Workplace Violence

POLICY: Workplace Violence
Effective: July 15, 2006
Reviewed: December 31, 2013
Revised: January 1, 2014; August 1, 2009

Workplace Violence Policy

Policy Purpose:
The purpose of this policy is to establish procedures, standards of conduct, and to educate all employees on matters of potential or actual workplace violence.

Policy and Procedures:
The safety and security of all employees is of primary importance at the Belt Railway Company of Chicago (BRC). Threats, threatening and abusive behavior, or acts of violence against employees, visitors, customers, or other individuals by anyone on BRC property will not be tolerated. Violations of this policy will lead to corrective action up to, and including, termination and/or referral to appropriate law enforcement agencies for arrest and prosecution. The BRC reserves the right to take any necessary legal action to protect its employees, visitors, customers, or other individuals.

Any person who makes threats, exhibits threatening behavior, or engages in violent acts on BRC property shall be removed from the premises as quickly as safety permits and shall remain off BRC property pending the outcome of an investigation. Following investigation, the BRC will initiate an immediate and appropriate response. This response may include, but is not limited to, suspension and/or termination of any business relationship, reassignment of job duties, suspension or dismissal, and/or criminal prosecution of the person or persons involved.

All employees are responsible for notifying management of any threats that they witness or receive or that they are told another person witnessed or received. Even without a specific threat, all employees should report any behavior that they have witnessed that they regard potentially threatening or violent which could endanger the health or safety of an employee when the behavior has been carried out on a company-controlled site or is connected to company employment or company business. Employees are responsible for making this report regardless of the relationship between the individual who initiated the threatening behavior and the person or persons being threatened. The BRC understands the sensitivity of the information, and will treat it as confidential with disclosure on a need-to-know basis.

Definition of Workplace Violence:
Workplace violence can be any act of physical violence, threats of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.


  •  Be familiar with the BRC policy on workplace violence.
  •  Secure your own workplace. Know your surroundings and the employees you work with on a daily basis.
  •  Question and report any unauthorized persons to your supervisors and the BRC Police Department.
  •  Report any act that is defined as workplace violence to your supervisor immediately.
  • Do not confront individuals who are a threat. Contact the BRC Police Department and your supervisor with all information on the physical makeup of the suspicious individual.
  • Be familiar with the resources of the Employee Assistance Program.
  • Take all threats seriously.

Managers and Supervisors:

  • Inform employees of BRC’s policy on violence in the workplace.
  • Ensure that all employees know the procedure for dealing with workplace threats.
  • Ensure that employees with special needs are aware of emergency evacuation procedures.
  • Respond to potential threats and escalating situations by using the proper resources:
  • Law enforcement-Dial 911
  • Employee Assistance Programs – Metropolitan Family Services: 800-905-0994
  • Take all threats seriously

Human Resources Staff:

  • Provide supervisory training on workplace violence. This will be conducted every two years by BRC’s Chief of Police.
  • Provide technical expertise and consultation for supervisors.
  • Determine whether sufficient evidence exists to justify taking disciplinary action once the investigation of any misconduct is complete.
  • Perform background checks prior to hiring

Employee Assistance Program Counselors:

  • Provide short term counseling.
  • Assist in the training process.
  • Counsel any employee who is involved in an incident of workplace violence.
  • Participation on critical incident stress debriefing in event of a violent situation.

Labor Organizations:

  • Be familiar with and actively support the workplace violence policy.
  • Participate fully with management in all phases of workplace violence prevention and response.

Law Enforcement Staff:

  • The Belt Police and Local Law enforcement (911) will be contacted immediately if any possible violent act has or is about to occur on Belt Railway property.
  • Work with personnel to improve the security level of the buildings and grounds.
  • Suggest safety and security measures that need to be implemented.

Bomb Threats:
Prepare for Bomb Threats
The threat of bombings is a harsh reality of today’s world. The illegal use of explosives by nefarious segments of society is increasingly common and increasingly catastrophic. Law-enforcement agencies are charged with protecting life and property from these threats. But law enforcement does not – and cannot – bear this responsibility alone. Every citizen must do his or her part to ensure the safety of the environment. To shoulder your share of this important responsibility:

  • Take bomb threats seriously.
  • Identify suspicious parcels and letters.

Take Bomb Threats Seriously
Bomb threats are delivered in a variety of ways. The majority are called in to the target. Occasionally the calls are made through a third party. And sometimes a threat is communicated in writing or by a recording. Bombs can be construed to look like almost anything and can be placed or delivered in any number of ways. The probability of finding a bomb that looks like the stereotypical bomb is almost nonexistent. The only common denominator that exists among bombs is that they are designed or intended to explode.

