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Volume 31, Issue 4

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Wednesday, 12 September 2018 14:19

Preparing For An Active Shooter Scenario

Engaging Training for Workplace Safety

Given the recent prevalence of gun violence, businesses and organizations should conduct training and practice emergency response procedures for an active shooter with the same frequency as fire drills or other emergencies. Compliance training should be engaging, and emergency procedures need to be second nature so that staff are equipped to respond effectively under stress.

According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, safety is at the bottom of the pyramid; it’s seen as a basic, standard need for every individual. More recently, however, it appears that safety has been compromised with active shooter situations across the United States and is continuously appearing across the news headlines. In fact, recent FBI data shows a dramatic increase in annual active shooter incidents, with 250 incidents occurring from 2000 to 2017. Moreover, according to the FBI, seven out of 10 active shootings take place in schools and businesses. These sobering statistics serve as proof points for why education institutions and businesses must be proactive and prepared for potential active shooter situations.

While the debate rages about what needs to be done at a macro level, I urge leaders across varying industries to work together to find common ground and take action – and to remember that even small steps eventually lead to significant changes. In the learning and development (L&D) industry, compliance training has always had the mission of keeping people safe, and part of that is helping your employees know what to do in the event of an emergency.

While it is never pleasant to think about worst-case scenarios, it is imperative that all businesses and organizations have an emergency action plan (EAP) in place. An EAP not only outlines the responsibilities and what to do in a high-stress situation, but also results in faster response times and gives employees a level of security because they know what to do and how to respond. Most employers have an EAP to cover fires, earthquakes and tornados, but few employers consider what to do if there is a violent attacker or active shooter in the office.