Once again another mass shooting is making headlines — this time much closer to home. Sadly, this statement has been true 274 times in 2017 alone. While you still have a better chance of being struck by lightning, shootings do happen and mass shootings in particular (involving four or more victims) are occurring with greater frequency, according to the FBI.

The odds of your business experiencing an active shooter event are relatively small. Nevertheless, you can significantly lower these odds by promoting a safe and secure environment for your employees, customers, and visitors. The following are five steps you can take right now to reduce the chances of workplace violence and mitigate any harm if an incident should arise:

Control Access To Your Facilities
Make sure keys and key code discipline is maintained. If you do not know how many keys or key codes exist or who has them, change them to ensure only those who need access to your business has it. Make sure your employees understand the importance of not permitting unknown person to “tag along” through secure access points.

Train Employees on Signs of Violent Behavior
According to the United States Secret Service, 90% of attackers engage in some behavior prior to an attack that cause others to be concerned. Additionally, they say that in nearly two thirds of any violent incident, more than one person had information about the incident before it occurred.

Provide Active Shooter Training
All employees should have training on how to protect themselves should gunfire erupt in the workplace. Workplace violence situations can escalate quickly–sometimes in two minutes or less. Training on what to do in those situations is the most important aspect of any workplace violence program.

Video Cameras and Alarms Systems
Installing visible video cameras and notices regarding security systems can be a deterrent to those considering violent behavior. It can also provide law enforcement with information needed to stop any additional incidents that may be planned.

Establish a Workplace Violence Task Force
Create and deploy a workplace violence team to assess and identify the risks associated with your business. Make sure all levels and all departments are included as different people see different things.

As the adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Put yourself and your business in the best possible position to prevent and manage workplace violence incidents. Remember – safety first.

Nevada Association of Employers is offering a webinar on Workplace Violence & Safety on Monday, October 16th at 9:00am. The webinar will be presented by Joe Rosner, Director of Best Defense USA. Joe Rosner is a nationally recognized speaker on workplace violence, personal safety, and self-defense. Interested in the webinar? Register here.