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The Joint Washington Conference — September 18 - 20

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The annual 2019 Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) Western Alliance and the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of Washington (IIABW) Washington Joint Conference and Trade Show is coming and fast.

The annual conference this year is at one of the best resorts in the Northwest:

The Coeur d' Alene Resort

September 18-20, 2019

If you’re not registered, do it now and don’t wait. This is the only event of its kind in Washington and — if you’ve never been to one, ask anyone who’s attended — it’s an incredible event from the networking to the continuing education to the fun.

This year’s title sponsors are:

Liberty Mutual Insurance

Safeco Insurance

 

Don’t miss the one opportunity this year to network, learn, share and connect with insurance companies, wholesalers and other companies with whom you do business.

Click here for the conference agenda.

Click here to register and attend.

The General session will highlight Heather Day, Progressive’s Agency Sales and Distribution Manager. Heather will share her thoughts on the state of the independent agency channel, including insights about market trends like mergers and acquisitions and the rise of large agencies, the outlook on smaller, local agencies, and the key role independent agents will continue to play as trusted advisors in the industry

And FIRST Insurance Funding’s Vice President of Sales Tim Parenti will speak to The Mind/Body/Health Connection and how “Attitudinal Strength” affects our mental toughness and our performance. Using real-world examples, coupled with Epigenetic scientific evidence, this unique perspective will present sound practices to help manage our Attitudes to improve our financial, physical and mental well-being.

High on the list of why you want to attend is the always packed trade show where agents can attend FREE and — of course — golf.

You arrive at the course in a custom mahogany lake shuttle and are greeted by a personal forecaddie. The breathtaking lake views from nearly every hole eases the tension of the formidable challenge presented by the floating green. The award-winning, expertly groomed course aesthetics compliment the experience.

The superb attention to every need and detail sets the scene for the ultimate round of golf where every guest is considered a member.

The experts at Golf Digest, Golf Magazine and Conde Nast Traveler agree — this is one of the world’s most memorable golf experiences.

As for the business of education, here is a look at this year’s classes:

 

   You don't Know What You Don't Know 3 CE WA — Kathy Fraley

   Personal lines hot topics 3 CE WA — Jerry Kennedy

   How to Leverage Your Sales Velocity — Tim Parenti, First Insurance Funding

   Ethical Solutions for Insurance Professionals 3 CE WA — Kathy Fraley

   Troubles with Toys 3 CE WA — Jerry Kennedy

 

Click here for more information on the CE sessions.

We look forward to seeing YOU.

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Special Report — Disaster Planning is a Disaster Itself

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

September is National Preparedness Month. The federal government, and most state governments, and some local governments, are urging people to always expect the best but to also always be prepared for the worst.

The emergency preparation push is done each year by federal government’s Ready.gov. The website is run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and it promotes family and community disaster and emergency planning now and through the year.

This year’s theme is be prepared, not scared.

Last week's focus was to save early for disaster costs. That means people need to check their insurance coverage and making sure it is up to date and that it covers everything. Ready.gov also stressed the need to have a financial plan in place in case there is a disaster.

This week’s emphasis is to make a plan and prepare for disasters. Next week it is to teach youth how to prepare, and September’s fourth week push is to get people to become involved in the emergency preparedness of their community.

Brock Long resigned earlier this year as the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agent (FEMA). He worries about the nation’s emergency management system and about state and local governments that he contends are not really prepared for the worst.

Long told CBS’ TV’s Face the Nation that the agency is more-or-less, ineffective. “FEMA faces unrealistic expectations by Congress and the American public, and the standards in which we declare major disaster declarations need to be increased,” he said, “We've got to stop looking at FEMA as 911.”

He pointed a finger at state and local governments and said they need to step up and help FEMA respond to a natural disaster. That means everyday, ordinary people need better training and need to be better prepared.

“If we want to get better and become more resilient and respond better then we have to refocus the training upon how we asked citizens to be prepared, not just going out and having supplies for five to seven days, but, you know, teaching them how to become more financially resilient; teaching them that insurance is the first line of defense, not FEMA; teaching them tangible skills like CPR when they face active shooter events,” he said.

Long pointed a long finger at Congress and said it needs to go to work and do its duty by passing legislation that gives local governments more incentive to modernize building codes. He said state governments are not off the hook either. Long noted that Congress needs to get state governments to better maintain and strengthen the infrastructure.

