May 2014 Q&A — 07 May 2014


Q. What is your plan if an accident occurs at your facility?

John Monson Q&A PhotoJohn Monson, Bill’s Gun Shop & Range, three facilities in the Twin Cities region

A. There WILL be an accident that occurs at your facility! It’s not “if”;  it’s “when.” The reason accidents happen is often because of complacency, and it is more likely to happen with one of your advanced or regular customers than with a beginner.

So, how do you handle it when it does occur? What is the plan?

Obviously there are OSHA requirements for filing reports on accidents and other follow-up information, but what do you at the time it happens in your facility? I can give you example of an incident that happened to us, and then we can draw from that experience to illustrate what our policy is.

Your clerk, rep, manager or whatever you call your associate will identify that there is an issue. First and foremost, you have to involve other staff members.  I’ll give you an example involving a regular customer who shoots 50 to 75 rounds of his own reloads here almost every day using  a variety of firearms that he owns. He qualifies as a very competent shooter.  Last year he decided to press check a 1911, and with his finger on the trigger he lost the tip of his pointer finger. Complacency. The range officer was notified immediately of the incident. The range officer contacted the manager (and, if he weren’t there, he would have contacted the lead staffer on duty). We applied what first aid worked in that situation that we were capable of administering and then called 911.

We don’t want to call 911 every time someone gets a sliver. The key is to identify what is the associate’s responsibility. His responsibility is to notify the person in charge, so they can get more people involved. That person takes control of the scenario. He makes the decision of what the next level of medical aid is needed, which might be to call 911 for an ambulance, and whether law enforcement must be summoned. That person in charge will gather witness statements and relevant information while the range officer administers aid.

Then we go one step farther. After the scenario we have each of the employees that are involved write a statement identifying what they witnessed, what their roles were and what they accomplished. Combined with those hand-written statements  by any customers who witnessed the accident or were involved, we have documentation of the incident.

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