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Another week of awful headlines, this time from California. Still more mass shootings. But if you have been following the news, there’s been many more. And obviously, Connecticut has not been immune from mass shootings and active shooter situations.

I’ve talked about workplace violence incidents before but over the last several years, employers have begun to realize that having policies prohibiting workplace violence isn’t enough. Training workplace staff on how to deal with violent incidents can make a real difference.

The average active shooter event lasts 4-8 minutes, so every second counts in making decisions. Being locked down just under a desk alone is not necessarily the recommended approach anymore.

There are several approaches that training takes now and no blog post can recap that advice.

The FBI advocates the Run. Hide. Fight. approach. For “Run”, it means having an escape route and plan in mind and more. For “Hide”, it may include locking door and blocking entry to your hiding place. For “Fight”, it means acting as a last resort and act with as much physical aggression as possible.

Another approach is ALiCE – Alert, Lockdown, inform, Counter and/or Evacuate.

Any of these options might be a best first option. These include calling 9-1-1 to alert authorities.

For employers, offering your employees with options on how to respond to a workplace shooting can buy your workers valuable time and options.

The headlines and news each day are tough to hear and you can feel helpless to respond at times. But action steps by employers now can offer opportunities to save lives in the event the headlines get a little too close to home. It’s not a guarantee but it improves the chances of survival.