Following the tragedy at RJR, all eyes are on safety in the workplace. Which is why the North Dakota Safety Council held a violence preparedness workshop for employees on Friday.
When you are working, the last thing you think about is violence happening. Chances are you are worrying about a meeting you have to attend, an appointment you have to make or even going home for the day. But you have to ask yourself if something happens am I prepared?
“It’s an extremely scary thought,” said Andrew Gottsman, an employee at Bartlett & West.
Andrew Gottsman has been working at Bartlett & West for 8 years. It’s an engineering consulting company. A few times he was caught off guard in what could have been an attack.
“We had a couple of incidents where we needed to go on lockdown with some unwanted visitors trying to gain access to the building,” said Gottsman.
He wasn’t faced with a threat but the unknown concerned him and he isn’t the only one.
NDSC held a safety training class, where 80 employees learned safety protocols, emergency plans, and more.
The training is a result of the RJR murders that happened a little over a month ago. Officials say an attack can happen anywhere at any time. Which is why you need to stay alert.
“Some point in time you might have somebody that has a bone to pick whether it is a customer, an ex-employee, a current employee,” said Don Moseman, Master Instructor at NDSC.
There are ways to be prepared.
“You should secure the front door. Train your people in the case of an emergency, and have a comprehensive plan for them that you have practiced ahead of time,” said Moseman.
As for Gottsman, the next time he is faced with violence, he knows how to react and help his co-workers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 17,000 workers in the private industry experienced trauma from workplace violence in 2016, and 500 were workplace homicide victims.
For more information on the next workshop click here.