In part 1, I posted a conversation with a female friend concerning the apparent disinterest and lack of preparedness that her former employer, ad multi-national hotel chain, had for disabled employees in an active shooter situation and therefore an emergency.
When I let others know I was writing this series, individuals who have also experienced some of the same issues wrote to me. I am going to attempt to rectify this situation and give everyone reading this, the knowledge they need to prepare and train all of their employees on their needs in the event of a workplace violence (WPV) event.
Before that, however, here are a couple of comments from people I received regarding the training of the usual on-the-job: “to be honest I don’t think most people really know what to do in a situation like that. I think everyone is going by the seat of their pants pretty much. It is hard to be prepared for something like that.”
My response to that individual was simple, “So, you’re going to your station put your head between your knees, and kiss you’re a** goodbye?” The truth is, if the training process is thorough enough for everyone, then it is possible to be prepared for anything.
Does that mean that everyone will be able to remember what they are supposed to do during an active shooter event? Of course not. I am a realist and know for a fact that some people forget, literally, everything they’ve been trained on and for during a crisis…not to mention their own names at times. I’ve known innumerable people who in a crisis situation forgot what they were supposed to do until they immediately came to terms with the situation. People of all ilk’s, who panicked.
Another comment was on the evacuation of disabled employees: “A few years ago, my employer developed processes to follow when dealing with evacuations. One part was that someone should check to be certain that disabled employees needed help. I was very uneasy with such a process without some kind of additional definition. My position was that I did not want to have someone risk their life to determine my need for help given that I might well not even be at my desk. I attended meetings and met with others routinely during my workday. Beyond that, though, I did not want to be obligated to wait for someone to risk their life to check on me if I had a means of successfully evacuating.”
Evacuating employees, disabled or customers, should be, of vital concern for any organization. The question to ask is simple “Does the employee, like the one above, move around a lot during the day, or are they sedentary at their work station? If the employee is mobile during the day, then the entire staff needs to be trained in how to safely evacuate them from the immediate area.
That means, that all employees need to be trained in how to assist anyone who is disabled, employee or customer, in evacuating the facility. I do realize that if the disabled employee is fairly self-sufficient, then remembering them may be difficult in the fight or flight mode. Training others to be watchful for that is absolutely vital.
I am also, by way of the above paragraph, telling you, absolutely no one should be forced to risk their lives searching for an employee who may not be at their work station. That is why it is imperative that all employees be trained in assisting disabled employees to safely evacuate the facility. By training all of them, then you will consistently have a back-up for them. All employees & customers need to be able to get out of the facility in the most expedient manner possible, therefore if someone needs assistance in getting out due to the jostling, they may encounter…
I May Be Blind, but My Vision Is Crystal Clear
Copyright 2020 Robert D. Sollars