The need for better preparation — Long concluded — is dire. A survey from Allstate bears that out and found that 60% of us are totally unprepared for a disaster.

  70% said they are concerned about national disasters

  60% said they don’t have a disaster plan because they don’t think one will happen to them

Allstate’s chief claims officer Ken Rosen was shocked at the response and said, “With extreme weather and natural disasters more frequent and severe, communities face a lot of complex issues and real danger.”

As noted at the beginning of this report, most states are following the lead of Ready.gov. This week’s push is planning. It starts with doing that critical home inventory. The Oregon Department of Financial Regulation — that manages the Oregon Department of Insurance — said this is an often overlooked part of disaster preparation.

It recently sent out a news release on the topic, and insurance companies and independent insurance agents are encouraged to copy this list and send it to their clients:

1.    Build a home inventory: Take video or photos of each room in your home, paying close attention to walls, drawers, closets, and storage areas. Recalling your personal property is a daunting task following a disaster. A home inventory eases the post-disaster stress, and enables your insurance company to move forward with processing your claim.

2.    Review your insurance coverage: Take time to discuss your policies with your insurance company or agent. Make sure you have the right coverage and know what to expect when you file a claim for disasters such as fire, earthquake, flood, tornado, theft, and ice storms.

Oregon Insurance Commissioner Andrew Stolfi said, “Recent wildfires and earthquakes reminds us how important it is for [everyone] to build a home inventory and make sure they have the right insurance coverage to protect their families. These projects are easy to do and now is the time to add these money-saving, stress-reducing tasks to your to-do list.”

Marcie Roth is FEMA’s Director of the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination. She agrees with Stolfi and said there is no one-size-fits-all way to prepare. Each of us have individual needs. “What I've learned from this experience is that everyone must be prepared to be their own ‘emergency manager,’” she said. “When disaster strikes, you may have to be able to survive on your own for 72 hours or more without access to power, food, or transportation. You also should think about your own situation and what additional needs you might have.”

Here’s what she says you need to be fully prepared. The PIA Western Alliance encourages you to copy this and — along with the home inventory and insurance assessment suggestions — send it to your clients.

Have an emergency supply kit ready: Make sure you have enough water, food and medications for yourself and your service animal (if you have one) to last at least three days. Think about other items you may need as well — extra eyeglasses, batteries for hearing aids, medical supplies, etc. 

Have an emergency communications plan in place: How will you contact your family members if something happens and you're separated? Share your emergency plan with neighbors, friends and relatives so they know how to contact you if the power goes out.

Develop a map of resources around where you live and work so members of your support network who are unfamiliar with your neighborhood can find and get what you need: You may want to include nearby places to buy food and water. Also, include fire, police, other city agencies and local apartment/commercial buildings with their own sources of power should the citywide/town-wide power be out. Consider adding taxi stands/bus stops/subway stations, and parking regulations/parking lots, etc.

Ask others about what they will do to support you in an emergency: If you are a person who relies on dialysis, what will your provider do if there is an emergency? If you rely on home care or deliveries, such as Meals on Wheels, ask about emergency notifications and their plan to maintain services. If you use paratransit, find out their plans for providing service in an emergency. If you use oxygen or other life-sustaining medical equipment, show friends how to use these devices so they can move you or help you evacuate, if needed. Practice your plan with the people in your personal support network.

Keep assistive devices and equipment charged and ready to go: Consider having an extra battery on a trickle charger if you use a power wheelchair or scooter. If available, have a lightweight manual wheelchair for backup and extra chargers and charging cables for all assistive devices.

Make sure you have access to important documents: Collect and safeguard critical documents. Store electronic copies of your important documents on a password-protected thumb drive and in the ‘cloud,’ and if you feel comfortable doing so, give a copy to a trusted relative or friend outside your area. This way, you'll have a record of critical identification documents; medical information including where and how to get life-saving supplies and medications; financial and legal documents; and insurance information as well as important phone numbers, instructions and email addresses.

Keep an updated version in your ‘go bag’: Go to Ready.gov, Be Smart. Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables or the Emergency Financial First Aid Kit for more information and a checklist.

“Being prepared is a 365-day-a-year activity. Take charge and take control to be as prepared as possible. Then add your voice to others,” she said and noted the importance of getting more involved in the emergency planning of your community.

