Preparing for a lockdown is critical.
For decades, workplace emergency response training has typically been focused on fire emergencies and evacuation. Today, there are now over 36 types of emergencies that can occur within a workplace and can strike anyone, anywhere, at any time. The reality is that organisations need to adapt their emergency response and empower the warden team to make the important decision to either evacuate the workplace or lockdown. It is now critical for warden teams (ECO – Emergency Control Organisations) to be properly trained and have the confidence to step up and respond in the event of any type of emergency.
What are some workplace emergencies?
Emergencies may be natural or man-made and include (but not limited to) the following:
• Active aggressors
• Toxic gas release
• Chemical spills
• Domestic or civil disturbances
• Medical emergencies
Consider how some of these examples would affect you and your colleagues.
How would you respond?
If some of these emergency situations occurred today, it’s obvious that an evacuation is not always the best course of action. For example, in the case of an active aggressor or a medical emergency, the best decision may be to stay put and lock down the workplace.
Drawing on the Sydney Lindt Café Siege in 2014, incidents in Bourke St Melbourne in 2017 and 2018, workplaces within the vicinity of those emergency events would have kept their people safe by first going into lockdown instead of evacuating. An ongoing assessment of the situation may determine the incidents contained and those workplaces may then commence evacuation procedures. Unfortunately, evacuation has been drilled so deeply into emergency response training that ECO warden teams are not always equipped to declare a lockdown.
Ask yourself this.
Has a lockdown drill been performed? If so, were the warden team actively engaged as leaders and were they empowered as training champions. If not, consider how you would effectively integrate lockdown drills, along with all new types of incidents that may be declared an emergency.
FirstAction, as a training organisation, has been deliberately engaging ECO Wardens with training that raises not only awareness, but highlights the necessity to conduct lockdown drills in addition to evacuation drills – building the warden teams’ emergency response capabilities.
For more information on lockdown drills, start a conversation with us today.