If you receive a bomb threat, DON’T PANIC!! Your job is to respond to the threat rationally and focus on getting:

1. Information
The bomb-threat caller is the best source of information about the bomb. When a threat is called in, there are several things you should do:

  • Keep the caller on the line as long as possible.
  • Ask him or her to repeat the message.
  • Record every word spoken, so far as is possible.
  • Listen closely to the voice, to its quality and any other distinguishing features.
  • Ask the location of the bomb and the time of possible detonation.

2. Expert Assistance
You must immediately report the information to the person designated by management to receive such information, and/or to the police department, fire department, ATF, FBI, or other appropriate agencies.

Improvised Explosive Device Recognition:
An Improvised Explosive Device (IED), or is a bomb with varying explosive capabilities which is designed to destroy, disfigure, distract or harass. The parts to make an IED can be easily obtained. IED components can be quickly assembled using a variety of sources.

The four basic components of an IED include:

  • Power Supply, which sets off the initiator
  • Initiator, which triggers the explosive main charge
  • Explosive, which detonates upon the receipt of an impulse from the initiator
  • Switch, which delivers power from the power supply to the initiator at a pre-set time.

IED design ranges from simple to complex. Some types of IEDs that can be used on freight railroads may include:

  • Vehicle borne IEDs
  • Booby trap IEDs
  • Remote or radio control IEDs.

An IED can be open or closed and designed in any size, shape, color or consistency. In the event a suspected IED is discovered, timely accurate communications and actions are critical for the prevention of harm. If something seems out of the ordinary it may be an IED. If you suspect an IED Report it by calling the Belt Police and the MTO. You may be wrong, however, if you are going to make an error, make it on the side of safety.

Improvised Explosive Device Response:
Should an IED be discovered it is critical for you to protect yourself and the clear the area as soon as possible.

Remember the following steps:

  • Get away from the possible IED do not touch or approach the object.
  • Try to keep people clear of the area.
  • After you have cleared the area notify the Belt Police and MTO immediately.

Your goal is to provide as much information as possible to the first responders regarding the location and description of a possible IED. Remain available to assist the first responders in any way possible.

Follow these guidelines:

  • Remain calm and do not overreact.
  • Be alert for additional devices.
  • Do not use any communications or electronic equipment such as a radio or cell phone within 300 feet of a possible IED.
  • Alert personnel not to use radio and cell phone communications to clear the area.
  • Maintain overall situational and personal awareness.
  • Know your worksite.
  • Collect as much information about a possible IED as you can. Focusing on the car indicators, location of the device, appearance, components and surrounding area.

Taking the reasonable and appropriate actions can lessen the risk of a suspected terrorist act and the likelihood of it occurring on the BRC.

Identify Suspicious Parcels and Letters
If you receive any suspicious package of letter, you must take care to detect whether or not there may be a problem. The item does not have to be delivered by a carrier. Most bombers set up and deliver the bombs themselves.

If a suspicious package is received or discovered, immediately call the Belt Police and the Bedford Park Police. Do not use cell phones or radios. Call from a land line away from the package. Notify co-workers of the situation and evacuate the premises. Wait for the Police to handle the incident. Do not reenter the area until the Police have advised the situation is safe.

1. What to Look For
As with other rail security situations, you are looking out-of-the-ordinary conditions, such as handwritten company addresses or address labels, excess postage on small packages or letters, no postage or non-canceled postage, handwritten notes, and other non-standard package of letter appearance.

2. What to Do
If delivered by a carrier, inspect the package for lumps, bulges, or protrusions, without applying pressure. Balance-check the package if it seems lopsided or heavy-sided. But first and foremost, if you have a suspicious letter or package:

  • CALL 911 and the BRC Police

If you receive a bomb threat in writing, be sure to save all materials, including any envelope or container. And make every possible effort to preserve evidence such as fingerprints, handwriting, and postmarks. Any unnecessary handling can damage evidence that may prove essential in tracing the threat and identifying the writer.

PREPARE for Bomb Threats

If there is one point that cannot be overemphasized, it is the value of being prepared. Do not let a bomb incident catch you unprepared. Familiarize yourself with proper procedures so that you will be able to respond appropriately.

Remember that it is vital to:

  • Take bomb threats seriously.
  • Identify suspicious parcels and letters.

Be aware of these common pitfalls as you strive to fulfill you security responsibilities:

  • Taking unnecessary risks.
  • Underestimating the threat.
  • Waiting too long to report a potential problem.
  • Discounting your own gut feeling.

Michael J. Romano
Chief of Police

Policy issued and effective: July 15, 2006
Revised: January , 2014; August 1, 2009