Businesses Benefit From Active Shooter Training
With workplace violence continuing to pose a looming threat, active shooter training is essential for all businesses.
Active Shooter Training
Workplace violence affects about 2 million workers in the U. S. each year.
In fact, it has become so commonplace, that many businesses are implementing active shooter training as a solution to protect employees against an armed intruder.
Most people don’t want to think it can happen to them. But that kind of thinking creates a false sense of security. While an attack in your place of business can come from a terrorist or a mentally unstable stranger, many times it is an internal threat from a disgruntled employee.
Many companies don’t consider training for workplace violence because they don’t want to focus on the negative or they are afraid it will make employees uneasy. But the consequences of not acting can be disastrous.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of implementing active shooter training for your company.
Implementing Active Shooter Training
When the unthinkable occurs at your place of business, there isn’t much time to act. Most active shooter crimes are over before the police get there.
The best police response time is about 12 minutes. At Virginia Tech, a shooter killed 32 people in 7 minutes, according to an insider. Every second is valuable and knowing what to do can save lives.
That’s why it’s important to have a plan to minimize potential risk and harm to your employees.
Companies have a responsibility to provide a structure for protecting their employees and customers in the workplace. A plan for helping customers in an active shooter incident can minimize risks and liability.
Company officers should initiate an active shooter training program and communicate its implementation to employees with urgency.
Find training that’s a good fit for your company culture and get employees onboard before implementing the training. Having meetings and answering questions or concerns is essential for successful implementation.
Protecting and Empowering Your Employees
Implementing active shooter training provides protection for two of your most valuable assets: Your employees and your reputation.
Training your employees for incidents of workplace violence is empowering for them because it gives them resources for self-protection. And if the worst should happen, your company will be able to show you were proactive in taking preventive measures.
While there are many possible scenarios that could unfold in workplace violence, train on the basics. Knowing basics will help your employees keep a cool head and give them confidence. And knowing what to do helps save lives in a dangerous and stressful situation
The Run, Hide, Fight Rule
Teaching employees the rule of Run, Hide, Fight is a good place to start. If there is a possibility to escape, running from danger should be the first option. This requires your employees to know the layout of their facility and the location of exits.
If escape is not possible, the second option is to hide. Employees should be familiar with areas in the workplace where they can hide and how to access them. This could be closets, empty offices, storage rooms or other areas with doors. Employees should lock doors or block them with heavy furniture. Also, turning off lights and silencing cell phones will avoid drawing the shooter’s attention.
Finally, if confronted with the shooter, fight back. Employees should use anything at their disposal to incapacitate the shooter by throwing items or improvising weapons. Here are some possibilities:
- Fire extinguisher
- Cleaning chemicals
Hopefully, your employees will never have to use these strategies, but preparing your employees is the right thing to do.
Recognizing Internal Threats
While only one-third of workplace violence incidents are committed by disgruntled or former employees, some are also committed by outsiders connected to employees. For example, former spouses or stalkers. Train employees to be aware and report risky behaviors. Watch out for some of the following red flags:
- Consistent anger and irrational behavior
- Verbal threats and provoking fights
- Social media tirades threatening violence
- Signs of depression and suicide
- An obsession with weapons
- Increased use of drugs and alcohol
- The cost of workplace violence homicide to an employer is between $250,000 and $1 million. So, from a legal, as well as an economic perspective, training employees to protect themselves from workplace violence should be a priority for your business.
Preparedness and Planning
All workplace violence incidents are different, but they have common factors that help to develop an effective safety plan.
A plan for implementing active shooter training should be comprehensive, covering all your company’s buildings from corporate offices to warehouses.
Begin by getting a risk assessment of your current security system to determine if you need to install a new system or upgrade your existing one. Also, a reliable company will assess your property and facilities for possible threats. Here are some areas that a risk assessment will check:
- Outdoor lighting
- Parking lot
- Security cameras
- Doors, and windows
- Locks and keys
- Visitor records
- Your company should have a record of who has access to buildings and who has been assigned cards or keys for access. You should also have effective procedures for identifying, admitting, and processing visitors.
Besides being comprehensive, an active shooter plan should be a good fit for your company.
When It’s Time to Act
When an active shooter incident occurs, those responsible to act should be ready. Active shooter training can prepare you in case you have to face such a situation.
Your company will need to decide how to let your employees know you have a situation. Will you use code language to announce you have an active shooter? Will you have an alert system in place using an intercom system, email, text or other means?
Also, how will you notify law enforcement? Will someone be the point person for calling for help? Will you use panic alarms that notify police?
Whatever you decide, once your plan is in place, you will need to have regular drills to ensure everyone knows what to do in a calm and confident manner.
When active shooter incidents happen, emotions are high and it’s difficult to think clearly. That’s why it’s critical to have a plan that everyone knows and can put into effect at a moment’s notice.
Active shooter training can provide that plan for your company and protect your employees and your business.
At Vigilance Risk Solutions, we are experts in active shooter training. Contact us for more information.