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Active Shooter Policy: What Employers Need to Know in 2020

Always Be Prepared for Emergency Situations in the Workplace

It’s a sad reality that many people have a looming fear of active shooters in the workplace. Unfortunately, their fears aren’t misguided. According to the FBI, 60% of active shooter incidents occur in businesses. However, as an employer there are actionable steps you can take to prevent an active shooting, ease employee concerns and protect your people.

Step 1: Form a Planning Team

It’s important that your planning team has representation from departments across the business, as well as first responders. In the same breath, the planning team should be small enough to encourage close collaboration, yet large enough that it doesn’t put the burden on any one person.

The planning team could include:

Business Departments  Public Safety  External Partners 
  • Corporate
  • Operations
  • Facilities
  • Security
  • Managers
  • Legal
  • External Affairs
  • Media Relations
  • Local Police Department
  • Fire Department / Rescure
  • Emergency Medical Services
  • FBI
  • FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF)
  • Vendors
  • Hospitals
  • Nearby businesses / public facilities
  • Communicty Services

Step 2: Identify Warning Signs for Violent Behavior

Since no profile exists for an active shooter, it can be hard to notice the warning signs. However, there are indicators for potential violent behaviors.

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Employers and employees should watch for these behaviors:

  • Contextually inappropriate and recent acquisition of multiple weapons
  • Contextually inappropriate and recent escalation in target practice and weapons training
  • Contextually inappropriate and recent interest in explosives
  • Contextually inappropriate and intense interest or fascination with previous shootings or mass attacks
  • A significant real or perceived experience of personal loss in the weeks and/or months leading up to the attack, such as a death, breakup, divorce, or loss of a job

Step 3: Create an Active Shooter Policy

In your employee handbook, you should include an active shooter policy. This policy should be designed to provide associates with the information they need to alert others of threats and protect themselves against danger.

Here are 7 things to include in your policy:

  1. Company emergency number
  2. Critical training on how to inform police (description of suspect, suspect location, number of weapons etc.)
  3. Break down of Run. Hide. Fight. training model
  4. Evacuation policies (building blueprints)
  5. Post-incident action
  6. Medical assistance plan
  7. Available notification channels for employees and families of associates

Step 4: Educate Your Workforce on Active Shooter Response Plans

Every employee should receive basic training for responding to active shooter events using the Run. Hide. Fight. model.

Provide employees with detailed instructions that they, and their families, can follow during an emergency.

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Your employees will most likely have many questions, including:

  • How will we be notified that there is an active shooter?
  • What should employees not at work at the time of the incident do?
  • What crisis number can family members call to get information regarding their loved ones?
  • Who will provide family information and counseling?
  • What alternatives to verbal communication will be available?
  • Do we have armed security?
  • What’s the expected response time from emergency departments?
  • How will we know which areas of the building are safe?

Take the time to answer these questions and include an FAQ section in your active shooter policy.

Step 5: Exercise Trainings with Emergency Departments & First Responders

Effective training includes drills that involve emergency responders. Take the time to invite these valued partners to your facilities. Conduct walk-throughs of the building and allow law enforcement to provide input on shelter sites and potential watch outs.

Your planning team should trade personal information with first responders, so they always have available contacts in case of an emergency.

Paycor Can Help

Paycor’s Learning Management System (LMS) combines virtual, classroom, mobile and social learning modules on one platform, to enable your employees to learn when, where and how they want. Easily develop and distribute active shooter trainings to associates, track completions and rest assured knowing your employees are properly informed. Learn more about Paycor’s LMS here.


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