When you think about protecting your assets, you likely focus on securing the premises, locking up valuables, and making sure patient files are safe. But keeping your team safe is even more important. Use these tips to help you get started:
- Think about how a team member could get hurt and how you'd respond. For example, what would you do if a team member faced hostile threats, stalking, or aggression from clients? What if someone slipped or lifted something too heavy? What if a set of top-heavy shelves fell over?
- Try to prepare for the unexpected. For example, you could teach team members first aid, CPR, and how to stabilize a victim until emergency help comes.
- Hold fire drills and discuss your evacuation routes. And make sure everyone knows how to use a fire extinguisher or panic alarm.
- Teach employees who run errands to watch who's around when making the bank deposits and to vary their route and time they go to the bank.
- Be aware of problems in your neighborhood, and check into the local crime rates. Evaluate how you would handle a strange, unsigned package left on your doorstep. Also look into the travel time and best routes to your nearest hospital or police station.
- Develop emergency evacuation plans, including information on who makes the decision to evacuate employees and animals.
- Finally, create a safe room by adding a solid-core door with good locks, and stock the room with a phone or cell phone, water, a flashlight, smoke hoods, and a first-aid kit.
Stephenie Slahor, Ph.D., JD, is a management educator and writer based in Palm Springs, Calif.