Ensuring safety at CIGNA
Ensuring safety at CIGNA

Jan 1, 2000 12:00 PM
Don Garbera

CIGNA Corp., with assets of $115 billion, is a leading provider of employee benefits across the United States and throughout the world. Domestically, CIGNA ranks among the largest investor-owned insurance organizations, with shareholders' equity of $8.3 billion. With international revenues of $3.1 billion in 1998, CIGNA is also one of the largest U.S.-based insurance companies serving the global marketplace.

According to Tom Healy, director of corporate security and investigations, "Our mission is to provide a safe and secure working environment for all CIGNA employees" at numerous locations spread across the country.

Site security at CIGNA's northeast locations is the responsibility of Jim Husovsky. As site security manager, Husovsky oversees all aspects of security. "I am in charge of the contract security officer force, and all security systems for the Hartford, Bloomfield, Windsor, and Bristol, Conn. facilities, along with protection of employee personal assets and physical well being," he says.

The security operation is extremely pro-employee. After work, employees are escorted to their cars. This emphasis on employee safety was prompted by press reports of workplace violence. Husovsky took note, and beefed-up patrols around the campuses, including a recently formed bicycle patrol unit. He also initiated the employee escort program.

Recently, Husovsky's operation added a DSX Access Control and Alarm Monitoring System. The control room is located at the Bloomfield site, and all facilities, except for New York and New Hampshire, are linked to it via T-1 lines, fiber optics, and dedicated phone lines. The Bloomfield site also receives information and alarm signals from the company's aviation hangar where corporate aircraft are housed.

The DSX card system operates using WINDSX software. Approximately 200 points, within all facilities, are on the system, with another 50 in the Windsor Data Center, CIGNA's data processing area. The system covers locations such as PBX rooms, server rooms, mechanical areas such as engineering, main lobby entryways, video conferencing facilities, trading floors, loading docks, executive dining rooms and some reserved parking areas.

Mantraps are employed at the Windsor Data Center. Prior to entering a location, an individual steps into the interlock, entering a "dead space". The exit door will not open in front of the person until the entrance door he or she came through is fully closed. The individual then places his ID card into a Twin Guard viewing device that uses a split-screen viewing system. The image on the ID card, and an image of the person presenting the ID card are then received in the command center. The officer on duty at the console determines whether to grant entry. ID cards are part of the card access system, and are made on a DSX Video Imaging system using a Hitachi DSP VKC 370 camera. More than 11,000 employees are recorded in the card system's database.

A combination of Sony, Panasonic, Burle (now Philips), and Silent Witness cameras patrol interior lobbies, loading docks, and other high security locations. They are also located at card swipe stations.

The security command center uses Burle switchers, a Prism remote video monitoring system, Sony and Toshiba time-lapse recorders, Burle and Panasonic 9-inch monitors and Burle 15-inch call-up monitors. All are connected to a Burle multiplexer.

The command center also houses a Simplex 4120 fire system that enables all signals from Simplex call boxes to come into the main console. Some of the company's locations, such as the Data Center, the aviation hangar, the Hartford location and a child care facility, are linked directly to the fire department, as well as the command center. Another feature of the command center is the Call 24 Wireless Call Box System, which includes emergency wireless call box locations throughout the Bloomfield campus exterior.

Close to 100 contract security officers report to three proprietary supervisors. At the contract company, officers receive training in CPR, customer service, management of aggressive behavior, diversity, law and liability, search and seizure, report writing, safety procedures, use of force, use of fire extinguishers, public relations, and professionalism. At CIGNA, they receive an additional 24 hours of site training.

All officers carry either Motorola or Icom radios, and stay in constant contact with Husovsky and the command center. They wear navy blue suits, white shirts and multicolored striped ties. A pocket-insert tab in the jacket's breast pocket states that they represent the CIGNA security department. Officers assigned to special details and investigations wear civilian business attire, which helps maintain confidentiality during sensitive incidents.

Two Chevy Lumina cars, and one Ford Crown Victoria, along with an Oldsmobile Silhouette passenger van and Giant Sedona ATX mountain bikes handle campus patrols and transportation of executives to aviation hangars.

All lobby entrances on the Bloomfield campus use Perey turnstiles connected to the DSX card access system. The turnstiles check employment status in real-time. "Turnstiles have helped tremendously by allowing us to control traffic more easily during the employee morning entry hours. Prior to their installation, security officers stationed at the main entrances were unable to know if a recently terminated employee was trying to gain entrance into the building because information on employee status was not readily available. Now, if an individual is terminated, his access card is immediately removed from the system. If the individual tries to gain access into th e building by attempting to swipe his card through the turnstile, access will be denied. The turnstiles are the only sure way to verify current employee status, and to also prevent piggy-backing. They also allow our security officers to be more attentive to guests and visitors, because officers are no longer busy checking employee identifications," says Husovsky.

Security is responsible for helicopter safety An unmanned weather station at the company's helipad provides the security department with information on wind speed, wind direction and visibility. Depending on the weather, or other conditions, the security department may determine if it is unsafe to land and re-direct the helicopter to a nearby airport. Security officers are dispatched to the helipad during take-offs and landings. Their presence at the helipad is to critical helicopter safety. Security personnel have trained with the local fire department on helicopter evacuation procedures.

In the future, Husovsky plans to bring more of the facilities under his jurisdiction on-line with the DSX system. He intends to upgrade the CCTV systems at the Bloomfield campus and to renovate the security command center and a satellite command center also located on the campus.

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