Workforce Safety & Security
AEP’s quest for Zero Harm reaches beyond occupational safety and health to include employee security and workplace aggression. While in the field or in the office, we believe every employee should come to work feeling safe and secure. In response, AEP has developed policies, procedures and training to increase employees’ ability to recognize, report and respond to workplace aggression.
AEP has a mandatory self-reporting policy that requires all employees to report within 24 hours to their immediate supervisor and/or their local Human Resources representative the following events:
- An arrest, charge, indictment or conviction of a felony or misdemeanor criminal charge (except minor traffic offenses that will not result in incarceration)
- Service of a protection order or restraining order when the employee is listed as the subject of the protection or restraining order.
The mandatory self-reporting policy makes us aware of these events sooner so we can prepare for events that could potentially put our employees or our operations at risk.
We offer several workplace safety training initiatives to our employees. In 2018, we launched an Active Shooter Response table-top exercise to train our employees on how to handle active shooter situations. This training teaches people to think about safety not just at work, but at home and in public as well.
While we take great measures to ensure our employees’ physical security at work - such as identification badges, secured turnstile entrances and physical security desks and personnel - we stress the need for situational awareness at all times. In 2018, we conducted more than 180 active shooter training sessions that reached more than 3,000 employees.
For our field employees, we provide face-to-face and video Customer Threat and Aggressive Behavior training, which includes de-escalation techniques that can be used when someone threatens the safety of our employees. In 2018, we completed 69 sessions with more than 2,800 employees. In March 2019, we rewrote our policy for dealing with threatening customers. If a customer threatens physical violence to our employees, business partners or company assets, we now require a police escort and we’re training our employees on what to do. We also code these customers in our system so that we know in advance of the potential threat and can prearrange a police escort.
We are developing a training program in 2019 to focus more on prevention techniques, such as understanding the warning signs of an event. If we see employees are struggling emotionally, we want to be able to identify it and provide any help that we can. Once developed, this type of proactive training will be provided to managers and supervisors across AEP.
By putting these efforts in place, we stay true to our commitment to providing a safe working environment for all employees.