Improve Emergency Action Plans By Preparing For Active Shooter Incidents


According to OSHA, workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. A subset of this workplace violence falls into the category of “active shooter.” An active shooter is an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined or populated area. In most cases, active shooters use firearms and there is no pattern or method to their selection of victims. Active shooter situations are unpredictable and evolve quickly.

Recent Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) statistics show that active shooter events most commonly occur in businesses (45 percent), schools (25 percent) and government facilities (10 percent). The FBI has designated 50 shootings in 2016 and 2017 as active shooter incidents. Twenty incidents occurred in 2016, while 30 incidents occurred in 2017.1 Unfortunately, these incidents continue to rise in 2018. Further, analyzed 192 active shooter incidents between 2000 and 2015. It found that business locations were the site of more than half of all events, with 98.2

Now, more than ever, it is important for employers to improve their Emergency Response Plans and employee training with active shooter preparation and response programming. In order to understand the current best practices used for preparing for and responding to this workplace threat, the FBI published its Developing Emergency Operations Plans – A Guide for Business in March 2018.3 This 42-page document guides employers through the planning principles, planning process, and offers a basic plan and checklists for preparation and response to active shooter incidents.

Employers are encouraged to download and use this resource to better prepare their workplaces for this potential threat. Proper planning and training will prevent the loss of life! We have posted it for you at:

Should you require assistance with reviewing and improving your workplace emergency planning, please contact Gary L. Smith, CRM, CSRM, MLIR, Director of Risk Control at (517) 338-3367 or


  1. Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2016 and 2017 – U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation; April 2018.
  3. Developing Emergency Operations Plans – A Guide for Businesses – U.S. Department of Justice. Federal Bureau of Investigation; March 2018.
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