Recently McDonald’s was sued successfully and held liable for an incident that took place at their College Station Texas location. The lawsuit claimed McDonald’s did not have adequate plans and security measures in place. The courts are now examining what contingency plans and security measures are in place to prevent or mitigate risk. Public restaurants and stores may be held responsible for violence occurring in their locations. This includes both inside and outside the establishment. In Canada, a lawsuit is ongoing against York University for $20.6 million dollars. The claim alleges that security measures were not adequate. This case has yet to be proven.
Turning a blind eye can prove very costly. Duty of Care requires employers to take adequate steps to protect their employees. The emergency management and contingency planning field is growing rapidly as corporations realize they will need to understand all threats to their business as well as the probability and consequences should an event unfold. This not only applies to violent incidents. Natural disasters, bad weather and illness as well as disease are just a few other scenarios that require consideration.
Too many times organizations look to find the lowest cost solution. Conducting a threat risk assessment will allow you to understand the threat and you can begin to craft a solution to ensure you get the best value vs. low cost. You must also teach your employees to recognize dangerous security situations and how to notify senior management and authorities. Be prepared and protected when a threat emerges.