After this week’s shooting at the YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, in which 3 people were injured by a suspect believed to be a disgruntled user of the video streaming platform, many are now wondering how they can stay safe from shooters during their 9 to 5.
According to a 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workplace shootings jumped by nearly 30 percent from 2015 to 2016, mounting the pressure on companies to ensure the safety of their employees.
“One of the first things a company do even before an incident occurs is to really protect their property,” said Charity Nicolas. “The first thing is to gate the property so that there’s limited entrance and access to the parking area.”
Safety experts like Fil-Am Charity Nicolas also recommend companies have a barrier like a reception area with key card access for employees, yet these measures don’t serve as a guarantee against a shooter.
That’s when the Department of Homeland Security recommends to first run, hide, or as a last resort — to fight.
“Really you don’t want to encounter them, you don’t have to, cuz they’re upset, and you have less control at this point. If you have to, save your life, you fight them with whatever you can, you get anything that can hurt them, you try to fight with a group and you try to really take the person down, but that’s your last resort.”
Nicolas says companies can also train their employees on de-escalating a situation if someone is upset.
“That’s not the time to say okay we’re going to give you a fine, or we’re not going to restart your subscription or in this case, we’re not going to put up your YouTube videos, that would not be the time to talk about it. We could wait, you can help them calm down, and wait for another time to talk about those things.”
When it comes to an evacuation situation, experts say the best protocol is to look out for yourself.
“If you can urge or help others, try to do that as you’re leaving the building, as you’re getting to safety, but don’t make it a point to try and gather everybody around, and let’s all go into the building, you’re just drawing attention to yourself.”
Once law enforcement does arrive, evacuees should stay calm with your hands up and follow any official’s directions.
Police will prioritize taking the shooter down and ensuring the environment is safe before helping anybody else.