Do Your Employees Know What To Do?…

….When the unthinkable occurs?

NC State Consultative Services has several resources for NC businesses, including the occupational health nurse consultant.  We want to highlight two of the services, that also may be available in other States as well. One is Preventing Violence in the Workplace, an essential program of consideration regardless of your industry or size. The other is pesticide safety for employees who use pesticides at home or workers who use pesticides as part of their job (found in our July newsletter).

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (OSHA) 20,050 workers in private industry experienced trauma from nonfatal workplace violence in 2020. Of those victims who experienced trauma from workplace violence:

  • 73% were female.
  • 62% were aged 25 to 54.
  • 76% worked in the healthcare and social assistance industry.
  • 22% required 31 or more days away from work to recover.

All organizations should have an Emergency Response Plan, appropriate for that organization and its potential risks, including preventing violence and what to do during an actual situation. The first recommendation is to call law enforcement; however, employees and managers must know what to do to protect themselves since according to Homeland Security, active shooters or other acts of violence are over within 10 – 15 minutes.

Employees need to be trained on the plan. The current information to train employees for coping with an active shooter situation are, 

  • Be aware of your environment and any possible dangers 
  • Take note of the two nearest exits in any facility you visit 
  • Silence your phone and remain quiet
  • Evacuate if there is an accessible path, even if others don’t follow
  • Hide if you can’t evacuate. If you are in an office, stay there. Block and secure the door. Hide. 
  • If you are in a hallway, get into a room and secure the door 
  • As a last resort, attempt to take the active shooter down.  Throw an object or use a fire extinguisher or other object as a weapon. When the shooter is at close range and you cannot flee, your chance of survival is much greater if you try to incapacitate him/her. 

Please contact us with any questions or your State Consultative Services.  Here is the link for Consultative Services. Be sure that your Response Plan is up to date and that your First Aid Response Team knows how to respond to potential injuries. One of the Teams we trained actually responded to a shooting at their company and knew exactly what to do to control bleeding and comfort the employees injured. Click here for an Active Shooter Booklet.

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