You are entitled to expect security and safety whenever you’re inside the workplace. Because you spend a lot of your time in the office, sometimes more than you do at home, your employer has the responsibility to make sure that each of their employees is safe within the confines of their establishment. Security and safety don’t refer to just your protection from accidents but also your security whenever an untoward event perpetrated by unscrupulous people occur like gun shooting or robbery.
Last April 3 one of the biggest companies in the world had a shooting incident. The Youtube headquarters in San Bruno, California was attacked by a disgruntled user named Nasim Najafi Aghdam, a 38-year-old woman who used a semi-automatic pistol in the attack. There were four injuries from the incident, three of which were caused by the shooter and one injury was sustained by an employee while fleeing the building. This incident makes you wonder how the gunman was able to get past the security in one of the most successful companies in the world.
Although Youtube’s San Bruno headquarter employs security guards in the premises, they are typically stationed at desks inside the buildings. The reason behind this is because Youtube and other modern tech companies like to maintain a casual and relaxed atmosphere for their employees. Although this may facilitate creativity and cooperation among employees and even company leaders, it opens the workplace to incidents like the one that happened to Youtube.
When you suffer from injuries in a workplace shooting incident, you are entitled to damages from your workers’ compensation insurance. In California, even if you’re the sole employee of a business, you are still entitled to workers’ compensation.
While it is essential to have security measures in place for offices, there will be times when an untoward incident may still occur, and a shooter can get past these security measures. Here are some tips for employees when a shooting happens in the workplace:
1. Run. – Make sure that you know all the exit routes beforehand; this applies to your workplace and whenever you go someplace new. Knowing emergency exit location is not just beneficial in shooting incidents, it could be useful for other situations like a fire or an earthquake. Remember that your life is the most important things in these types of situations, leave your belongings if you must, if you could convince your co-workers to run with you, do so, however, do not let them slow you down. Your chance of survival increases the faster you can get out of the shooting range.
2. Hide. – If you can’t run from the shooter or the exit route puts you in their sight, it’s best to hide and barricade yourself. Look for a place that is outside of the shooter’s view and can protect you in case of shots being fired. Lock the doors and create a barricade using whatever resources are available; use tables, chairs, filing cabinets, or other items that can prevent the shooter from entering your hiding place. Turn the lights off and keep quiet. If you cannot find a safe room, the next best thing is to look for an object big enough to cover you like a wide concrete pillar. Try your best to remain calm and don’t draw attention to yourself.
3. Fight. – Only do this in dire situations where you can’t run or hide. Commit to hurting your shooter, do not hesitate to go for the most vulnerable body parts like the eyes, throat, and groin; if you can find a weapon use it. Your goal is to disable the shooter to give you enough time to run or hide.
In any situation, you should always think of your safety first. Keep a level of calm and call 911 as soon as safely possible.
Did you sustain an injury in the workplace? Contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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