IS YOUR ORGANIZATION READY FOR AN ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATION?
WHAT ARE SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS I SHOULD K FOR AN ACTIVE SHOOTER INCIDENT?
It’s no secret that America is facing a tragic battle against active shooters. Unfortunately, many of these incidents occur in the workplace. Based on 2016 Labor Statistics, incidents of an armed aggressor are over 30x more likely than a fire, 60x more likely than a weather event, and 125x more likely than a harmful chemical spill.
Yet for many workplaces, it is the issue employees are the least prepared to handle. No one wants to imagine their workplace in this situation, but the reality is employers must prepare employees how to react in such a situation.
WHAT DOES OSHA SAY IN REGARDS TO AN ACTIVE SHOOTER EVENT?
Though OSHA does not have any specific guidelines for active shooter training, they have recognized the importance of preparing workers for these types of incidents.
Both the courts and OSHA hold employers responsible for preventing workplace violence under the "General Duty Clause".
This clause states an employer must maintain a workplace free from recognized hazards causing, or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to workers.
That said, in 2017 OSHA released a directive titled “Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Workplace Violence”. This was sent to OSHA inspectors as a way to encourage proper workplace training for violent events.
Again, although OSHA does not yet have specific requirements for active shooter response training, but it’s clear that employers are responsible for two things:
Providing workplace violence and active shooter training
A plan in place to help employees understand what to do in this type of situation
WHERE SHOULD AN ORGANIZATION START WITH ACTIVE SHOOTER RESPONSE TRAINING?
First, provide training that helps prepare your employees for an active shooter incident. These guidelines can be used for training your employees for any type of workplace violence event.
Employers must have a plan that focuses on the risks most likely to affect your specific workplace.
If you are a retail store that’s open early in the morning or late at night, incidents are more likely to occur in those high-risk times of the day, so make sure your training includes how to prevent an incident by using safety procedures.
Start with leadership. The project management commitment and the importance of worker involvement.
It’s not enough to train them, you also must establish a plan. You need to educate both leadership and employees on the plan, so everyone understands what to do if a workplace violence incident occurs.
Take the time to do a work-site analysis. This should be then you assess your location's strengths and weaknesses, both the physical and procedural.
To take it a step further, you may want to have local law enforcement come to meet your leaders and assess your physical building, as well as your safety procedure.
Recognize the early signs of workplace violence. It doesn’t only happen when people are terminated from a position.
If you have an incident, provide safety and health training for your workers following the acts of workplace violence.
Conduct periodic drills for leaders and front-line workers to practice the actions they should take during the presence of an active shooter. Regular drills will be able to outline the successes and opportunities for improvement within your plan.
Ensure you are keeping records of the existing plans, program evaluations and program changes.
WHAT ARE SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS I SHOULD KNOW FOR AN ACTIVE SHOOTER INCIDENT?
Always have an escape route and plan in prepared
Evacuate regardless of whether others agree to follow you
Leave your belongings behind - they are not worth your life
You can help others escape, if possible and not a threat to you
Immediately silence your phone or turn it off
Prevent individuals from entering an area where an active shooter may be
Keep your hands visible when exiting the location
Follow the instructions of any police officers
As much as you want to help, don't attempt to move the wounded
Call 911 when you are safe to do so
As Active Shooter incidents increased every year and employers are tasked with protecting and training employees. A successful safety program looks at all hazards in the workplace. Unfortunately, this includes the possibility of an Active Shooter Incident.
If you’re looking for a way to train on this topic, take a look at our Active Shooter Response Program or call us to request a free quote.
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