Active shooter response safety procedure banner with stick figures: run, hide or fight

Active shooter incidents have become a major workplace safety concern. The threat isn't exclusive to schools as hospital emergency rooms, hotels and corporate offices make headlines in recent weeks.

But, the good news is, employers can mitigate such incidents by training their employees — particularly the facility staff. According reports from Business Insurance, training staff on what to do during and immediately following an active shooter situation can result in fewer fatalities and quick response from public safety officials.

A special agent from the FBI San Antonio division stressed the importance of cleaning workers in a time of crisis.

“When we do (safety) exercises, we always say the facilities person or the janitor is often the most important person," he said. 

Cleaning workers should be trained to safety make their way to entrances where they can meet up with law enforcement in an emergency situation. Bring any available plans or facility descriptions and key cards that will assist in a smooth sweep of the facility.

"Integrate into our command and help us make our way through the building,” said the agent in the article.

Office design trends, including the use of glass doors or open space concepts, have raised concerns about the safety of employees in active shooter situations. This is why the slogan of "Run, Hide, Fight" is fitting and should be practiced by everyone worker in a facility. There is always somewhere to hide, but people tend to panic in the moment, which is why practice drills are essential.

Officials comment that the "fight" portion of the slogan is the most controversial.

The FBI commented in reports, “A lot of people say ‘I can’t tell my employees to fight. There’s a liability there.’ It’s a little dramatic, but I used to say to people you can run, hide, fight or you can run, hide, die because what we’ve seen consistently is when that bad guy gets into a confined space and there are people in there, the people that just kind of curl up die.”

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