Source links: ready.gov, CBS News, Insurance Business America, Oregon Department of Insurance, Federal Emergency Management Agency

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A Big Congratulations to Craig Stahl

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

New CIC Designee, Craig Stahl, Bisnett Insurance

Craig Stahl, CIC

Bisnett Insurance | Oregon City, OR

"CIC has been a huge learning experience for me in my daily activities and adding to my skills-set and knowledge in Insurance and coverage principles. It is helpful in helping me identify learning needs for myself and the agency. It has helped me with a more in-depth understanding of complex risks and how to address them best."

Craig started in the insurance field in 1990 in Claims, Claims Management, Marketing and has been a licensed Property and Casualty agent now for 5 years. He is the Director of Sales at Bisnett Insurances in Portland, OR. Craig is a graduate of Oregon State University and enjoys boating, fishing, camping, photography, snowboarding and traveling with his wife and two sons. His boys (a freshman and 8th grader) keep him busy with sports; football, wresting, and track. He grew up in Salem but has live in Tigard, Lake Oswego, and now Oregon City, also referred to as the OC.

 

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California Insurance Commissioner Issues an Apology

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Ricardo Lara, California Insurance Commissioner

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has officially apologized for taking campaign contributions from insurance industry representatives. The San Diego Union-Tribune started the investigation when it found Lara’s 2022 election campaign took in $54,300 in campaign donations. It identified the people making the contributions as being associated with Applied Underwriters and Independence Holding Co.

At that time the California Department of Insurance was dealing with regulatory issues involving both companies.

He did so by sending a letter to groups that have been highly critical of his campaign’s actions. They include United Policyholders, Public Advocates, Health Access and Consumer Watchdog.

In his letter the commissioner admitted that his campaign solicited those contributions in spite of a pledge from him not to ask for industry support. “But during my campaign and first six months in office, my campaign operation scheduled meetings and solicited campaign contributions that did not fall in line with commitments I made to refuse contributions from the insurance industry,” the letter said. “I take full responsibility for that and am deeply sorry.”

While apologizing, and saying he has severed the relationship with those who did that fundraising, Lara pointed out that no laws were broken and no rules violated.

“I must hold myself to a higher standard,” he concluded.

Lara says he has returned the money and has outlined some reforms he’s planning to implement:

  I am implementing rigorous vetting protocols and am retaining experts to develop new processes for the screening and reporting of all outside political activity — to ensure greater transparency and no direct connection to the insurance industry or Department-regulated entities — consistent with best practices.

  I am placing a strict moratorium on all fundraising activity for my re-election campaign until at least the end of this calendar year, while these new processes are being implemented.

  I am requesting that Department attorneys develop new publicly-available protocols for scheduling and conducting meetings with external stakeholders, especially Department-regulated entities.

  I am ordering regular public release of my official calendar of meetings with external stakeholders.

Lara concluded his letter by saying, “I look forward to the work ahead, and renew my commitment to hold myself to the highest ethical standards as your state Insurance Commissioner.”

That’s not good enough for the San Francisco Chronicle and for the groups demanding that Lara produce the public records that involve the meetings he held with the companies that reportedly gave him the campaign contributions.

They — says Consumer Watchdog — still have not received those records.

Lara’s explanation is not good enough according to an editorial written by the San Francisco Chronicle editorial board. The newspaper says the commissioner has admitted to being deeply sorry and has said he takes personal responsibility but at the same time, he is suggesting it is staff — and not him — that are to blame.

“The commissioner’s belated apologia, issued in a letter to consumer groups Tuesday, doesn’t seem to be motivated purely by further reflection,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote and it noted that the amount of money Lara’s campaign took in from the insurers is now estimated to be much higher than the $50,000 and change noted by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The figure is now estimated to be — says the Chronicle — around $250,000.

“The newly detailed contributions include more than $20,000 associated with a lawyer for Applied Underwriters, a workers’ compensation insurer at the center of dozens of disputes and a pending sale being reviewed by the Insurance Department,” the newspaper wrote. “Last month, two companies moved to overturn department decisions favoring Applied, arguing that they were influenced by contributions linked to the insurer.”

Lara continues to maintain that the decisions he has made involving the insurers conforms to precedents set by the department before he became commissioner.

