Stay Safe! How to Prepare Your Employees For the Worst…

Sadly, based on so many recent situations, we exist in a time where there is a possibility every day that we may face danger. This danger occurs at work, on airplanes, at schools, at music festivals...how can we ever feel safe?

Most recently, the horrific tragedy that occurred in Las Vegas, killing nearly 60 people, injuring over 500, has again brought to light many issues including gun safety, mental health, and specifically how to handle a situation with an active shooter.

There are many law enforcement officers and military personnel who have spent many hours, days, years of their lives training with firearms, hand to hand combat and situations where many ordinary citizens may not know exactly what to do.

There is never a guarantee that there is one right answer, however learning the basics may help save your life, and help you save others if an emergency is to occur.

The following are the three action guidelines provided by the Department of Homeland Security:

#1 Evacuate!

If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the premises. Be sure to:

  1. Have an escape route and plan in mind
  2. Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow
  3. Leave your belongings behind
  4. Help others escape, if possible
  5. Prevent individuals from entering an area where the active shooter may be
  6. Keep your hands visible
  7. Follow the instructions of any police officers
  8. Do not attempt to move wounded people
  9. Call 911 when you are safe

 

#2 Hide Out!

If evacuation is not possible, find a place to hide where the active shooter is less likely to find you.

Your hiding place should:

  1. Be out of the active shooter’s view
  2. Provide protection if shots are fired in your direction and locked door)
  3. Not trap you or restrict your options for movement

To prevent an active shooter from entering your hiding place:

  • Lock the door
  • Blockade the door with heavy furniture

 

HOW TO RESPOND WHEN AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IS IN YOUR VICINITY

If the active shooter is nearby:

  1. Lock the door
  2. Silence your cell phone and/or pager
  3. Turn off any source of noise (i.e., radios, televisions)
  4. Hide behind large items (i.e., cabinets, desks)
  5. Remain quiet

If evacuation and hiding out are not possible:

  1. Remain calm
  2. Dial 911, if possible, to alert police to the active shooter’s location
  3. If you cannot speak, leave the line open and allow the dispatcher to listen

 

#3 Protect yourself -- Fight!

As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, attempt to disrupt and/or incapacitate the active shooter by:

  • Acting as aggressively as possible against him/her
  • Throwing items and improvising weapons
  • Yelling
  • Committing to your actions

 

While the topic of workplace violence typically ends up in the headlines only after a serious incident, organizations have a responsibility to their employees to educate and prepare for the possibility of all types workplace violence. Being proactive about workplace violence prevention, preparation and response requires a multi-disciplinary approach involving management, law enforcement and all employees.

As a company, as a Human Resource team, it is your responsibility to do everything you can to keep your employees safe! If you do not have an active shooter policy in place, you should! If you have any questions about how to create an active shooter policy or any other policies, please reach out to us. We look forward to helping you to maintain a safe and healthy work environment for you and your team!

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