Workplace violence prevention: preparing practically and for potential compliance

In a recent OpenSesame webinar, David Versaw from OpenSesame course publisher WILL Interactive, Brendan King and Howie Scott from Crisis Consultant Group shared strategies and steps to prevent workplace violence. Active shooter and other violent events are on the rise so much so that compliance trendsetter, the state of California, is in the final legislative stages of adopting the United States’ first workplace violence mandatory training requirement for all employers in every industry.

Many states are expected to follow California’s legislative lead. Did you know, however, that 1 in 7 Americans do not feel safe at work and according to the FBI 43.7% of active shooter events take place in areas of commerce, 20.6% take place in schools, and 9.4% take place in government properties?  While these areas may seem very different , what they have in common is that they are all places of work.

When training your workforce for violence prevention or an active shooter threat, it is key to focus on not just on the event itself, but the before and after as well. 

    • Before: Look, listen, tell. 

Be aware of your coworkers and any changes in their personality, obsessions with combat gaming or violent imagery, and statements or comments about hurting themselves or others. If you feel uncomfortable bringing your concerns to a manager or your HR department remember that the risk of being wrong and possibly offending someone is outweighed by the reward, preventing violence and saving lives. 

    • During: Run, hide, fight. 

This is a popular phrase in active threat training but it can be confused for a list of instructions rather than a list of possible actions so it is helpful to pair these actions with zones that reflect how close someone is to an active threat. If you are in the Out of Range Zone of an active threat then you should run or evacuate and call 911. If you are in an Indirect Threat Zone, meaning you are close to the threat but hidden from view you should call 911, and you should run if your escape route is clear or hide if it is not. If you are in the Direct Threat Zone, meaning the active threat is visible and you are in close proximity then you should run or fight. 

    • After: Breathe, think, act. 

After the threat it is crucial to help yourself and those around you. The Hartford Consensus recommends following the acronym THREAT. Threat suppression, Hemorrhage control, Rapid Extraction to safety, and Transport to definitive care. 

Training your organization for the before, during, and after of an active threat can not only help prevent an active threat but also allow workers to feel safer and more confident in their workplace. There are many different options for training your workforce, and it comes down to finding which is the right fit for you. Learn more and watch the full webinar “Workplace violence prevention: preparing practically and for potential compliance” here.

With courses offered in multiple languages, and available on multiple devices we help companies like yours develop the world’s most developed and admired global workforces. For more information on how OpenSesame can save you time and money by curating the right courses for your organization, contact us at today, and be sure to check out courses from WILL Interactive on active threat response.