Incidents of active shooters in workplace are unpredictable and horrifying and if not properly handled, can do serious damage to life and property. Lately, the frequency of such brutal attacks have increased and as a result many business organizations have been affected. Therefore, it is in the interest of the employer to get expert advice and guidance and be prepared to safeguard employees and their business. The least that employers are required to do is take some steps and implement some procedures to ensure that managers and employees are physically and mentally prepared to respond to an active shooter threat.
The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) defines an active shooter as an individual who is attempting to kill or engaged in killing people in a populated and confined area. In most of the cases, firearms were used as weapons by active shooters and no methods or pattern can be found in the selection of their victims. It has been seen that usually active shooters tend to continue their attack on their victims by moving around the building or vicinity that they are in until someone stops them by force and at times they commit suicide.
Here are some of the steps that you can take to safeguard your organization and employees from getting affected from active shooters:
Step 1 – Emergency Action Plan – Have one
The success and effectiveness of any active shooter program is greatly strengthened and boosted with the formation of an emergency action plan (EAP). The aim of any powerful emergency action plan is to prepare the employees on how to respond during an emergency, such as an active shooter scenario, and help save lives. An EAP should be formed by taking into consideration the inputs provided by many stakeholders, which should include HR, senior management, legal counsel, local law enforcement agencies, property owners, emergency responders etc., among others.
Step 2 – Train your employees
One of the best way to get your employees prepared for an active shooter incident and to give them self-confidence is to provide them with training on how to tackle an active shooter scenario. Even though, there is no law or rule that an employer has to conduct any active shooter training, nonetheless, the employer can spread awareness among the staff and employees about the same and provide them with some idea on how to respond to an active shooter threat.
Employers who lack the expertise of conducting the training themselves can take guidance from outside agencies like the local law enforcement or the DHS.
Step 3 – Safety and security Audit
It is essential to have a safety and security audit in organizations at regular interval as it helps the employer or the administration to recognize any loopholes in the safety plan and correct them accordingly, for e.g. outdated safety systems, old locks etc. An employer can also get expert advice from the local law enforcement at the time of the audit.
Step 4 – Conduct mock drills
Like most mock drills that workplaces have for fires and various other natural calamities, such an exercise should also be conducted on active shooter scenarios. An active shooter drill will prepare the employer and the employees on how to respond smoothly and without confusion during an active shooter incident. The employees will be able to better understand the strategies and plans that are in place. It will make them aware of the emergency escape routes and what ways to avoid so that they don’t get cornered. You can also involve the concerned law enforcement authorities of the drill, so that they are clear about their role when the time comes.
Get more useful insights and learn how to address your issues for this growing threat of active shooters in the workplace in this session by expert speaker Bo Mitchell.