HR Answers: Getting ahead of the safety curve

Keys to building a successful active threat plan

While the national conversation regarding violence in the workplace blames heightened awareness on media coverage, recent studies may provide statistical evidence supporting the perceived frequency. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 5 percent of all businesses experience an instance of workplace violence each year. For organizations with over 1,000 employees, this rate increases tenfold to 50 percent. A 2014 report from the FBI found active shooter incidents in the U.S. now occur on an average of once a month. Of these incidents, almost half occurred at a business while nearly a quarter occurred at pre-K to 12th grade schools and institutions of higher learning.

Although active threats and the environments where they take place vary from incident to incident, the common threads can be woven together to create the fabric of an effective and successful safety program. The following are lessons gleaned from past experience that credit unions can use as tools for building a safety-minded workplace.

Mindset to Clear the First Hurdle

More often than not, active threat training is the elephant in the room. Everyone has heard of incidents but they are reluctant to take steps toward mitigation. Reasons may vary from believing it’ll make employees more fearful than empowered to worrying the training might not be “right” for the team. However, looking the other way is not the solution to any problem, much less a problem with harmful consequences.


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