Violence in workplaces across the United States is a growing problem, with shootings too often reported at manufacturing plants, shopping centers, schools, night clubs, churches and many other places.
No industry or location is without risk in today’s environment.
(Learn More. Workplace Violence can happen in any organization, regardless of size, mission space or location. Courtesy of Kiernan Group Holdings and YouTube. Posted on Jun 26, 2019.)
The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), the world’s oldest professional safety organization, has taken a new step to help curb the risk of workplace incidents involving active shooters and armed assailants.
ASSP has published a new technical report, registered with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), that can help guide companies to safer environments and a coordinated response should a hostile event occur.
“How to Develop and Implement an Active Shooter/Armed Assailant Plan,” a consensus-based document, contains recommendations from safety experts on how a business in any industry can better protect itself in advance of such an incident.
(A review of key concepts covered in ASSP’s Feb. 2019 technical report, “How to Develop and Implement an Active Shooter/Armed Assailant Plan.” Courtesy of ASSP Safety and Vimeo.)
The ASSP technical report is the collaborative work of more than 30 professionals experienced in law enforcement, industrial security and corporate safety compliance, aiming to drive a higher level of preparedness against workplace violence.
ASSP has more than 38,000 members worldwide who are on the front lines of occupational safety and health, seeking solutions to complex issues.
“In the safety profession, we manage risk for our organizations, so having the right tools is critical,” said Brian Hammer, chair of ASSP’s technical report committee who spent 20 years in law enforcement.
“While no one can completely prepare for horrific acts of violence, smart workplace strategies can help mitigate threats and better protect workers everywhere.”
“There can be deadly consequences to being unprepared.”
(The American Society of Safety Professionals says their report highlights the need for a safety plan. Report Committee Chair Brian Hammer tells KDKA Radio’s Larry and John the FBI statistics speak for themselves. Courtesy of The KDKA Radio Morning News.)
According to FBI data from the past two decades (2018 data is not yet available), U.S. active shooter scenarios reached an all-time high in 2017 with 30 incidents, up 50 percent from the previous year.
Active shooter fatalities spiked in 2017 to 729, more than three times the nation’s previous high of 214 deaths in 2016.
“While the technical report can help any business create a safer climate, it’s especially beneficial to companies that don’t have the expertise to prepare for an armed assailant and are looking for a blueprint to assist them,” explained Hammer.
“The report is just what a safety manager needs to thoroughly assess risks and implement controls.”
A company’s safety preparedness hinges on a comprehensive assessment of where threats and vulnerabilities exist.
Once a safety plan is developed, all staff must be trained.
Exercises such as tabletop drills, tactical drills and full-scale practice sessions help to verify and further improve the implemented controls.
Security cameras and badge entry systems also can help protect a facility and account for all employees during an emergency.