SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP is asked to comment on the current state of hospital security in the U.S.:
Multiple entry points, radioactive machinery and materials, controlled substances, immobile patients/hostages, high-value equipment, open 24-hours, are just some of the reasons why U.S. hospitals are prime targets for terrorism. Greg Shaffer, founder and managing partner of SHAFFER SECURITY GROUP, was asked to provide insight on the current state of hospital security in the United States.
The article below details some of the changes that need to be made in the healthcare industry:
First Things First…
Provide training for all hospital personnel! I know, this is a daunting task due to multiple shifts, surgeries, unexpected emergencies, staffing schedules, etc. However, it is critical that every doctor, nurse, maintenance personnel and staff understand security is a critical function. These meetings (and there will be more than one as a result of the various work-shifts) must be attended and addressed by the Hospital Administrator or CEO. It MUST be communicated from the top down, that security is now a priority. Everyone should know a corporate mandate has been issued stating security is second only to a patient’s well-being.
Each employee must believe they are the most important cog in the the security plan. Senior management then needs to develop a “portal” or a mechanism in which the employees can communicate their security concerns and observations of suspicious behavior.
Once the “portal” has been established, the person or department in which is receiving these security calls or reports, must know exactly what to do and who to dispatch to address these concerns.
Intervention Capable Response:
Every hospital in the United States should have an armed security response team. A team of highly skilled, experienced, professional security officers – not a $15.00/hour, uniformed, armed security guard! A “Intervention Capable Response” team that can help a patient across the street, and take out an active shooter at 50-yards!
A budget must include funds for quarterly training, both on the firearms range and in the classroom.
So much more we can do,
There is so much more that can be done to secure our nation’s hospitals. The amount of radioactive materials and controlled substances (drugs) in our hospitals should dictate a change in our paradigm.
Shot location detectors; better video-surveillance; better situational awareness training for the staff; limiting the number of entrances; establishing “shelter-in-place” rooms; drop-down walls and automatic locking doors to isolate an active shooter; and good perimeter (parking lot) security are just a few things.
Shaffer Security Group
Our experienced and professional staff can help you design, implement and manage your hospital security plan. Call for a free assessment and consultation.
Domestic Spillover – How it relates to Workplace Violence.
“It’s Not Going To Happen To Me” is a poor security plan!!!
Since founding the Shaffer Security Group in 2015, Shaffer has worked with many organizations not only to conduct security assessments but also to develop and implement security solutions through training in active shooter response and workplace violence prevention.
Shaffer notes that there are some clear distinctions in culture across industries that allow some to be better prepared for a violent situation in the workplace. He notes, “Most manufacturing facilities and large workshops do a fantastic job of making ‘Safety First.’ They often post large signs to remind their employees to ‘Think Safety’ as they count the number of days without a work-related injury. However, most non-manufacturing firms, such as corporate offices, law firms, [or] large data processing centers do not feel that safety is all that necessary, when in fact it is essential.”
There appears to be a pervasive attitude in industries without a baked-in safety and security culture, with both leadership and employees focusing on physical security only after a critical incident occurs. Shaffer frames this attitude simply: “Everyone thinks, ‘it’s not going to happen to me.’”
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that approximately 2 million people will be victims of nonfatal workplace violence each year, with about 1,000 people dying due to a violent incident at work. While these numbers suggest that a violent workplace event is unlikely, that unlikelihood does not excuse employers from prioritizing the security of their employees, regardless of industry. Shaffer says that “the safety and well-being of employees needs to become a communicated corporate value.”
“It’s Not Going To Happen to Me” is not a good security plan, states Shaffer.
Firms Need to Develop a “Portal” in which their Employees can reports incidents of Domestic Violence or Abuse.
Another hurdle employers have to overcome is the fact their employees who are victims of domestic abuse are frequently reluctant to share their circumstances. This reluctance is driven, in part, by the stigma associated with being a domestic abuse victim. Even worse, the victim may actually believe that their abuse is deserved.
Companies need to implement a workplace violence policy that includes language addressing domestic spillover is a great way to start. Regular review of this policy with employees can help to alleviate concerns.
These policies must be endorsed and communicated from the top down. For the policies to have real effect, there must not only be C-suite buy-in and implementation, but the employees must sincerely believe that their workplace is a safe haven.
Some questions for security leaders to ask themselves:
- Does our organization have a mechanism by which the victim can report domestic abuse?
- Are our reception, security, human resources, and legal staff aware of domestic spillover threats? Could they recognize those threats if they walked in the door?
- Does our organization have intervention-capable employees trained to help diffuse conflicts or violence?
- What are our legal requirements to protect our employees?
Recognizing Pre-Incident Indicators to Violence could save your life!
“The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence” is a nonfiction, self-help book written by Gavin de Becker. The book demonstrates how every individual should learn to trust the inherent “gift” of their gut instinct or intuition. By learning to recognize various warning signs and precursors to violence, it becomes possible to avoid violence.
The Gift of Fear spent four months on The New York Times Bestseller List and was a #1 National Bestseller. It has been published in 14 languages. The book was endorsed by a wide variety of celebrities, including Oprah Winfrey. Oprah dedicated an hour-long show on the books 10th anniversary.
The book explores various settings where violence may be found—the workplace, the home, the school, dating—and describes what de Becker calls pre-incident indicators (PINS). When properly identified, these PINS can help violence be avoided. When violence is unavoidable it can usually be predicted and better understood.
The Pre-Incident Indicators include:
Forced Teaming. This is when a person implies that they have something in common with their chosen victim. For instance, acting as if they have a shared predicament when that isn’t really true. Speaking in “we” terms is a mark of this, i.e. “We don’t need to talk outside… Let’s go in.”
Charm and Niceness. This is being polite and friendly to a chosen victim in order to manipulate him or her by disarming their mistrust.
Too many details. If a person is lying they will add excessive details to make themselves sound more credible to their chosen victim.
Typecasting. An insult is used to get a chosen victim who would otherwise ignore one to engage in conversation to counteract the insult. For example: “Oh, I bet you’re too stuck-up to talk to a guy like me.” The tendency is for the chosen victim to want to prove the insult untrue.
Loan Sharking. Giving unsolicited help to the chosen victim and anticipating they’ll feel obliged to extend some reciprocal openness in return.
The Unsolicited Promise. A promise to do (or not do) something when no such promise is asked for; this usually means that such a promise will be broken. For example: an unsolicited, “I promise I’ll leave you alone after this,” usually means the chosen victim will not be left alone. Similarly, an unsolicited “I promise I won’t hurt you” usually means the person intends to hurt their chosen victim.
Discounting the Word “No”. Refusing to accept rejection; not recognizing the word “NO”.
The book, “The Gift of Fear” is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child before they go off to college or move out on their own. This book will change their lives in understanding their own “Intuition”, instinct or “Gift of Fear”.