Employers Must Create Workplace Violence Action Plans

Posted by ASIS:
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.

Two Armed Citizens Kill Shooter Who Opened Fire in Oklahoma Restaurant

From “Two Armed Citizens Kill Shooter Who Opened Fire in Oklahoma Restaurant”
USA Today (05/25/18) May, Ashely. Reposted by ASIS.

A gunman opened fire inside an Oklahoma City restaurant, leading to two bystanders shooting him dead in the parking lot. Oklahoma City Police said gunman Alexander Tilghman, who walked into Louie’s Grill & Bar around 6:30 p.m. local time Thursday, shot three people: mom Natalie Giles, 39; her 12-year-old daughter, and another child. “A bystander with a pistol confronted the shooter outside the restaurant and fatally shot him,” Oklahoma police tweeted Thursday. On Friday morning, police updated that statement to say two people, Juan Carlos Nazario, 35, and Bryan Wittle, 39, shot the gunman. When police arrived, the gunman was dead. The shooter was the only person who died in the incident. His identity was not confirmed as of Friday morning and his motive was unknown.

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.

YouTube Shooting Puts a Focus on Workplace Security

From “YouTube Shooting Puts a Focus on Workplace Security”
New York Times (04/06/18) Hsu, Tiffany; Nicas, Jack. Posted by ASIS.

Silicon Valley firms are known for corporate headquarters that resemble universities, where employees mingle with tourists, executives stroll between meetings without an obvious security detail, and collaborations take shape out on the quad. However, such places are difficult to secure. The shooting this week at the headquarters of YouTube, a Google-owned company in San Bruno, Calif., has highlighted the security risks of Silicon Valley’s relatively open corporate campuses — particularly as tech companies’ expanding influence angers more people online. The risk is not confined to the tech sector. Many companies across the country are similarly exposed, reflecting an open-door policy that for generations has pervaded corporate America, where safety training has long focused on fire drills, earthquake-sheltering procedures, and accident cleanup. Many companies now send their security personnel to gun ranges to test active-shooter threats in virtual reality. Insurance providers are offering lower premiums for corporate clients with stronger security. “If you can’t protect the work force, you’re putting your entire operation at risk,” says Arnette Heintze, a former Secret Service agent who runs a security consulting firm. Companies of all kinds have stepped up security. General Mills has made physical changes to its building in Minneapolis to better prepare for an active shooter situation. Wendy’s has installed upgraded security cameras throughout its headquarters in Dublin, Ohio; set up advanced access control systems that can lock down different parts of the facility; and upgraded its phone systems with emergency messaging capabilities.