Preventing Workplace Violence: Emergency Action Plan
Working at a company that interacts with the public regularly is the number one risk factor for workplace violence.
Employers should be prepared for a range of situations, including:
- Active shooter
- Bomb threats
- Coworker on coworker assault
- Customer on employee assault
While you can’t always prevent a dangerous incident, you can take measures to prepare your facility and staff.
All facilities, regardless of size, should be equipped with an emergency action plan. Here are items that you should include in your plan.
The workplace should be evaluated to identify potential threats.
A review of prior incidents is a good way to gather information, as well as a review of crime and demographic data in the area.
An emergency action plan should provide detailed instructions on how to manage various types of threats. It should also clearly define which situations constitute a lockdown or evacuation.
- Which escape routes will be used if a shooter is in one area vs. another?
- What should staff do in a lockdown, lock doors, turn off lights, hide?
How will you alert employees and police to an emergency? One of the best ways to communicate an incident is through an alarm system and panic button.
Many commercial security systems come equipped with communications features, allowing people in different areas to communicate with each other, as well as sounding different alarms to indicate whether a situation requires lockdown or evacuation.
Certain staff should be selected to perform services during an emergency. For example, a designated person may be responsible for directing staff to a safe location and doing a roll-call to ensure everyone is there.
All staff should know how to activate a panic alarm and know when to use it.
Sadly, there have been instances such as one in a school where the staff had practiced what to do if the fire alarm sounded.
However, when a fire broke out, the staff member who found it wasted time looking for an administrator to pull the fire alarm, resulting in unnecessary student deaths.
In a panic situation, many people forget what they are supposed to do. Employers should provide training to all employees to familiarize them with the plan.
Schedule regular lockdown and evacuation drills to practice procedures. Evaluate how long it took for the staff to “get to safety” and where problems occurred so you can make adjustments.
Security Features that Can Prevent or Reduce Harm
While drills are an important component of threat preparedness, preventing a threat from occurring in the first place is a far preferable option.
Educating staff about not propping doors open or allowing unauthorized people into buildings is the first place to start. Installing a modern security system is well worth the investment if it saves lives.
Peace of Mind
While you can’t predict the future, an emergency action plan and installing the appropriate equipment can prevent or minimize the harm in the event of a violent workplace incident.
Cultris Security Systems has been helping secure small and large businesses, schools, warehouses and other commercial facilities in the greater Houston area for more than ten years. Contact us to learn how we can help secure your workplace.
Call 281-506-8466 or visit us online.