Providing A Safe Workplace

Several months ago, one well trained police officer managed to defeat two assailants armed with high powered rifles in Garland Texas. These two radicals were determined to cause as much death and destruction as possible.  The violent ideology they subscribed to brought them hundreds of miles to this convention center in Texas where their fanatical belief boiled over and ended with their blood in the street. As an aside I’d like to extend kudos to the brave officer who saved countless lives. Bravo!

That being said what about your place of business?  What if these two nut jobs showed up at your front door with high powered rifles because they didn’t like the XYZ your company sells?  What if it’s not two radical extremists but good old Bob with a handgun who was just fired yesterday? Or Jim with a pipe bomb who’s been despondent about his recent messy divorce? The convention center in Texas spent $10,000 or more to provide several layers of armed security just for this one day event.  How much does your company spend for prevention, mitigation and response for an Active Assailant attack like the one in Texas or from Bob or Jim?  What is the quality of the training provided? Does your training (if any) reflect the new response techniques or is it the outdated and tired Hide and Hope (you don’t get killed) Shelter in Place nonsense?  Don’t get me wrong, there may be a time to hide if there is an assailant nearby BUT do not default to hiding as your first response.

What would you do if you think you heard a gunshot? Ignore it? (It couldn’t really be a gunshot) Walk down the hall to check it out? (You may end up dead)  If you think you heard a gunshot you need to REACT!  Get Out! Whatever direction the noise came from, you go the other.  Grab your cell phone, encourage others to leave but don’t wait for them.  You need to go.  You need to survive for you and your family. Hopefully you’ve pre-planned your escape route and know where you’re going.  Get out and away from the building. Now call 911, render aid to those around you and keep a look-out for any threats. It can take up to 14 minutes for the police to arrive; most Active shooter events are over in 10 minutes or less.

OSHA rules require your company to provide a “safe workplace” and the training necessary to respond to any number of dangerous situations.  The Active Assailant/Shooter event is a relatively new phenomenon that some HR departments have yet to address.  Ask questions about yours; demand better training; do your research and hire the top experts in the field to bring their knowledge and expertise to every one of your employees.

“When Seconds Count…What’s your Plan?”

Bill Worth

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