What To Do If Someone Begins Shooting In The Workplace?

By: Thomas P. Brady

This year has seen an increase in incidents involving workplace shootings, including the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. According to a Fact Sheet published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shootings have accounted for seventy-eight percent of all workplace homicides. Eighty-three percent of these shootings occurred in the private sector. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates that the overall cost related to violence in the workplace is more than $120 billion.

The Department of Homeland Security has published a poster that employers may post on "How to Respond When An Active Shooter Is In Your Vicinity." The poster may be found here.

It is important that employers develop a plan on how to respond to any violent incidents in the workplace. We recommend employers consider the following factors when preparing a violence in the workplace plan:

  • Develop a policy prohibiting violence in the workplace;
  • Conduct a physical security survey and assessment of the premises;
  • Develop procedures for addressing threats and threatening behavior;
  • Organize and train an incident response team;
  • Coordinate with local police, fire and other first responders;
  • Train management, supervisors and employees in what to do in the case of a violent incident;
  • Develop outside resources, like media consultants, psychologists and grief counselors, for use if there is a violent incident; and
  • Enforce your anti-harassment and anti-violence policies.

If you have any questions about developing a violence in the workplace plan, please contact Thomas P. Brady at (313) 965-8291 | eat0@eau0eav0eaw0, or another member of Clark Hill's Labor and Employment Practice Group.