With today's unfortunate violence at a magazine office in France, we are reminded of the importance of workplace safety. Just as it was important and ingrained in us as children on what to do if the school’s fire alarm sounded, we have to always be ready to react appropriately in violent situations which might arise at our places of employment.
When you arrive at work, make sure you take a quick look around the parking lot. Look for anyone or anything which seems suspicious. Since you probably have parked in the same lot for a long time, you’ll know what seems right and what seems wrong. Listen to your instincts. Suspicious packages or vehicles, or people acting strangely, should be looked into. Call the police to report what you are seeing.
The Run, Hide, Fight Philosophy
Below are some tips on how to survive a workplace shooting, and actions you can take while involved in such an incident.
The first you hear or learn of a shooting occurring in your office, you need to evacuate immediately.
- Look for an escape path
- Evacuate whether others agree or don’t
- If possible, assist others in evacuating
- Leave your belongings behind.
If you are unable to escape, you need to hide.
- Lock or block the door
- Remain quiet
- Silence any personal devices, such as cell phones and tablets
- Hide behind large objects
If you are about to be confronted by the shooter, then as a last resort, fight.
- Attempt to incapacitate
- Be extremely aggressive
- Use items as weapons
- Stay focused on your actions
As soon as possible, call 911 to report what is happening. Police officers, as well as other emergency services, will be on there way immediately.
If You’re Shot
In most cases, you can survive being shot, and you can also help someone who has been shot, so that they live through the incident. Remember to:
- Immediately control and stop the bleeding.
- Apply direct pressure or a tourniquet if necessary.
- Keep the body’s temperature up. Place blankets or other clothing not only on top, but underneath the body as well.
- Reassure the victim and think positively that help is on the way
A Webinar For Employers
The United States Department of Homeland Security has done extensive research and training in the area of active shooter incidents. They have produced a webinar for Active Shooter Awareness for the workplace, which you can view here.