How NOT to Run a Safety Drill


Running drills is important. Experience with adverse circumstances is important so that you and your co-workers know what to do if there is a problem. Drills are especially important for dangerous circumstances.

There is a reason that building managers, schools and other institutions run fire drills. If there is an actual fire, you will know where to go and what to do. Of course, when you run a fire drill, you don’t light an actual fire and don’t fill the hallways with smoke.

I’m not sure what Hampton Behavioral Health Center was thinking when they decided to have an unannounced safety drill. They sent in a masked gunman to demand Oxycontin from a pharmacist’s assistant. The “gunman” told her he was holding Hampton’s human resources director hostage and the phone lines were dead.

It also sounds like the drill was for situation that the employee was not trained on how to handle. In her lawsuit, she is seeking damages for assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

September is National Preparedness Month: It’s good to plan for an emergency situation, train your employees and run drills. But be sensible about it and don’t scare the crap out of them.


Image is by Domingouceda: 1. / CC BY 2.0