Monday, June 10, 2013

How to handle a natural disaster or act of violence at work.

I help businesses and government agencies prepare for and prevent disasters of all types. But, for those of you who can't hire IME's services, here are some basic steps to handling a disaster event at work.

Start with signing up for the American Red Cross' First Aid|CPR |AED classes. The website reads, "Would you know what to do in a cardiac, breathing or first aid emergency? The right answer could help you save a life. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, our First Aid/CPR/AED courses give you the skills to save a life. All course options align with OSHA’s Best Practices for Workplace First Aid Training Programs and are available in classroom and blended learning formats. Certification is issued upon successful completion. Free online refreshers are available with all course options."

2. After attending to any urgent medical needs, revert into your company's Emergency Protocol. If you haven't developed one yet- do so. Not only does this act help you save money on company insurance, it saves lives!

3. If the incident is a violent one, or a verbal bullying issues, report it to law enforcement. You may have survived the incident (or witnessing it), but the same person can commit the act again- or escalate it by returning with weapons hours later. Take notice and report all minor acts of violent of verbal abuse to law enforcement and have the employee removed from the building.

4. Know key state and national resource numbers. During a violent or natural disaster it is possible for communication lines to go down. Don't be lost without resources. Physically write down key numbers to employees and resources and keep them in your purse or wallet.

5. Have guiding principals in place to address disasters at work after the fact. These should include, but not be limited to;
- Treat all matters seriously.
- Don’t victimize anyone who was a witness to a violent act or the victim of a natural disaster by improperly question them.
- Act with impartiality towards all parties, avoiding any personal or professional bias.
- Consult with health and safety representatives.
- Document the process, recording all meetings and interviews with details of who was present and agreed outcomes.

Until next time,

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