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Five New Trends for Workplace Violence Prevention

As active assailants modify their tactics, security professionals need to modify theirs. Consider these five ideas when changing policy, training, and advancing the security mindset.

1. Educate staff about police response.

Under the extreme stress of an active shooter event, employees may not always recognize law enforcement officers because they will arrive wearing uniforms of different colors, in plainclothes, or wearing many combinations of camouflage or tactical gear. It’s critical to train employees that the police response will be swift and aggressive in a highly chaotic environment, and staff will need to follow instructions, provide ongoing information about the shooter, and move out of the building.

2. Expect uncommon weapons.

Recent mass attack perpetrators worldwide have used multiple firearms, edged weapons, vehicles, and arson to attack victims. Security professionals must have a safety, security, and first aid plan for all types of attackers, not just those with a firearm.

3. Provide facility key cards to first responders.

While key card systems provide good access control for the flow of employees and visitors during normal business operations, locked doors can keep first responders out or trap them in parts of the facility during a shooting. Train all employees to give the responding police their key cards, install master key cards into exterior lock boxes, and create ways to disable these systems in emergency evacuation situations.

4. Tourniquet training.

After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School attack, a group of physicians, trauma surgeons, and first responders created the Hartford Consensus, which led to the formation of hospital-led training programs for citizens and employees, using one-hour “Stop the Bleed” training classes on how to use tourniquets. Put tourniquets into all first aid kits and automated external defibrillator (AED) installations and get staff training through

5. Insist on yearly RESPONSE drills.

Under stress we go back to how we have been trained, making this drill a necessity. Top management resistance or apathy about scheduling an annual 15-minute drill needs to be overcome.


Steve Albrecht, CPP, is internationally known for his training, writing, and speaking on workplace and school violence prevention. His 21 books include Some People Are No Damn Good, Albrecht on Guns, Ticking Bombs, and Fear and Violence on the Job. He can be reached at [email protected].