Just a few days ago, Starbucks sparked a nationwide debate with a string of advertisements aimed at discouraging patrons from bringing firearms into their cafes, adding fuel to the fire that has divided Americans for decades. But no matter what side of the gun debate you sit on, it’s something that no one ever wants to think about: A violent shooter bursting into your business and unleashing a sea of gunfire.
Whether you’re a customer, employee or a CEO you’re left wondering just who could commit such senseless acts and above all, if and what can any of us can do to prevent these kinds of tragic events from happening in the first place. Retail operators like Starbucks are not alone in this fight, last week’s tragic Washington Navy shipyard shooting proved just how vulnerable even a top security military operation can be, let alone an office or even a manufacturing setting.
Although we might not be able to outright stop such violent acts from happening, there is one thing that we can all do, and that thing is preparation.
Just as most workplaces hold regular tornado and fire emergency drills, employers have to start preparing their employees for the possibilities of violent attacks. It is in those critical moments that even the smallest of the actions (or inactions) can make the difference between life and death. We can all agree that panic, although the natural course of action is rarely the best option, especially in violent situations.
Managing and mitigating risk in emergency situations, especially those involving violent persons instantly becomes everyone’s job. What is even more critical is ensuring that everyone is prepared and actively aware of the procedures they need to do an effective job in reducing harm. While most organizations train for such emergencies during their on-boarding training, many employees forget and never think about the unthinkable. Who does?!
This question alone holds serious ramifications not only when it comes to loss of life but also corporate liability. It begs the question, could we have done more to reduce or even eliminate this?
If we are ever going to make an impact in fatality rates in violent active shooter type attacks, we need to proactively promote preparedness amongst employees. The most effective way of ensuring that mission critical knowledge is retained and applied is through a continuous learning model that consistently reinforces the safety message and its procedures.
Being ready for when the unthinkable strikes is key. How are you preparing and ensuring key information like emergency situation handling stays on top of mind? Tweet us @Axonify.