Preparing Your Employees for an Active Shooter in the Workplace

According to the Gun Violence Archive, 326 mass shooting incidents were reported so far this year in the United States. That is an average of almost one shooting per day! Shooters can attack anywhere, at any time–including the workplace. The scenario freshest on our minds is the San Bernardino shooting earlier this month where suspects opened fire during a holiday party at their workplace; 14 people died and 17 were injured.

This frightening situation may seem hopeless, but preparing your employees for the worst can go a long way in preventing an active shooter situation (or minimizing the casualties) in your workplace.

The following steps are necessary to prepare your workforce:

Create an Emergency Action Plan

Every business should have its own unique plan, corresponding with the company’s building layouts, personnel, and hours of operation. Your emergency action plan should include:

  • Evacuation plans, floor plans and evacuation routes
  • Designated individuals to alert authorities
  • Announcing emergency state to employees and visitors
  • Accounting for your employees to make sure everyone is safe
  • Notifying employees’ emergency contacts

Conduct Active Shooter Drills

According to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, these drills are perhaps the best tool to prepare your employees for an active shooter situation. Similar to fire drills, it’s a hands-on experience involving law enforcement and first responders during training exercises. At Universal Safety and Security Services, we facilitate these drills and assess your workplace for current security vulnerabilities.

Determine a Hideout

Try to find a good hiding spot in your office or building. Depending on the shooter’s location, your designated spot may not be safe so having several ideas of where to hide is always a good idea. Hideouts should be out of view of the shooter and provide adequate protection from shots that may be directed at you without trapping you or restricting your movement. Choose locations where a door can be shut and items are available to form a blockade.

Be Aware of Workplace Violence

Awareness of your surroundings and the tendencies or personalities of co-workers may help predict violent outbursts. What may seem insignificant, such as negative remarks or inappropriate behavior, can escalate quickly to violent actions. Potentially violent behaviors include:

  • Changes in behavior patterns
  • High frequency and intensity of disruptive workplace behaviors
  • Social isolation
  • Holds grudges
  • Crying, sulking or upset
  • Angry about a work situation– especially if recently laid off or fired
  • Depression/Withdrawal
  • Events in the home can often result in a workplace violence problem

These behaviors do not always indicate a tendency toward violence, but could alert you to a situation that may need to be investigated and monitored closely.

Prepare an Emergency Kit

Have a designated individual or team manage and distribute these crucial items needed during an emergency situation:

  • Floor plans
  • Keys/ Access Codes
  • Staff Roster with Phone numbers
  • Radios
  • First Aid Kits
  • Flashlights

We can help

At Universal Safety and Security Solutions, we draw from only the best-proven protocols and techniques, assessments and measures. Our executive team is highly trained and experienced, consisting of former United States Secret Service Agents, FBI, and Special Forces Operators including the Former Commander of 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – Delta.

We will construct a comprehensive assessment of your facilities, then organize and moderate a planning meeting with company representatives, local and federal law enforcement, fire and EMS representatives to establish an actionable security plan in case of an active shooter scenario.

Take action now, because you can’t predict when a shooter will become a threat to your company. Contact us to learn more about what we do and how we can help you maintain a safer work environment for your executives and employees.