Active Shooter: Workplace Violence

"Active shooter" incidents are in the news and a source of anxiety for us all. "It will never happen here," is not a strategy. An average of 900 workplace homicides occur in the United States every year. But there is something you can do to prepare yourself and your co-workers for the unthinkable. This training for HR, training and security leaders provides real-life stories, pertinent facts and steps you can take to prepare for and respond to an emergency. In addition to a compelling narrative from former agent Haley, your company will secure the guidance and information tools to update or implement your legally compliant Emergency Action Plan (EAP) along with specific Active Shooter Preparedness Guidelines.

HOW NIOSH DEFINES "WORKPLACE"

Let’s start by defining the U.S. workplace. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health is the U.S. federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.

How "workplace is defined"


Their definition of the “workplace” is any location, permanent or temporary, where an employee performs work-related duties.  This could include the physical premises of offices or manufacturing, the property perimeter, parking  lots, clients’ homes and all areas where employees travel to and from work assignments.  A lot depends on the type of business you run, but many employers are under the impression that they only need to worry about the physical office locations.

The "workplace" could include the physical premises of offices or manufacturing and the property perimeter is included. What is not an area to be considered other than the physical office locations?

  • parking lots
  • field locations
  • client's homes
  • where employees travel to and from work assignments
  • the property next to your location

Broad NIOSH Definition of "workplace violence"

Any physical assault, threatening behavior or verbal abuse occurring in the work setting.

This includes (but is not limited to):


Beatings

Stabbings

Suicides

Shootings

Rapes

Near Suicides

Psychological traumas such as:

Threats

Obscene Phone Calls

Intimidating Presence

Harassment of any nature such as being followed, sworn at or shouted at

Emergency Planning and What OSHA says

Emergency Planning

For all of us, the bottom line is that in our workplaces, every one of our employees deserves to feel safe. 

Under federal law, OSHA requires it, labeling it a company’s responsible to provide a safe workplace for their employees. 

Under state law, worker’s comp covers the protection of employees in the workplace. 

Every company’s approach for potential active shooter incidents should be incorporated into the same plan you would use for all types of emergencies...in other words, have an “all hazards plan.”

  • Are there physical barriers that would limit where the shooter could go within your building?
  • Are there obstacles that might also keep your active shooter from escaping?
  • Are your old physical security measures adequate?
  • Where would a shooter likely enter from?
  • How would an employee alert others of the threat?
  • And finally, who will likely be the first person in contact with the shooter and what protections can be offered to them?

  Some of the factors to consider in your plan might include:

OSHA REQUIREMENTS

General Duty Clause

General Duty Clause 

OSHA regulations mandate for employers…”employers are obligated to furnish employees an environment which is free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm."

Up to what penalty amount could employers face if they do not meet this standard and found guilty of a "WILLFUL" violation?

Types of Violations

  • WILLFUL: A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.
  • SERIOUS: A serious violation exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
  • REPEATED: A Federal agency may be cited for a repeated violation if the agency has been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition and, for a serious violation, OSHA's regionwide (see last page) inspection history for the agency lists a previous OSHA Notice issued within the past five years; or, for an other-than-serious violation, the establishment being inspected received a previous OSHA Notice issued within the past five years.
  • OTHER-THAN-SERIOUS: A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature, is classified as "other-than-serious."

Up to what penalty amount could employers face if they do not meet this standard and found guilty of a "SERIOUS" violation?

Types of Violations

  • WILLFUL: A willful violation is defined as a violation in which the employer either knowingly failed to comply with a legal requirement (purposeful disregard) or acted with plain indifference to employee safety.
  • SERIOUS: A serious violation exists when the workplace hazard could cause an accident or illness that would most likely result in death or serious physical harm, unless the employer did not know or could not have known of the violation.
  • REPEATED: A Federal agency may be cited for a repeated violation if the agency has been cited previously for the same or a substantially similar condition and, for a serious violation, OSHA's regionwide (see last page) inspection history for the agency lists a previous OSHA Notice issued within the past five years; or, for an other-than-serious violation, the establishment being inspected received a previous OSHA Notice issued within the past five years.
  • OTHER-THAN-SERIOUS: A violation that has a direct relationship to job safety and health, but is not serious in nature, is classified as "other-than-serious."

OSHA Citation as Evidence

A willful OSHA violation can be evidence of intentional tortious injury for which employer has no workers’ compensation immunity.

For example, in a civil trial for negligent supervisor and/or retention of an employee, an OSHA violation can be used as evidence of intentional injury for which an employer has no workers’ compensation immunity.


Employers must be able to show they have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that is “OSHA compliant”, in that it provides for the following:

  1. Procedures to report fire or emergencies

  2. Procedures for evacuation

  3. Procedures for “critical staff” that might stay behind for critical area operations

  4. Procedures to account for employees after evacuation

  5. Procedure

    s, including training, for employees who might perform rescue and/or medical duties (i.e. first aid, CPR, AED, fire extinguishers, etc.)

  6. And finally, the responsible employees to maintain the emergency evacuation plan and duties for specific employees





WORKPLACE VIOLENCE PROGRAM COMPONENTS

What are the necessary components of a workplace violence program according to the broad state workers' compensation regulations?

Companies should have a mindset with regard to evacuation and safety programs;

What are the necessary components of a workplace violence program according to the broad state workers' compensation regulations?

Initiating a  based workplace violence  with visible spport from the highest levels of .

What are the necessary components of a workplace violence program according to the broad state workers' compensation regulations?

Companies must focus on  and the  for their employees as much as possible (and reasonable under the law).