“But it hasn’t helped that the commissioner took the money and met with Applied’s chief executive,” the editorial said. “That could be why he has hesitated to respond to press requests for his calendars or come to terms with the full extent of his compromising contributions. Lara’s mea culpa would be more convincing if it were accompanied by transparent and unflinching accountability for his past and future behavior.”

 

Source links: Insurance Journal — link 1, link 2, San Francisco Chronicle

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Next Year’s Benefit Planning — Life Insurance?

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

As we push into the fall season independent agency owners, insurance companies and human resources departments are deep into deciding what benefits will be offered to employees in 2020.

A new online survey OneAmerica — done by The Harris Poll — found that a high percentage of American workers would like group life insurance as an employee benefit.

  59% of workers say they would purchase such insurance through their employer if offered as an option

  28% of the workers over 1,000 workers surveyed said the already have voluntary group life insurance

  47% that do not have voluntary group life insurance say it is because the employer does not offer it

The survey also paid attention to the employees who have such insurance through their employer:

53% say they have the life insurance for peace of mind

44% say they have it to protect their family from future financial hardship

39% say the picked it up to pay off debts and final expenses in the event of their death

23% say they have the insurance to leave an inheritance for their children and grandchildren

21% say the insurance will replace a spouse or partner’s income in the vent of their death

OneAmerica spokesman Dan Aiello said, “September is Life Insurance Awareness Month, and the information gathered by The Harris Poll provides further proof of the strong desire for employed Americans to have access to solutions to protect the financial future of their families.”

He also pointed out that the workplace is the best place for employees to be educated on the importance of life insurance

 

Source link: Insurance Business America

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California Legislature Addresses Wildfire Homeowners Claims

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The California Legislature has passed a bill designed to help homeowner victims of the state’s many — and very destructive — wildfires. Sponsored by Democratic Sen. Bill Dodd of Napa, SB 240 is the Legislature’s response to problems last year with claims settlements and mistakes.

Dodd said when insurers bring people in from out of state to help settle claims they need to “have the training to provide accurate information to survivors of future fires.”

The bill’s language requires the California Department of Insurance to put out an annual bulletin on state laws regarding property insurance policies. Independent adjusters coming into an area to deal with claims will be required to read and understand the bulletin before they can begin settlements.

It also makes insurers create a single point of contact if more than two adjusters are assigned to a client within a six-month period.

Dodd said most of the mistakes were — according to testimony — because of claims adjusters brought into the state from other states. “Insurance adjusters should not be putting people through that kind of an ordeal,” Dodd said.

Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara likes the bill and said “a well-trained insurance adjuster often makes the difference.”

Dodd added that he and his staff got a lot of complaints from victims of fires who said insurers sent untrained agents with very little knowledge about handling complaints to do the adjusting.

Many — he said — gave out erroneous information and some filing claims told him that they were bounced from adjuster to adjuster and had to keep repeating the story over and over yet no settlement was forthcoming.

Republicans and Democrats alike voted for the bill. There was not one no vote in either house. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law.

As for the insurance industry, Mark Sektnan — the vice president, state government relations of the American Property Casualty Insurance Association — said his association was originally opposed to the bill. It was, however, neutral on the final product.

He said rules are important and that claimants have questions and need “a way to get them answered. A consistent message is a benefit to both the policyholder and the company.”

 

Source link: The Press Democrat

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Dogs in the Workplace: Happy — Yes but there are Risks

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

No one wants to leave their pets at home when they go to work. Dogs suffer more than cats and — maybe — birds. More and more corporations are putting pet-friendly policies into effect. Most pets That makes dog owners really happy but some co-workers — especially those afraid of dogs — are not so happy about those policies.

Dogs registered under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are okay with them but others pose big risk to business owners. Those risks — says Loretta Worters of the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) — begin with dog bites.

She said insurance policies will cover the medical bills and legal and court costs if a medical coverage suit is filed. There is — however — no coverage for the cost of reputational damage if a dog bites a customer. That can be really bad especially if there is media coverage.

Insurance also won’t cover a dog owner if the person being bitten decides to sue. Then there’s the case of who is responsible? The owner for sure but what — also — about the employer. After all, they made the decision to allow the dog into the workplace.

Worters says probably both.

She suggests employers deciding pets are okay in the workplace have some sort of a written policy that clearly lays out the responsibility of the owner and the responsibility of the company. Also suggested is a policy on what animals are allowed.

