Knowledge increases confidence. Confidence increases decisiveness. Decisive action in a critical moment can save lives. This is retired Marine Sgt. Jay Hart’s personal safety philosophy and the bedrock of the training he provides to his clients through the Force Training Institute.
As director, Hart develops a customized safety plan for each client to prepare them for any situation, from how to deal with a shoplifter to an active shooting threat. The goal is to give people the tools they need to think quickly and smartly in an emergency.
Below is an edited excerpt of Hart’s interview with Chief Learning Officer magazine.
What are some mistakes people make when it comes to workplace safety training?
Companies get stuck in this loop of planning to have a plan. The first step is to bring together the right people, and the second step is to identify where your culture is at. If you try to bring in training that goes against the culture of the organization, you’re going to have a lot of clashes, and no learning is going to occur.
What are some key things to remember during an incidence of workplace violence to stay safe?
If you see something, say something. Talk to employees about what to look for and who to say something to. If you’re in an immediate area where the threat is occurring, try to move away from danger. The next step is if you’re inside a building, get out of the building and call 911. If you can’t [get out], get to a safe space, usually a room that has a way to lock and barricade a door.
How can companies implement effective workplace safety drills?
Just because we have some training, doesn’t mean that learning occurs. It needs to be student-based. The first thing we ask people to do is to walk through their office space with purpose. Be a little bit more aware of your building. [Ask yourself], ‘Where are my exits?’ ‘How far is my office from the nearest exit?’ ‘Where is the safest place if something happened right now for me to go?’
The second thing is a walk-through, talk-through. It’s just getting your team together and saying, ‘If something happened right now, where would we go?’ and then going to that place. We need to avoid extreme training. You do not want employees to walk away fearful. You want to instill confidence in them.