Workplace violence is quite common all across the world. A man attacking an insurance office in a small town of nearly 34,000 people with a chainsaw is a lot less common. On Monday, July 24th, that’s exactly what happened in a small town in Switzerland. There were two people injured in the attack, both underwent surgery and have been recovering in the hospital. The 51 year old suspect has no address and lives in a forest, however he does have a health insurance policy with the company. Since the attack, he has been located and arrested. The suspect’s motive is still unknown at this time, however it’s obvious that the company was a target, though it is unknown why.

This bizarre act of workplace violence is a reminder that unfortunately, nothing is impossible and no company is immune to a disaster, no matter how far-fetched it may seem.


Keep Your Business Safe and Prepared

With the increasing amount of workplace violence incidents all across the globe, it’s important to ensure the safety of you, your clients and employees by upping security at your place of business. For example, at my local Publix, there is often a police officer standing by the door on watch. At many offices, having keycard access is required. While it cannot prevent disgruntled employees or clients, it can help to prevent some acts of violence and help your employees to feel more secure when they are at work.

However, since not all incidents can be avoided, the most important thing you can do is to make sure your business has a plan in place in the event an unexpected incident such as the Switzerland chainsaw attack were to occur. The best way to do this is to have a fully actionable Emergency Action Plan (EAP) that does more than meet the minimum requirements. An EAP should cover everything from emergency contact information to evacuation and how to provide medical attention if a paramedic is unable to respond.

Here is a better look into how an EAP can help you during a workplace violence incident:

  • If there is an opportunity to flee, the EAP provides the best evacuation routes depending on the situation at hand. If employees have reviewed the information in the EAP, they should have a clear understanding of how to safely exit the building.
  • If all exits are blocked, an EAP explains the best way to shelter-in-place depending on the layout of your business.
  • If you include training in your EAP (which is very much advised) then your employees will know exactly how to respond to the incident. This includes how to communicate with the attacker, how to best formulate a plan and how to keep yourself and others safe. It also prevents staff from “freezing” during an emergency, because they know exactly what to do.

In addition to what is in your EAP, implementing an emergency messaging system can help during any emergency, not just workplace violence. For example, if half of the office is gone to lunch and a gunman comes into the building, someone can send out an alert letting everyone who isn’t in the office know not to return.


How Preparis Can Help Your Business Prepare

Understanding how EAPs work, how to implement an emergency messaging system and what requirements you need to meet for federal, state and local regulations can be extremely stressful. Some EAPs can get to be over 100 pages long and it’s not realistic to expect every single business owner to find time to juggle owning a business, managing employees, a social, and a home life while also creating a novel of an emergency preparedness plan. That’s why companies such as Preparis are here to help you every step of the way. As an all-in-one business continuity and life safety software and services company, Preparis has a team dedicated to assisting you not only with understanding how to work the emergency messaging and incident management system that is included in the Preparis Portal, but helping you create your EAP and Business Continuity Plan (BCP).

To learn more about how Preparis can help assist your business, click here to request a demo.


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