It’s safe to say that most companies underestimate how susceptible they are to workplace violence and an active shooter and threat scenario. While there are some industries that are more prone to incidences, workplace violence is a threat to all work environments. It is in the best interest of all business owners, board of directors, leaders and managers within each organization to assess the exposure, communicate and educate your workforce, and manage the risk to protect your assets and financial interest.
In a matter of minutes, with little to no warning, an active shooter can kill and/or injure dozens of employees and/or customers. While the incident may not occur on your premises, the proximity of the event to your property can still have an impact on your business. It is important to understand how this would affect your workforce and customers, your short and long-term earnings, and your brand.
While this is a worldwide issue, these incidences are certainly prevalent in the United States, occurring in small and large towns across the country and in various types of environments. Unfortunately, the number of events are occurring more often and increasing in numbers. According to the FBI and the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training Center, between 2000 and 2008 there were roughly 7 active shooter events per year. Over the past 8 years, that average nearly tripled to 19 per year and that number continues to grow. In 220 incidences that occurred, almost half took place in retail/hospitality, education and government/military locations. Shopping malls, residential and office buildings, hotels, restaurants, and college and university campuses have been the scene of shootings and the level of risk is only increasing.
Business owners need to be diligent and take an active role in assessing potential threats, provide security and other pre-incident services, and consult with an experienced Risk Management professional to ensure proper programs are in place to protect your business.