No one wants to believe that their place of employment could potentially be privy to an active shooter scenario, but unfortunately, it’s all too common in the United States. With this ever-looming threat, businesses need to be prepared and have certain precautions in place if this happens.
Establishments should always look for ways to prevent a shooting from happening. Unfortunately, even the most foolproof and exhaustive plans will not stop this scenario from occurring. There are a couple of things to look out for in someone that would become an active shooter. For example, if someone is acting very aggressively and told you that they have recently acquired many firearms, you should alert the authorities. Also, those that are privy to bullying in the workplace could go down this dark path, so be sure to stop any bullying if you can. Either you could say something or speak to your boss or HR if you do not feel comfortable.
If you are in a situation, your workplace must have a plan. Every second counts in a life-threatening situation like this, so it is crucial to get organized and be prepared. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) also suggests that employers implement an emergency communication system to save lives. Considering situations like this are highly stressful and demanding to think through, you should develop a way to communicate beforehand.
Employers are also encouraged to implement an alarm system in their building if an active shooter scenario occurs. Giving your employees the power of knowing that there is an alarm can make all the difference in saving lives. If someone were to come into the building and shoot, an employee who knows where the alarm is could pull it and get all the employees out before more damage is done. If you are stuck inside the building when someone is shooting, it is imperative to find a hiding place. Knowing where those are beforehand could also save lives.
Preexisting systems, training, and continual communication are essential factors for preparing for a shooting in your workplace. Although the event may never occur, your employees’ lives could be at stake. The best way to protect them, your customers, and your businesses is to focus on prevention, create an effective plan, and communicate it to all parties.