Work-Place Safety

Everything your practice needs to establish safety protocols.

“It’s better to have a plan in place and not need one, than to need a plan and not have one.”


  1. Conduct regular safety drills to ensure all staff members are familiar with emergency protocols.
  2.  Develop a clear evacuation plan with designated escape routes and meeting points.
  3.  Establish a communication system for alerting staff about potential threats.
  1. Train staff members in de-escalation techniques to defuse tense situations.
  2. Encourage staff to remain calm and empathetic when dealing with upset clients or employees.
  3. Use active listening skills to understand the underlying issues and concerns.
  1. Train staff to recognize signs of agitation or hostility and respond appropriately.
  2. Encourage open communication channels to address grievances before they escalate.
  3. Have a designated manager or supervisor available to oversee tricky situations.
  1. Establish a code word or signal to alert staff of an active shooter situation discreetly.
  2. Instruct staff to prioritize their safety and the safety of others by seeking refuge in designated safety areas.
  3. Train staff in basic self-defense techniques and how to barricade doors if necessary.

What to Do in an Active Shooter Situation:

RUN: Encourage staff to evacuate the premises immediately if it is safe to do so.

HIDE: If evacuation is not possible, instruct staff to find a secure location, lock, or barricade doors and remain quiet.

FIGHT: As a last resort, empower staff to defend themselves using any available means.

Post-Incident Support:

  • Provide access to counseling services for staff members affected by traumatic events. 
  • Conduct debriefing sessions to review the incident and identify areas for improvement. 
  • Implement measures to enhance security and prevent future incidents.
  1. Establish a clear reporting process for staff to notify management of any safety concerns or incidents. 
  2. Document all incidents and near misses for review and analysis. 
  3. Encourage a culture of safety where staff feel comfortable speaking up about potential threats.
  1. Regularly review and update safety protocols in response to changing threats or circumstances. 
  2. Provide ongoing training for staff to reinforce safety procedures and techniques. 
  3. Conduct mock drills to evaluate staff readiness and identify areas for improvement. 

Remember: The safety and well-being of everyone in the veterinary clinic are paramount. By implementing initiative-taking measures, training staff in de-escalation techniques, and preparing for potential threats, you can create a safer environment for both employees and clients.

Practice Safety Plan Ideas

Develop a "code" word for your team in the event of an emergency.

Reach out to your local police ahead of time to make a connection with them.

Print business size cards with The Three A’s to hand out to staff, include an area with staff contact information.

Print additional posters to utilize in staff areas, break rooms, work area, etc.

Conduct a lunch hour CE for practice staff on safety protocols.

Print an incident form and monthly safety training tracking form.

Active Shooter Training

This active shooter video below was prepared by the City of Houston. (Please note this video touches on a sensitive topic.) This video offers three key things to remember in the event of a shooter situation.

1. RUN
• If there is an escape path, attempt to evacuate the premise. • Evacuate whether others agree to or not.
• Leave your belongings behind.
• Help others escape if possible.
• Prevent others from entering the area.
• Call 911 when you are safe.

• Lock and/or blockade the door.
• Silence your cell phone.
• Hide behind large objects.
• Remain very quiet.

• Only as a last resort, and if your life depends on it, attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
• Act with physical aggression.
• Improvise weapons.
• Commit to your actions.