Shootings in schools get more media attention than other locations. However, active shooter events occur in businesses more than any other location. It is important to talk about active shooter events in the workplace so that employees know what their options are if they find themselves faced with an active assailant threat.
Most employees are most likely already receiving instruction on what to do if there were a fire, tornado, or hurricane. A unfortunate reality of today’s world is that the list of events for safety training now includes active assailant.
Organizations should provide employees with the different options they have during an active shooter event to keep themselves safe. On the surface, this is run, hide, fight. However, it is important to go beyond run, hide, fight. What if the shooter entered through that door? Does our door have a lock? What floor is your office on? What if we were in the conference room? What do barricades look like? Through discussion, we can emphasize the importance of taking action quickly and discuss different scenarios.
It is also important to talk to employees about the prevention of workplace violence events through the threat assessment process. This is the process which the risk of an individual is evaluated, usually as a response to an actual or perceived threat. More commonly, employees may know threat assessment as the “See something, Say something” program. It is collecting and analyzing threats or concerns to determine if an individual may pose a threat to others.
By admitting that our workplaces are not 100% protected from an active shooter, we can have an open honest conversation about safety in our work environments. But more importantly, we are proactively training employees before it’s too late.