Critical Incident Response, Consultation, and Training

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Critical Incidents

Whether your company is involved in manufacturing, R&D, or a service organization, the impact of traumatic events in the workplace can be significant. Contrary to popular opinion, the event does not need to involve multiple fatalities or injuries. For example, the sudden and unexpected death of a single employee can have a ripple effect on you and your organization.

The impact of these events is largely determined by age, development, current coping abilities, and life experience. The sooner you can begin to recognize the signs of a critical incident, the sooner the recovery process begins. Here are some examples of incidents that have occurred in the work environment:
Below are Critical Incidents in a Business/Corporate setting:

  • Employee dies unexpectedly
  • Employee dies expectedly
  • Serious injury to a fellow employee
  • Serious illness of a fellow employee
  • Being an eyewitness to a particularly gruesome incident
  • Suicide of a co-worker
  • Murder/suicide by a current or former employee
  • Assault on one or more employees
  • Explicit threats of assault on self and others including colleagues and family members
  • One or more employees becomes a hostage
  • Catastrophic equipment failure resulting in death or injury of one or more employees (e.g. electrocution on an assembly line)
  • Robbery
  • Sexual assault or threat of sexual assault
  • Naturally occurring incidents (e.g. earthquakes, fires, floods, extreme weather events)
  • Technological disasters (e.g. total communications failures, catastrophic breach of radioactive materials)
  • Operational decisions resulting in death or other serious injury to one or more employees
  • Policy and ad hoc operational decisions resulting in death or other serious injury to one or more employees
  • OSHA investigation
  • Unexpected breaches in security resulting in injury or death
  • Working under threatening WMD conditions including biological, radiological, chemical, fire, and explosive
  • Traumatic incidents with particularly strong sensory stimuli (e.g. smell of blood, smell of gas related to an explosion)
  • Knowing the employee
  • Identifying with the employee
  • Employee is similar in age/appearance to you or a loved one
  • Other traumatic incidents within a short period of time
  • Prolonged resuscitation with negative outcome
  • Dealing with hysterical and demanding employees
  • Any incident that has compromised or could comprise one or more person’s ability to function

Note: If you are not certain if you and/or members of your organization may have been exposed to a critical incident, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Brown for a telephone consult. He will help you assess the incident and it’s impact in order to determine what response might be appropriate.