Violence in Workplace - Shelter in Place
October 16, 2020 Safety News

Surviving an Active Shooter Attack

Be Prepared, Not Scared.

While it’s scary to think about … knowing what to do in an active shooter situation could save your life.

Workplace violence is a growing concern for employers nationwide, and it is now the third leading cause of occupational death and the fastest growing type of homicide in the United States. The cost of workplace violence is about 4 billion dollars annually, including employee injuries, property damage, lost productivity, lost sales, and negligence lawsuits. Workplace violence often times involves an active shooter situation. 

Run, Hide, Fight 

When confronted with an active shooter situation remember: Run, Hide, Fight.


  • Take note of the nearest exits in any facility you visit – have an escape route and plan in mind.
  • Evacuate if it is safe to do so – leave your belongings behind and keep your hands visible.


  • If it is not safe to evacuate – shelter in place – try to get into a room and secure the door as best as possible.
  • Silence the ringer and vibration features on your cell phone.
  • Turn off the lights if possible and stay as low to the ground as possible.


  • As a last resort, and only when your life is in imminent danger, when the shooter is in close range and you cannot flee:
  • Attempt to incapacitate the shooter.
  • Act with aggression and use any means at your disposal.

CALL 911:

  • When in doubt, call the police. Trust your instincts!

Active Shooter Preparation Video

In the 20-second video below, Beacon’s Senior Loss Prevention Consultant, Armand Bilodeau, explains what to do to help you and your employees survive an active shooter situation:


Steps to Preventing Workplace Violence

Nothing can guarantee employee safety from workplace violence, but there are steps employers and employees can take to minimize the risk:
  • Notify management or supervisors about any concerns regarding safety and security.
  • Take every threat seriously. Never underestimate the potential for violence.
  • Secure the workplace and where applicable install video surveillance, extra lighting, and alarm systems. Minimize access by outsiders through identification badges, electronic keys, and guards.
  • Instruct employees not to enter any location where they feel unsafe. Introduce a “buddy system” or provide an escort service or police assistance in potentially dangerous situations or at night.
  • Develop policies and procedures covering visits by home healthcare providers. Address the conduct of home visits, the presence of others in the home during visits, and the worker’s right to refuse to provide services in a clearly hazardous situation.
  • Always position yourself in such a manner to provide a way to the exit if a person becomes violent.
  • Let others know what you are doing so they can monitor your safety.
  • Educate yourself and your employees. Download the Violence in the Workplace Safety Alert or the Active Shooter Poster which describe when to run, when to hide, when to fight, and when to call 911. 

Violence in the Workplace Training

Would you know what to do in the event of a violent act in your workplace? Every organization should have a workplace violence prevention plan and Beacon is here to help. This webinar will cover many of the aspects of violence in the workplace including an active shooter, types of workplace violence, individual traits to watch for, warning signs, prevention techniques, what to expect from the police response, how to protect yourself and others, risk assessment, security and safety tips, reporting and handling procedures, and OSHA regulations and requirements.

Learn More and Register

Armand Bilodeau
Written by

Armand Bilodeau

Senior Loss Prevention Consultant

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