burden onto the employer to prove that injury was not Fundamentally, if an employee worked on/after March 19, 2020 at the work location and direction of the employer and tested positive or was diagnosed by a medical doctor, the presumption will apply.


  • If the claim form (DWC-1) was filed on/after May 6, 2020, the employer has 30 days to investigate in order to try to challenge the presumption and deny the claim. Otherwise, the claim is presumed compensable. With that said, this presumption is temporary as well as rebuttable.  It only applies as long as the State of Emergency due to COVID-19 exists.  Right now, it is set to end 60 days from May 6, 2020 (about July 4, 2020).


  • Claims (DWC-1) filed after May 6, 2020 which show date(s) of employee’s COVID-19 diagnosis between March 19, 2020 and July 4, 2020 have a REDUCED investigation period of just 30 days, instead of the usual 90 days. The 30 days starts with the employee’s filing of the claim form (DWC-1). If a claim form for COVID-19 was filed before May 6, 2020, those claims are likely subject to the 90-day investigation period.

It is important to know that this presumption will cover claims of a COVID-19 diagnosis for employees working through July 4, 2020. Thereafter, the State Legislature and/or the Governor would have to pass a bill and/or extend the Executive Order to continue this rebuttable presumption after that date. 


It is past the July 5, 2020, what now?

Although the presumption expired on July 5, 2020, California Legislature is currently addressing three bills that could potentially extend the order. SB1159 aims to backdate the bill to cover claims filed after July 5 for an employee.  We will continue to monitor legislative updates. In the interim, new COVID-19 claims will again be addressed under previous workers’ compensation rules.

  • There is no automatic presumption for COVID-19 claims
  • We go back to a 90-day investigation period
  • Workers’ Compensation benefits will be provided according the Pre – Executive Order rules and regulations

Please note that all COVID-19 related claims are still exempt from the experience modification.  We will keep you posted on any updates.

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or


Jaimee K. Wellerstein, Esq. & Gregory B. Wilbur, Esq., Bradley & Gmelich LLP

A site supervisor at one of your security company’s posts calls into your dispatch center and reports that there was an altercation at a client site. Two of your guards had been asked by the client to remove a trespasser, but a scuffle broke out and the trespasser sucker-punched one of the guards. The other guard gave chase to the assailant briefly, then returned to her partner to render aid. The guard appeared fine but the punch opened a cut on his upper cheek, requiring a brief trip to the hospital for stitches. Is this a reportable event to Cal-OSHA under Labor Code section 6409.1, which requires reporting of serious injuries, illnesses, or deaths in the workplace?

At this moment, it is not, for at least two reasons. The definition of “serious injury or illness” included hospitalizations only of 24 hours or more, so a brief ER visit didn’t trigger a reporting obligation if the incident wasn’t reportable for another reason. And the definition also excluded injuries of any level of severity caused by commission of a Penal Code offense, excusing reporting for injuries suffered as a result of assault, battery, and other crimes. In our hypothetical above, both the duration of the hospital stay and the criminal conduct causing the injury would have made the above scenario one that did not have to be reported to Cal-OSHA.

But not for long. The definition of “serious injury or illness” was significantly amended earlier this year by Assembly Bill 1805, which takes effect January 1, 2020, and for the most part the effect has been to broaden the scope of the Cal-OSHA reporting requirements. The 24-hour minimum for hospital stays is gone: all hospitalizations, except those for medical observation or diagnostic testing, now trigger the requirement. The Penal Code exclusion was repealed as well, meaning criminal conduct no longer excuses reporting what would otherwise be a serious injury or illness. Another exclusion, for accidents on public streets or highways, remains in the statute, but has been narrowed not to include accidents occurring in construction zones. And the statute added amputation or the loss of an eye to the list of injuries requiring reporting, replacing language requiring the “loss of any member of the body.”

Returning to our hypothetical and applying the new law, an event that is not reportable in 2019 will be in 2020. The hospitalization for stitches makes the guard’s injury a serious one under the statute. Furthermore, the criminal conduct that would have excluded the incident from the reporting requirement before no longer does, as the Penal Code exclusion has been removed from the law.


To make sure your safety and injury reporting program is in compliance with the new amendments, employers should first be aware of the up-to-date and complete list of triggers for mandatory reporting:

  • Incident that requires inpatient hospitalization other than for medical observation or diagnostic testing, OR
  • Incident that results in an amputation, loss of an eye, or any serious degree of permanent disfigurement

The most important changes to PPOs and other security providers are likely to be those highlighted above: mandatory reporting for any hospitalization other than for observation and testing, and the elimination of the exclusion for incidents resulting from crimes. Employers must make sure supervisors, human resources staff, and safety coordinators are all aware of these changes and the newest standards for mandatory reporting to Cal-OSHA.

Additionally, employers should be on the lookout for an announcement from Cal-OSHA regarding the establishment of an online portal for reporting serious injuries, illnesses, or deaths. Under another new law, Assembly Bill 1804, the agency is directed to establish the online portal to replace immediate email reporting of serious incidents as currently required. Employers may still report serious incidents by phone or email until the portal is established, after which they will be required to report by either phone or the portal. More information on incident reporting can be found here.

