You hear it on the news, read about it in the paper and if you are like most of us, you think, it could never happen to me. Unfortunately, this situation occurred close to home on the campus of Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Delaware County. The result; one person dead and two wounded. This horrendous event is becoming more common place, randomly acted upon, and triggered by varying reasons.
George Giangi, an Emergency Preparedness Consultant, recently presented to JKJ’s Senior Living clients. During this presentation he highlighted some of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). In 2012, there were 463 workplace homicides (80% with firearms). Between 1997-2010, there have been 6,850 workplace shooting fatalities. This is an average of 525 deaths per year.
What is your business doing to be prepared and protect your employees?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) employees are responsible to:
- Provide a safe and healthy workplace
- Take reasonable steps to protect the life, health and safety of employees
- Take action to protect employees, if they learn of threat of violence.
At a minimum every organization should have a written plan in place and ideally have conducted a mock scenario. You can take additional steps by hiring a consultant to provide a complete assessment of your operations, assist with developing a plan, and training your staff on an “Active Shooter” situation. JKJ has access to numerous experts in this field and can provide recommendations.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) also has a wealth of information on this topic (training material, webinars, posters, etc.) This can be found at www.dhs.gov/active-shooter-preparedness
In short, DHS recommends the following on “How to Respond When an Active Shooter is in Your Vicinity.”
– Have an escape route and plan in mind
– Leave your belongings behind
– Keep your hands visible
– Hide in an area out of the active shooter’s view
– Block entry to your hiding place and lock the doors
– As a last resort and only when your life is in imminent danger
– Attempt to incapacitate the active shooter
– Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter.
• CALL 911 WHEN IT IS SAFE TO DO SO
Author: Patrick J. Mullen, Vice President, Commercial Services