Active Shooter Drills in the Workplace

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An active shooter is someone who comes into a public space with the intent of hurting as many people as possible. What kind of active shooter training can be done in a workplace?

High-Risk Areas

If you’re in a high-risk area such as a hospital, amusement park, shopping mall, or school, a place where people may not be armed and aren’t thinking about defending themselves, active shooter preparation becomes important.

An active shooter in the workplace could be someone with a work-related problem, for example someone who has been fired. The active shooter training and drills discussed in this video are equally applicable to small workplaces where violence has been known to occur, such as small retail shops and hair salons, as well as workplaces with hundreds of employees.

Have a Plan

This is the first step. The company’s active shooter response plan may be printed on a flyer and given to all employees, or discussed at a meeting, or emailed to everyone. Perhaps an expert will come in and teach a short seminar. Although these are important steps in self-defense training, active shooter training requires more.

Drills

Specific drills should be put into place that help people prepare to execute this active shooter response plan. The self-defense concepts of drills and scenarios are different. Drills are not emotionally charged or designed to make participants feel they are actually under attack, as scenarios are. Drills are just performing the pieces of the existing plan.

Three-Step Plan

A basic plan is: EVADE-BARRICADE-RESPOND (if necessary). Two steps that can be added are: BEING ARMED, either with improvised defensive tools or firearms if permitted in the workplace, and COMMUNICATION among employees and with law enforcement.

Run the drills at least every quarter, to ensure your active shooter response plan is feasible and that all employees can perform their assigned functions.

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