LPM Insider’s Top 5 Workplace Safety Articles of 2017

workplace hazards

The Top 10 Retail Workplace Hazards

These statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) identify the top retail workplace hazards.

By Jac Brittain, LPC

Hazards exist in every workplace, but how do you know which ones have the most potential to harm retail employees? By identifying the retail workplace hazards that are most likely to impact safety, you will be better prepared to control or eliminate them and prevent accidents, injuries, property damage, and downtime.

The dynamic of the retail operation is a complicated web of activity. Minds, machines, individuals, and technologies are all expected to work in concert as the controlled chaos of the retail enterprise marches forward. To keep it all running smoothly, it is critical that we remain on a safe and productive path… Read the full article.

All Businesses and Schools Need an Active Shooter Policy

Does your business have an active shooter policy?

By Bill Turner, LPC

An active shooter is defined as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area.” In most cases, active shooters use firearm(s), and there is often no pattern or method to their selection of victims. All schools, churches, hospitals and businesses, big and small, should have an up-to-date active shooter policy and a reaction plan to go with it. Most don’t think of an active shooter as a form of workplace violence, but it is.

In an earlier article, I speculated that active shooter incidents were becoming an epidemic. Recent occurrences would suggest they are. In June 2016, the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, FL, was the scene of the deadliest mass shooting in US history, with 50 dead and another 53 injured. Most people remember other recent incidents: Fort Hood, TX– 13 killed and 32 injured; Aurora, CO – 12 killed and 58 injured; San Bernardino, CA – 14 killed and 21 injured; Newtown, CT – 26 killed, including 20 children. Going back a bit further were mass shootings at McDonald’s in San Ysidro, CA, and Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, TX. There are many more.

Many businesses and other public entities have had crisis management plans and policies in place for years. But, only in the past few years, has it become necessary to add an active shooter policy and reaction plans… Read the full article.

After Las Vegas: The Evolution of Active Shooter Response Protocol

More aggressive and immediate active shooter response is now common.

By Bill Turner, LPC

It has been over a week since gunman Stephen Paddock shot and killed 58 people and wounded almost 500 others in Las Vegas.

Initially, there was some criticism that it took law enforcement up to 75 minutes to get to the shooter’s room in the Mandalay Bay Hotel.

The latest information shows that, in fact, the first officers arrived on the hotel’s 32nd floor at approximately the same time that the shooting stopped. In the midst of total chaos, officers first had to determine where the shooting was coming from, and once determined, they had to then find the exact location of the shooter within the hotel… Read the full article.

The Legal Implications of Self-Defense at Work

Do you have a right to self-defense at work in the face of immediate danger?

By Garett Seivold

Many retailers have policies for handling a security event, and employees who fail to follow such policies can—under the “employment at will” principle—be subject to punishment, including termination. That happened to a group of asset protection associates at a Utah Walmart, but they challenged their firings in a lawsuit, claiming they have a right to self-defense at work, regardless of company policy.

Both sides generally agreed on some basic facts in the case. A customer attempting to steal a laptop computer by concealing it in his pants was approached by store security and led to the asset protection office. Inside, the man took out the laptop and placed it on a desk. He then announced he ‘had something he’s not supposed to have’ while taking a gun from his waistband. Security staff grabbed the gun and pinned the man against the wall, and then called the police. Other facts were in dispute, including Walmart’s assertion that the thief also announced: “I’m leaving.”

According to court documents, Walmart’s internal investigation concluded that the protection associates had violated company policy that read: “If the Suspect is believed to possess a weapon, the Suspect must not be approached. If during an approach or investigation, it becomes apparent that the Suspect has a weapon or brandishes or threatens use of a weapon, all associates must disengage from the situation, withdraw to a safe position, and contact law enforcement. If at any point the Suspect or any other [sic] involved becomes violent, disengage from the confrontation, withdraw to a safe position and contact law enforcement.”… Read the full article.

Stories from the Storms

LP helps steer companies and communities through hurricane crisis.

By Garett Seivold

Kroger Store 950 sits slightly raised in small-town Texas “thirty miles northeast of Beaumont as the crow flies,” according to Eric Bumbaugh, Houston division asset protection manager.

As Harvey blew through—dropping rain in amounts unlike Bumbaugh has ever seen during his 32 years in South Texas—950 turned into an island. Inside was a lone assistant store manager who had evacuated to the store after flooding cut her off from her home. She hunkered down inside until help from LP arrived in the form of specialized contract security arriving by boat. “With two of my asset protection specialists and two armed guards, they all stayed in that store,” Bumbaugh recounted. “And they opened and operated it.”

Although limited until very high trucks and eighteen-wheelers could get to it, the store safely served the surrounding area, which was hit hard by the storm and in desperate need. “It was the only grocery store that could check people out in a forty-mile radius,” said Bumbaugh. “And we were able to sell all product except refrigerated items.”… Read the full article.

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