Safety Matters: Active Shooter Preparedness

Workplace violence can happen anytime 

One of the most extreme instances of workplace safety for which employees need to be prepared is an active shooter incident at work. When faced with such a terrifying situation, it’s important that employees have been properly trained - and have practiced - how to respond. Workplace training videos that teach preparedness for active shooter situations are invaluable for realistically depicting what could occur, and teaching what steps to take.


The best defense against an active shooter incident (ASI) is planning. During workplace safety training, teach all employees the company’s emergency action plan, including how to report an emergency and how to safely exit the building, depending upon where you believe the shooter to be. Take the time to learn the 2 exits closest to your workstation. Also, have employees spend time searching for good hiding spots within the building, should an ASI occur.

Stay Calm and Call 911

If a shooting occurs, try to stay as calm and as quiet as possible. This includes silencing your cell phone, and any other noises that might draw the shooter’s attention. Call 911 if you can do so quietly. If you can’t speak to the dispatcher without risk of being heard by the shooter, simply call and leave the phone line open so the dispatcher can hear what’s going on.

Run or Hide

If possible, run and exit the building, but only if there is a safe escape route. If it’s not possible to get out of the building, hide. Try hiding behind something that will protect you, like a large filing cabinet or desk. If you’re in an office, lock your office door and barricade it with furniture.

Wait for Police to Arrive

Only attack the shooter if you have no other option. Otherwise, wait in as safe a location as possible for police to arrive, then keep your hands up to indicate that you aren’t a threat.

To properly prepare employees for this and other workplace safety situations, use workplace training videos like Getting Real About Workplace Violence. This video teaches that through planning, prevention and knowing how to act, we all have the power to save lives during an active shooter incident.