In wake of shootings, workplace safety protocols in spotlight

In wake of shootings, workplace safety protocols in spotlight
Published: Dec. 4, 2015 at 8:53 PM HST|Updated: Dec. 4, 2015 at 11:39 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Run, hide or, as a last resort, fight.

Security expert and retired Honolulu Police Department Major Jeff Owens says those are the three things to remember in an "active shooter" situation -- at work or in any public area.

In the wake of the shootings in San Bernardino, many are wondering what they could -- or would -- do if confronted with an active shooter.

Owens says one small security measure is vigilance, or taking stock of your surroundings.

"Self-awareness: Where are you? What's your environment? Where are your exit points if something got very uncomfortable?" he said.

Identifying exits points is key in fleeing a situation; the more proactively you can do so, the better.

When it comes to hiding, lock doors if possible, shut off the lights, and barricade any possible points of entry.

"We're talking a situation where literally seconds count. So everything you can do to slow that person down, to delay things, works to your advantage," said Owens, whose business, Transcend Inc., offers active shooter training, threat assessments and safety workshops.

The act of last resort is to engage the attacker and fight for your life. Owens says there can be improvised weapons almost everywhere.

"A laptop computer, a chair, a fire extinguisher can be used to hit someone as a battering item."

He said personal safety is an individual's responsibility, organizations should also be confronting potential threats head-on.

"All organizations should have a workplace violence policy, and they should have protocols on what to do, how to respond appropriately."

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