HR Management & Compliance

Shootings and Violence in the Workplace: What You Need to Know (Part 2)

Continuing from yesterday’s post, here’s more information regarding what you need to know about shootings and violence in the workplace.

Training Employees for an Active Shooter

According to the FBI, active shooter drills in the workplace are on the rise. From 2000 to 2006, there was an annual average of 11.4 active shooter incidents a year in the workplace. But from 2007 to 2013, there was an annual average of 16.4 incidents.1 In addition, a 2018 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics noted that there were 500 workplace homicides in 2016, with shootings accounting for 394 (79%) of them, which is an increase of 83 cases since 2015. Bottom line: It’s becoming imperative to train your employees for an active shooter.
When training your employees for an active shooter, you’ll want to consult safety professionals who specialize in that type of training. And you’ll want to make sure they work with your HR and security teams when training your staff. The Alice Institute, for example, offers training for active shooters in the workplace and will allow you to certify your own staff. ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) training programs will prepare all your employees so they know exactly what to do during an active shooter drill and if such an incident occurs in real life.
For an extensive list of resources and training materials, visit HR Policy Association’s Active Shooter Prevention and Preparedness page.

Ways to Mitigate and Prevent Workplace Violence

Along with identifying “high-risk” employees and having the proper policies, programs, and training available, you’ll also want to rely on your employees themselves to help mitigate and prevent workplace violence.
Here are some things you’ll want to do:

  • Host open meetings on a regular basis where you discuss your policies regarding workplace safety and violence, permitting employees to ask questions while ensuring they know all about your policies and programs.
  • Pass out anonymous surveys to employees so that they can report violent behaviors without being singled out or blamed, even if the behaviors are instances of domestic violence. Allow them to submit feedback for ways to mitigate and prevent violence from occurring. And above all else, make sure they feel safe and know where they can go if they need support.
  • Regard every report or complaint as legitimate, and investigate every single one of them.
  • Hire workplace safety and violence experts to help you develop policies and programs that your employees will follow and engage with regularly.
  • Promote a company culture of inclusion, and endorse a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination and bullying.

As an L&D professional in today’s workplace, make sure your employees are prepared for active shooters and that you have comprehensive policies and programs in place that help mitigate, manage, and deter violent behavior from escalating.

  1. Fox News. “More businesses seeking active shooter training for its employees.” Accessed 4/6/2018.

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