People Are Often Too Embarrassed to React to Emergencies at Work — Here’s How to Stay Safe Should the Worst Happen

From “People Are Often Too Embarrassed to React to Emergencies at Work — Here’s How to Stay Safe Should the Worst Happen”
Business Insider (04/09/18) Cain, Áine. Posted by ASIS.

Threat management and workplace violence expert Dr. Laurence Barton says employers should encourage workers to trust their instincts and remain “situationally aware” on the job, instead of emphasizing shooting drills and tactical exercises. He says employers need to adopt flexible emergency plans and policies that empower employees to trust their intuition, rather than static ones. For example, instead of telling workers to evacuate the building and meet up at another location, Barton said to order employees to evacuate and keep moving until they feel safe. Static plans can endanger lives, in the event of unforeseen circumstances, such as an attacker who is familiar with the contingency plans. A flexible plan should encourage individuals to do whatever they need to do to make themselves safe. He says workers struggle to follow their intuition at work, because they are lulled into a false sense of security and are fearful of appearing paranoid in the workplace. When dangers arise in the office, people often experience a sense of disbelief and paralysis. Barton has interviewed numerous survivors of violent workplace incidents, many of whom describe freezing up and not acting on the opportunity to flee. A situationally-aware person would identify a potential threat, such as loud popping sounds, trust their instincts and take decisive action such as evacuating the building.

Author: Gregory Schmidt, PSP, CHPA-I

Gregory M. Schmidt, CPP, PSP, CHSS of Eagle/ Trident Security is board certified in Security Management, Physical Security, and Healthcare Security supervision. He has over thirty years of experience developing dynamic security programs, plans and policies for businesses in Indiana, Kansas and Florida. His conversation-style personal safety seminars are highly regarded and always in demand. Mr. Schmidt is a member of ASIS International, the International Association for Healthcare Security & Safety and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering.