Employers Must Create Workplace Violence Action Plans

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From “Employers Must Create Workplace Violence Action Plans”
Occupational Health & Safety (06/07/18) Davis, Jessica

Speaker Bo Mitchell, President of 911 Consulting and a retired police commissioner, on June 7 laid out for attendees of #Safety2018, “The Fatal Flaws in Your Active Shooter Protocol,” the statistics on workplace violence and how employers should prepare. Almost all active shooter situations are over in 4-5 minutes, which means it is difficult for police to deploy in time. Because officials can’t arrive instantaneously, Mitchell said, the true first responders in a workplace violence incident are the employer and employees, and training them to call the police is not enough. In active shooter situations, the Department of Homeland Security says to Run, Hide, and Fight. According to Mitchell, this protocol’s fatal flaw is that the first step should be Alert. He stressed that in a chaotic workplace violence situation, employers must have multiple methods to alert employees as to what is happening and what areas to avoid. He listed options such as a PA system, two-way radios, panic alarms, or alerts via cell phones, text messages, or locked computer screens. He emphasized that redundancy and multiple alarms are best. Appropriate response and protocol in an active shooter situation is complex and not intuitive, Mitchell said, so there are many points that are vital to include when training employees. He underscored that the main duty of police when entering an active shooter situation is to find the shooter, and that employees should be trained to understand that police officers cannot help them emotionally or medically in this instance.