Jaimee K. Wellerstein is a Partner at Bradley & Gmelich LLP, and the Head of the firm’s Employment Department. Jaimee concentrates her practice in representing employers in all aspects of employment law, including defense of wage and hour class actions, PAGA claims, discrimination, retaliation, harassment, wrongful discharge, misclassification, and other employment related lawsuits. She also provides employment counseling and training in all of these areas.

Jaimee routinely represents employers in federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings throughout the state, as well as at administrative proceedings before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement, the United States Department of Labor, and other federal and state agencies. Jaimee assists as a Legal Advisor to CALSAGA, and is a member of ASIS International. She is rated AV-Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell, the highest peer rating available. / 818-243-5200.






Gregory B. Wilbur is a member of Bradley & Gmelich LLP’s Employment Department, where he provides aggressive and cost-effective representation to employer clients in a wide variety of proceedings in state and federal court and before administrative agencies. He has extensive experience litigating wage and hour class actions, PAGA representative actions, and discrimination, harassment, and retaliation lawsuits under various equal employment and whistleblower statutes. He has also represented clients in appeals of Cal/OSHA and Labor Commissioner penalty assessments, including seeking judicial review of administrative decisions.

In addition to his active litigation practice, Greg also provides advice and counsel to employers to prevent costly disputes from arising, with a focus on high-risk areas such as wage and hour compliance, reasonable accommodation and the interactive process, and employee leaves of absence. He also helps clients manage their employment law exposure by advising them on the use of arbitration agreements with class action waivers, and drafting such agreements to ensure they remain enforceable in a rapidly changing legal landscape. / 818-243-5200.

                                          Continue reading the 2019 Q4 edition of The Californian


Shaun Kelly, Tolman & Wiker, CALSAGA Preferred Broker

Personally, I want to say, “Thank you”, to the CALSAGA Team for putting on another wonderful conference! It is always great to see everyone and meet the new Members and guests. The Security Industry is continuing to change and CALSAGA does an excellent job keeping the Members updated on those changes that affect our businesses.

Did you know that workplace violence is the second leading cause of workplace fatalities?  With incidents increasing within the last three years, it has sadly become a sign of the times. Do you and your clients know that Active Shooter and Violent Act Insurance Coverage is available to assist in mitigating potential revenue loss and liability?

As the threat of violence emerges, business owners are reviewing their general liability insurance policies and finding that bodily injury or property damage caused by an active shooter may or may not be covered.

Standard coverage may not apply to the crisis management as a result of the event. Personal attacks against customers or other third parties may not be covered by general liability insurance. Additionally, if law enforcement determines your business should remain closed after an incident, your policy may not cover loss of business income.

This policy includes coverage for Business Interruption, Third Party Bodily Injury Liability, Property Damage and Incident Response Expenses.  While most people feel that GL covers some of this exposure, be aware of the following:

  • Intent Current General Liability (GL) applications do not ask questions regarding this exposure and therefore are not underwriting for it.  The original intent of GL does not include coverage for this type of exposure.
  • Foreseeability GL can exclude/deny coverage for events the Insured reasonably could have foreseen.  This can include losses where employees have a history of violent behavior and no action was taken to prevent an event, or security measures that could have been taken that were not, etc.
  • Crisis Response GL will only respond if there is a lawsuit filed and NOT offer proactive crisis management services.  The Workplace Violent Act policy offers Incident Response Expenses (IREs) that include crisis response and extra expense as well as assistance and guidance during a crisis event to help mitigate and/or prevent demands and lawsuits after the crisis.
  • TerrorismWhile GL policies offer TRIA to be purchased, there is still no coverage for uncertified violent act or terror events.

Policy definitions and coverage triggers:

Incident means Workplace Violent Act Event, Workplace Violent Act Threat Event, Workplace Violent Act Against

Offsite Employee Event or Stalking Event. Multiple Incidents involving the same Violent Actor(s) will be considered one Incident. In order for Workplace Violent Threat Event(s) or Stalking Event(s) to be considered for coverage, they must be reported to the appropriate government authorities as soon as practicable.

Workplace Violent Act Event means the use of a Deadly Weapon to cause Bodily Injury at a Covered Location.

Deadly Weapon means any firearm, vehicle or other device, instrument, material, or substance that, from the manner in which it is used or is intended to be used, is calculated to or likely to produce death or physical injury.

Active Shooter and Violent Act Insurance coverage may be something that you or your clients may be interested in reviewing. Specifically, if they are a school, religious establishment, airport, hospital, shopping center……anywhere. Click here to view information on the coverage. An application is included, if you would like to obtain a quote.

Please let us know if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance.

Shaun Kelly joined Tolman & Wiker Insurance Services in 2005.  He specializes in all lines of property and casualty insurance for industries including contract security firms, agriculture, construction, oil and gas. Shaun received a BS in Business Administration with a major in Finance from California State University in Fresno, California. He is an active member of several industry associations, including the Association CALSAGA, the Kern County Builders Exchange and the Independent Insurance Agents of Kern County. Shaun can be reached at 661-616-4700 or

Continue reading the 2019 Q4 edition of The Californian