What to Do When There is Critical Trauma in the Workplace

Active shooter, workplace violence, industrial accidents, random criminal violence, the unexpected need for self-defense — these are the main reasons why the American worker must be prepared for critical trauma situations in the workplace. When it comes to minimizing injury and in some cases preventing death, the mindset of “IF this happens” needs to be replaced with “WHEN this happens”. How? By being prepared for the worst-case scenarios.  

Be Prepared


For trauma incidents caused by an accident (e.g. machine entanglement, falling objects, falling from heights) following established OSHA standards and industry specific safety protocols is essential. Make sure HR policies and procedures include mandatory protective gear where applicable and/or pre-employment screenings to ensure an employee can meet the physical requirements for a job. In work environments where critical injury can occur as a result of accident, at minimum, management and employees must be trained how to administer proper first aid until paramedics arrive.

Acts of Violence

Acts of violence in the workplace are now common occurrences, and may be caused by an unstable individual with no advance warning. More importantly, they are often quick and very violent. For example, the average active shooter incident is only 12.5 minutes long. Average law enforcement response time is between 12-18 minutes. However, 54% of active shooter incidents are over in less than 5 minutes! What does this mean? Everyone in an organization must be trained to act and not wait for help to arrive.

Do Not Wait to Act

Seconds count! Don’t sit there and wait to become a victim of violence, take action. Do not allow your brain to shut down, remember: Run | Hide | Fight.

First priority, escape (Run) from the situation. However, if escape is not an option, be prepared by:

  • Knowing designated safe rooms (Hide) ahead of time
  • Barricading the entrances/exits from the attacker
  • Taking injured with you out of building and into safe room if feasible
  • Learning basic skills to protect yourself (Fight) if you are in close proximity to aggressor in order to survive

We’re all in this together. Protect yourself, but also your fellow coworkers. Make sure staff has the proper tactical skills to minimize loss of life when critical trauma occurs.

Minimize Damage

Most people are not comfortable in a situation where another person’s life is put in their hands. But what if it was your loved one who was injured? Wouldn’t you want them to receive help if it meant saving their life? Make sure to gain awareness and proficiency in life-saving skills for critical trauma situations by learning:

  • How to make a rapid evaluation of another’s injury
  • Recognize life threatening injuries
  • How to properly move the injured
  • When/how to use life saving equipment such as tourniquets, hemostatic agents, and pressure bandaging
  • Become familiar with common medical equipment
  • Techniques to treat a massive hemorrhage

Remember your ability, your coworkers abilities, and/or a stranger’s abilities can mean the difference between life and death. Accept that critical trauma can happen to anyone, anywhere, at anytime. Don’t be a victim. Be prepared to Run, Hide, Fight and also help others.

SACS Consulting and Crucible Defense Training Can Get You Prepared

Make sure you know how to successfully intervene in case of life threatening injury to increase the chances of survival for yourself and others with Critical Trauma Intervention Skills training. Contact us at 330-255-1101 to speak with one of your training experts and schedule your today!