Friday, April 3, 2009

Workplace Security

Fourteen people were killed today in yet another mass shooting, this time in Binghamton New York. When I hear about this on the news, I often think, like many other people, that such an event could happen at my office but probably never will happen because a) I live and work in a nice community, b) the people in my community are by and large pretty good people, and c) I have an illusion of safety that may or may not really be true. After all, I don't live in the ghetto and the most common types of crime around here are DUIs, white collar crime, some drug crimes, and the very rare assault/homicide/etc. I'm sure the people at the office that was hit today and the many other locations where random shootings have taken place, felt the same way before the shootings happened.
So while I am usually pretty security conscious out of habit, the increasing frequency of these shootings and the sheer randomness of these tragic events, has made me reevaluate the security measures I take at work. Here's some things I am considering:
  • First step: a security evaluation of each office site.
  • Physical security considerations: facility access control (remote locks, solid core doors, key card access to interior parts of offices), panic button, escape plan, video surveillance, panic room, etc.
  • People security considerations: visitors kept in area exterior to main office, inform all staff members of pending issues (employee domestic issues, pending legal issues, client issues that could impact employee's safety)
  • Staff training: lock down drills, fire drills, escape/evacuation drills, hostility diffusion training
  • Communications plan: PIO plan, emergency communications plan (within the facilities and outside of the facilities), floor plan of each facility available electronically
  • Information file: emergency contact numbers posted, staff emergency contact info with photos available electronically, etc.
  • Employee protection: allow and encourage properly trained employees to carry firearms


  1. Re your item: Employee protection: allow and encourage properly trained employees to carry firearms,

    This is from the Assoc. Press account of the Binghamton mass murder:

    "Police heard no gunfire after they arrived but waited for about an hour before entering the building to make sure it was safe for officers."

  2. Jeez...if the people that are hired to provide protection to the community need to wait until it is safe to go inside... ayayay
    This is why I am very proactive about firearms--the only person who is going to protect you during a violent encounter is you. Very, very rarely are the police even on scene when a shooting/robbery/rape/mugging occurs. They usually get there after the fact in order to clean up the mess and investigate. In my book, that's way too late.