No one used to think twice about heading into work. However, the reality of our world today is that anywhere can be dangerous, including the place where we spend most of our days. Recently, a gunman ran rampant at the Navy Shipyards. There were gunshots near the White House. These acts are horrible demonstrations of violence, and they are happening too frequently. Along with worrying about the mentally ill, your employees could also be harmed as a result of natural disasters or other similar situations.
Many people, however, do not believe these types of situations will affect them. As the boss, you must be prepared because you have to ensure the safety of yourself and of those around you. The following information will help you think through what you need to do.
1. Accept that bad things happen
Understand that a disgruntled employee could choose to bring violence into your place of business. Realize that natural disasters can and do happen. If you do not face reality, you will never be prepared for what could happen. If you need any further convincing, simply listen to the interviews of employees and bosses after a workplace tragedy. Almost all of them say that they never expected anything like that to happen to them.
2. Be vigilant
People that want to cause harm will try and surprise you. If you keep your eyes and ears out for anything suspicious, and train your employees to do the same, you can cut down on instances of violence. Report when necessary. Encourage your workers to do the same. Do not just ignore potentially negative situations.
3. Learn from professionals
Police officers are often willing to give you advice and may have classes that you and your employees can take. There are also security classes that you can sign up for, and you may be able to locate an expert on workplace safety to talk to. There is a lot to learn, and you should never assume that you already know it all.
4. Come up with a plan
All of your employees should know what to do in a crisis situation. Put your plan into writing and go over it with a lawyer. Then, sit down with your employees and make sure they understand what needs to be done.
While having your plan in writing is great, your employees need to have a chance to put that plan into action. Hold drills three or four times per year to give everyone a chance to practice.
6. Identify leaders on your staff
Make these leaders responsible for additional tasks when there is a crisis. Bring everyone on board to help with workplace safety.
7. Offer classes to your employees
Preparation your workers in safety first aid training procedures is always a good idea. And, you never know when that training could come in handy.
Make an effort to secure your workplace. You and your employees deserve it.
Image by Greg Nissen via Flickr