Currently, an average of 18,000 workplace assaults are logged weekly in the United States. 

It’s not a misprint, 18,000. With this truly staggering number, it’s no surprise organizations are becoming more serious about implementing additional workplace violence initiatives to keep their people safe.

What’s more is these incidents have an economic cost of an estimated $121B each year. This cost factors in lost productivity, lawsuits and settlements, damaged reputation and lost sales or contracts, counseling, increased insurance costs, and cleaning and refurbishing incident sites.

Preparis, with help from an expert business continuity and security consultant, recently hosted the webinar, “Workplace Violence: Prevention & Response.”  The focus was to address some of the main concerns and issues organizations face with workplace violence incidents. You can view the webinar here.

Our expert stressed that organizations should follow these 6 steps to prepare for a potential workplace violence incident:

  1. Have a crisis action plan in place.
  2. Conduct training on your crisis action plan and have regular exercises.
  3. Limit public access to facilities and implement visitor accountability.
  4. Open lines of communication between management and employees concerning threats. (Take all threats seriously.)
  5. Make sure you have a way to account for all employees and staff.
  6. Exercise the crisis action plan and update accordingly.

While each of these steps is important, it’s crucial to get your entire workforce involved in training, just as you would for a fire or tornado drill. Preparis offers treat specific training – find out more here.

Here are some training tips to keep in mind:

  • Get first responders involved – they will help with training and testing plans.
  • There needs to be some discussion and interaction with your workforce.
  • Have a multi-faceted approach – use what works best for your organization (i.e. online training videos and interactive courses, live tabletops and drills, employee exercises).

Lastly, if you ever find yourself in a workplace violence or active shooter situation, remember these 3 important steps:

  1. Run – Have an escape route and plan on where to go. Leave your belongings behind. Prevent others from entering the area. Call 9-1-1 when it is safe to do so.
  2. Hide – If you cannot run, shelter-in-place in an area out of the shooter’s view. Block entry to your hiding place and secure the door. Silence communications devices. Remain very quiet.
  3. Fight – As a last resort and only if your life is in danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter. Act with physical aggression and throw items at the active shooter. Commit to your actions.

To download Preparis’ Workplace Violence Checklist, click here.

If you would like more information on training and tabletop exercises or how you can communicate with and account for your employees during a workplace violence incident, click here.