Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Poultry safety conference hears of active shooter events

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TUCKER, Ga. — In remarks at the National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry concerning workplace violence, Wayne Freeman, special agent for the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, presented a chilling dose of reality about active shooter events in the United States. Freeman described active shooters as individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.

Active shooter events are uniquely American phenomena, with more than 200 significant events since 2000. Based on the exponential rise in the number of these events, employers can no longer say, “It can’t happen here.” Active shooter response teams are advising business leaders to “Get Ready! This is how we’re going to be hurt in the future.”

Safety professionals in attendance were encouraged to train employees on effective active shooter response. Freeman pointed out that training decreases anxiety and improves how employees respond in an event, while avoiding training increases anxiety, decreases response, and potentially increases injuries and fatalities.

The 2015 National Safety Conference for the Poultry Industry was a three-day event designed specifically for poultry facility and corporate safety personnel. More than 150 safety professionals attended the conference, which was sponsored by U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the Agriculture Technology Research Program at the Georgia Tech Research Institute, Georgia Poultry Federation, National Chicken Council, and National Turkey Federation. This year’s conference was held Aug. 24-26, at the Hilton Myrtle Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

In addition to hearing from Freeman, attendees learned more about the growing prescription drug problem in the workplace from Dr. Don Teater, medical advisor with the National Safety Council, and received an OSHA update from Dottie Ison, administrator for South Carolina’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration. Also included was a session of sharing best practices and a series of informal roundtables covering many current safety and health issues.

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