Organizations spend an enormous amount of time talking about security, however, in an actual emergency, there are many components that come into play to create a successful response.

Leading your organization through a safety crisis begins by normalizing the conversation.

Demonstrating the action behind emergency preparedness is Angelia Hopson, President and CEO of SHE Consulting Group, LLC. A firm that specializes in Safety, Health, and Environmental Consulting, including but not limited to site safety planning, plan implementation, reporting, and site-specific safety personnel.

As a leader in safety, Angelia has led, managed, designed, and implemented emergency safety plans for companies like UPS, the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, the USDA Avian Bird Flu Project, and Superstorm Sandy’s environmental clean-up team, to name a few. Angelia is also the Founder and Executive Director of Church Safety Toolkit; a non-profit organization focused on the safety of churches and organizations.

Leading your organization through a safety crisis begins by normalizing the conversation. Angelia’s “Safety Moment,” invites you to start equipping your organization, or church, today with the safety content, confidence and support you will need in the event of a workplace emergency.

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Having a plan for what to do in the event of workplace violence can help to ensure that possible tragedy is minimized.

Whether you are leading a business, church, or school, no organization is immune from a workplace violence incident. Most are unprepared, which puts the organization, their employees and visitors at significant risk and makes them highly vulnerable to the possibility of a *workplace violence incident. Acts of violence and other injuries are currently the third-leading cause of fatal occupational injuries in the United States. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), of the 4,764 fatal workplace injuries that occurred in the United States in 2020, 705 were violence cases of intentional injury by another person.

Having a plan for what to do in the event of workplace violence can help to ensure that possible tragedy is minimized, contained, addressed, and resolved as quickly as possible.

Develop a culture of safety throughout your organization.

Using these five preparedness tips, you can begin to formulate an Emergency Response Plan (ERP). Being intentional about emergency preparedness reduces the chance of a tragedy occurring, will save the loss of business in your organization, and most importantly, the potential loss of life. Should an active shooter situation or any other event of violence occur within your organization or church, having a well-thought-out and fully executable plan will increase your chances of survival and reduce your timeline toward recovery.

Here are 5 Tips for Emergency Preparedness:

1. Audit

Conduct a full-scale safety audit of your facilities identifying risk and vulnerability factors such as access control issues, unlocked or propped doors, insufficient security staff and or camera systems.

2. Plan

Create a comprehensive plan including team member roles before, during and after an incident. As part of the plan, be sure to include input from your local first responders.

3. Culture

Develop a culture of safety throughout your organization. The responsibility of safety should live with everyone.

4. Train

Develop and deliver regular training. Additionally, a thread of safety should run through the organization during meetings and other gatherings.

5. Drill

Conduct drills with some expected regularity as well as surprise drills to keep safety top of mind.

 

The ultimate goal of emergency preparedness is not to make people afraid but to make them aware. Normalizing the conversation within your organization or church, through simple speech and intentional leadership, is essential. Each phase of preparedness will help your team feel more comfortable with their roles in an emergency and their ability to be as prepared as possible.

Learn more at churchsafetytoolkit.org.

*OSHA defines Workplace Violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. It ranges from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and even homicide. It can affect and involve employees, clients, customers, and visitors.

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