Employee safety, especially active shooter situations, was the topic of conversation at the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) Safety 2018 conference recently held in San Antonio, Texas. During this forum attendees were able to hear from FBI agents, law enforcement professionals and other key groups with insight into some best practices to promote employee safety during an active shooter situation at the workplace.
The general tone of the forum was that prevention is not always possible. This has become an unfortunate reality; and that making plans to safeguard employee safety for the largest possible number of people is key to minimizing casualties.
Experts at the forum mentioned a key to any plan is to be proactive; for example, it was recommended that office managers work with law enforcement ahead of time to ensure they know the layout of offices, entry/exit points, etc. In the same way that fire inspectors will visit offices, panelists recommended that business leaders can increase employee safety by meeting with police in this way.
Another recommendation from panelists is that companies create a threat assessment team of individuals from different areas within a company. The concept of this threat assessment team is to increase overall employee safety by having the ability to recognize a threat early on and intervene. Panelists mentioned the importance of having members from different disciplines because employee safety can be increased if multiple people notice the same person/persons acting unusually and mention it during the threat assessment team meetings.
Despite these wonderful preventative steps, the panel suggested that, in the event of an active shooter situation, it’s best to plan for the reunification of workers and to notify the family members of individuals involved.
The advice given during this safety conference is especially important in today’s environment, and reminders combined with frequent training can help to minimize damage in these situations.