National Safety Month: Prepare for Active Shooters


Nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. Unfortunately, many more cases go unreported. Government statistics show that fatal workplace shootings are increasing, and experts say revenge is often the motive. The most recent records by the Bureau of Labor Statistics show workplace homicides rose by 2 percent to 417 cases in 2015. Shootings increased by 15 percent during that period.

The statistic below shows the number of victims of specific workplace shootings in the United States between 1982 and 2017.


What can your company do to reduce the risk?

Employers can take steps to reduce the risk of violence and educate workers. Companies should:

  • Establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence. This policy should cover all workers, patients, clients, visitors, contractors, and anyone else who may come in contact with company personnel.
  • Train workers about some of the common red flags preceding workplace violence, everyone in the organization will be able to look out for one another.
  • Implement active shooter drills in which workers are advised to run, hide or fight depending on the circumstance.
  • Educate employees on possible escape routes
  • Report unauthorized persons, unusual or suspicious activities, phone calls, mailings or unknown individuals using the site emergency number and contact list.
  • Strictly advise employees to not leave keys or access cards unattended and report missing keys or access cards with urgency.

What are the warning signs?

OSHA offers more than a dozen indicators that may point toward an increased risk in worker violence, including:

  • Sudden, persistent complaining about unfair treatment
  • Blaming others for problems
  • Change in behavior or decline in job performance
  • Stated hope for something bad to happen to supervisor or co-worker
  • Increase in absenteeism
  • Refusal to accept criticism about work performance
  • Inability to manage feelings; outbursts of swearing or slamming doors

Recognizing the warning signs and properly educating your employees to be prepared in the event of an active shooter could greatly reduce the risk of fatality. For more information, watch the video below on active shooters in the workplace and contact us if your company needs assistance in implementing a training program to educate your employees.