Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that between 2006 and 2010, 551 workers were killed due to work-related homicides each year on average. In 2010 alone, 78 percent of such workplace homicides involved shootings. Do you know what to do when the unthinkable happens at work?
Dealing with Active Shooter Incidents
Active shooter incidents are unpredictable and evolve quickly. You have to be physically and mentally prepared to deal with active shooters before law enforcement arrives. According to safety experts, there are three survival strategies in the event of a workplace shooting:
- Run Away. Knowing your exit routes beforehand can make all the difference. When there is an active shooter in the vicinity, evacuation is your first course of action. If you can, try to get out safely (even if others are telling you otherwise)! Always remember that during emergency situations, your safety is your first priority—not your belongings. Leave your possessions behind and stay out of the line of fire. If you can, encourage colleagues to leave with you—but don’t let their indecision or hesitation slow you down. Getting out as fast as you can increases your chances of survival. React immediately and grab weapons only if convenient. Once you have safely evacuated the area, call 911 immediately.
- Hide and Barricade. While running away from harm may be the most recommended option, evacuation may not be possible in certain situations. If the exit routes are blocked or put you in the sight of the active shooter, your next option is to find a hiding place. If possible, choose an area that is out of the active shooter’s sight and may protect you when shots are fired. Act fast and secure the area immediately. Lock the door and block it using tables, chairs, and other items that may prevent the shooter from entering. Turn off the lights, remain quiet, and put your mobile phones in silent mode. If you cannot find a safe room to hide, look for large objects to duck behind and conceal yourself as much as possible. Do your best to stay calm and avoid unnecessary movements or sounds that may attract attention.
- Fight for Your Life. Fighting is the last resort when your life is at risk or in imminent danger. Act as physically aggressive as possible to incapacitate or disarm the shooter. Improvise weapons and target the most vulnerable parts of the gunman’s body: eyes, throat, and groin. Whether acting alone or as a group, be fully committed to taking the shooter down no matter what happens
Preventing Workplace Violence with Safety Training
Arm yourself with safety essentials to minimize violence on the job! 360training.com offers an online Workplace Violence Prevention training program to help you identify, address, and prevent violence at work. For more information about our workplace violence safety course, contact us today.