Policies should include:

  Noise

  Weight of the animal

  Hair length

  Is the animal dangerous

  Should it be tethered or caged

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

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Around the PIA Western Alliance States

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Washington — A Wake for Liberty Mutual’s Jim Anderson: The friends of Jim Anderson (a spontaneously formed group of friends, co-workers and agents) would like to invite you to an Irish-style wake to honor the life of our former colleague and friend who passed away in July. So many have expressed a desire to share stories and celebrate a life which brought smiles to so many of us.  So please join us for a celebration of Jim’s life.

You’re Invited

Friday, September 13th – 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Shawn O’Donnell’s Irish Pub – lower event space

122 128th St. SW

Everett, WA

Appetizers will be served / Beer & Wine provided

Please RSVP francina.noordhoek@libertymutual.com or 206/473-5426

California — Work Comp Bills: California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed two work comp bills into law. The first is A.B. 1804. It requires employers to immediately report serious occupational injuries, illness or death to the California Department of Industrial Relations’ Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The report must be done by telephone or an online mechanism yet to be determined.

The second bill is A.B. 1805 and it modifies and redefines the definition of a serious injury or illness. It removes the 24-hour minimum reporting time requirement for qualifying hospitalizations.

Source link: Business Insurance

California — Lara Appoints Members to Diversity Task Force: Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara announced the newest members of the 2019 - 2020 Insurance Diversity Task Force, which makes recommendations to the Insurance Commissioner regarding innovative ways to increase diversity within the insurance industry. The Insurance Diversity Task Force was formed in 2012 as a component of the Department’s Insurance Diversity Initiative, which encourages insurers to increase procurement contracts with diverse business owners, such as a woman-owned, veteran-/disabled veteran-owned, minority-owned or LGBT-owned businesses, as well as advance diversity of insurance company corporate boards.

The newest members include the Task Force’s first female representative of the veteran/disabled veteran-owned business enterprise seat and first woman and Latina CEO of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce in its 130 years, among other exceptional new members and trailblazers.

“I am honored to announce the new members of the Task Force, who all share the common goal with me to create greater diversity in the insurance industry,” said Commissioner Lara. “We are building the bridge that connects our state’s diverse business owners with the nation’s largest insurance industry, as well as continuing to push for boards of directors that reflect our state’s increasing diversity. I am confident that the wide range of knowledge and expertise of our new Task Force members will advance greater supplier and governing board diversity within this industry.”

Task Force members propose ideas and actions to the commissioner and the Department to encourage insurance companies to utilize diverse suppliers and to increase diversity amongst their governing boards. The transparency achieved through this initiative has helped demonstrate the progress of increased procurement between insurers contracting with California’s diverse-owned businesses which significantly increased by 93% over a five-year period, from $930 million in 2012 to $1.8 billion in 2017. However, diversifying insurer governing boards to reflect a broader set of backgrounds and perspectives remains a challenge. In 2017, insurers reported nearly 80% of governing board seats were held by men and only 12% of board seats were held by persons of color.

These appointments to the Task Force come on the heels of the timely signature of Senate Bill (SB) 534 by Governor Gavin Newsom, a bill sponsored by Commissioner Lara and authored by Senator Steven Bradford, which will continue the great strides achieved under this initiative. Among its provisions, SB 534 would (1) require insurance companies to report on their supplier diversity and governing board diversity efforts; (2) expand the diverse supplier categories to include LGBT and veteran-owned businesses; and, 3) codify the Insurance Diversity Task Force in law. Governor Newsom’s signature on

SB 534 provides critical support for the Insurance Diversity Initiative to continue to fulfill its mission to increase supplier diversity and advance diversity on insurer governing boards.

“California insurers should be using their enormous buying power to invest in California’s minority, woman, LGBT, veteran, and disabled veteran owned businesses as well as work towards achieving a governing board that reflects the diverse population in California,” said Commissioner Lara. “Since its inception, the Department’s Diversity Initiative has helped empower diverse businesses to put resources back into their local communities. Thank you to Governor Newsom and Senator Bradford for reauthorizing and expanding this valuable program to help more people and communities throughout the state.”

The next Task Force meeting will be held on Thursday, September 12, 2019 at the Department. More details are available at: www.insurance.ca.gov/diversity or you may send an email to: diversity@insurance.ca.gov.

