Friday, October 2, 2015

5 Keys to Building an Active Threat Plan

Underscoring the apparent rise in workplace violence media reports, a 2014 FBI report found that active shooter incidents in the U.S. happen about once a month, an increasing trend over time. In a recent Convenience Store News article, Jay Hart, director of Force Training Institute, writes about the five keys to building a successful plan for handling an active threat situation. 
  1. Getting started. Employers are often reluctant to implement active threat training, Hart says. Their reasons vary, but “looking the other way is not a solution to any problem,” he says. Leadership should evaluate what type of training is suitable for the workplace and begin taking steps to implement that training.
  2. Flexibility. Responses to violence will certainly vary from one situation to the next, but having too many procedures can be just as ineffective as a one-size-fits-all solution, Hart says. A plan should be based upon a set of principles so that employees can take decisive action in a critical situation.
  3. Being proactive. Rather than hoping nothing bad happens, companies should take a proactive approach and empower employees with the tools to help them identify warning signs and communicate high-risk indicators to leadership.
  4. Communicate clearly. Hart says clear communication is a critical aspect of a response plan before, during and after an incident.
  5. Customer service. Clear communication extends to customers as well. For example, Hart recommends rather than using “code red” that employers use plain English to warn of an active shooter situation so that employees, customers and vendors can seek safety.