 

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Preventing Turnover — Keeping Top Talent

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The improved economy has many people jumping to better jobs. Sometimes the talent leaving a company is talent the company can’t afford to lose. A survey from Robert half says a bunch of high-level professionals say they have what is termed “short-timer mentality.”

The conclusion comes from 2,800 senior managers from companies with 20 or more employees. Robert Half said 81% of those companies are worried they won’t be able to retain their most valued employees. That connects perfectly with a second Robert Half study of 2,800 workers.

It found 43% plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

Paul McDonald is Robert Half’s senior executive director. He said the big question then is how to keep these high-level professionals. Here’s what the professionals said:

  43% want more money

  20% want more time off and more and better benefits

  19% want a promotion

  8% think a new boss could keep them

  10% said nothing can convince them to stay

“In a tight employment market, workers have more options, and the grass may look greener somewhere else,” McDonald said. “Employers can help prevent turnover by learning what motivates their most valued employees and customizing their retention strategies. While money is an important motivator, benefits or growth opportunities are also strong enticements.”

The study also looked at what employers are doing to try to keep these employees:

  46% say they’re increasing communication via town hall meetings and employee engagement surveys

  41% are working to improve recognition programs

  41% are providing more professional development programs

  40% are bumping up compensation and benefits

  26% a giving reimbursement for ongoing education

  26% and putting mentoring programs in place

  24% are working on ways to keep full-time employees from getting burned out

Sadly, 7% of senior managers say they do not have any kind of retention strategy.

Here’s what else the survey found:

  Sacramento, Miami, Austin and Denver have the highest percentage of workers looking for a new job

  Minneapolis, Philadelphia, Boston and Indianapolis and Pittsburgh have the fewest

  Portland, Oregon, Charlotte, Indianapolis and Philadelphia have the most people who’d say in the job if they got more money

  Los Angeles, Miami and Tampa have the highest percentages of workers that will stay if they get a promotion

 

Source link: PropertyCasualty360.com

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Workplace Violence — Prevention Starts at the Beginning

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Environmental Resources Management is an employer consultant company. The firm’s focus is employee and employer safety. At a recent conference on workplace safety, the company’s main consultant Phil La Duke said the best place to start safety in the workplace is in the interview process.

This is where an employer does a better job of vetting the candidate. It helps avoid the hiring of a potentially dangerous worker. “If we can predict them, we can protect the people and we can prevent this,” he said.

La Duke’s expertise includes studying workplace safety and violence for the last 30-years. It led to his writing a book on safety titled Lone Gunman: Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention.

He said one of the things that stood out to him while writing the book was researching job candidates and weeding out the people with potential mental health issues. They have been most connected to workplace violence.

“It begins before you even have the candidate in the interview,” he said and noted employers need to start at social media. There you need to look for “aggressive or angry posts, racist, misogynist, or otherwise offensive posts, look at their friends’ posts for ways to gauge whether a person is angry or has possible mental health problems — ‘red flags.’”

Social media shows a lot about a person. “Do they have an obsession with guns or mass shootings… if you see all their (posts are) reporting on violent events, it could be a warning,” he said.

Another warning sign might be a non-social media presence. “In an age where we have 88-year-old grandmoms with Facebook accounts, do you find it a bit odd or suspicious when you see someone with no social media presence,” he said.

He also suggests a solid background check. Look at:

  Sex offender registries

  Arrest records

  Check the National Domestic Abuse Database

  Look for restraining orders filed in local courts

La Duke definitely suggests drug testing and complains that a lot of employers do not do drug checks because too many of them come back with potential employees using drugs like marijuana.

Another very good tip is checking for lies. And La Duke gave a tip for that check. Establish a baseline. Questions asked are small talk things like the weather outside or the time. These are things people don’t lie about. Then move forward. Look at job history gaps and then start asking harder questions.

“Let these people talk; they will sink themselves if they are a bad candidate,” he said. Also make sure you look for eye contact and other non-verbal clues like excessive sweating or blushing.

Last — whatever you do — don’t ignore warning signs just because a potential job hire has the right skills. “The best candidate in the world that exhibits a penchant for violence is not the best candidate,” he pointed out. “You can train people to do their job; you can’t train people to not be mentally unstable.”

In other words, these checks and good reference checks will give you a better understanding of a candidate. But whatever you do, don’t forgo a very good background check to save money or time.

Unfortunately, he said some — maybe many — employers do.

 

Source link: Business Insurance

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