How to prepare your work force for a mass shooting

On February 9th, a shooting and bombing incident was reported in a health clinic in Buffalo, Minnesota. Before 11 am, a man of 67 years old opened fire at the facility, resulting in four employees injured and one killed. Unfortunately, this is just an example of many mass shootings experienced in the US in the last years. More than 36,000 Americans die from gun violence every year, and more than 100,000 are wounded, based on the Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund info.

According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), the number of mass shootings in the US has increased year-on-year in frequency, fatalities, and injuries since 2014. Last year, 578 mass shootings were reported. This data exceeds the number of totals of each previous year. The same data shows that 54 mass shootings have been registered so far this year.


On the other hand, the latest BLS data shows that violence is the fourth leading cause of non-fatal workplace injuries and the second of fatal workplace accidents. Workers in specific industries such as service providers, health care, education, transportation, retail, and leisure and hospitality are more exposed to experience different acts of violence than others. In 2018, there were 351 shootings in workplaces.

The impact of gun violence in the US affects society in different ways. For instance, these events cost the American economy 49 billion dollars in victims’ lost wages and productivity every year. Moreover, violence affects the local economic growth and commerce of communities that have experienced shootings. When a mass shooting happens at work, employees can experience difficulties when it comes to reintegrating into their job—for example, psychological trauma, loss of productivity, and medical costs.

Due to their primary location in poor neighborhoods and towns, workplaces such as dollar stores have been identified as targets for shootings. Another factor is that they are places where criminals can quickly get cash. Shooting incidents at dollar stores include altercations inside the stores, carjacking in the parking lots, and drug deals.

ProPublica cites GVA data, which indicates that since 2017, more than 200 incidents involved guns at dollar stores, and nearly 50 of these resulted in deaths. At least 31 cases resulted in wounded employees, and in at least seven other incidents, employees were killed.

As we discussed in a previous blog, being prepared for experiencing a workplace emergency is the best way to deal with a tragedy similar to a workplace shooting. With the assistance of suitable safety protocols and well-trained employees, they can better prepare workplaces to respond to emergencies like shootings. Workplaces can be a target for violence due to many reasons such as a disgruntled employee, a personal relationship that goes violent, or because they are often associated with things such as wealth, money and success. Therefore someone could decide to target a workplace resulting in affects on your employees, customers, and the physical facilities.

Kwema mitigates the safety risks that people face in the workplace by providing wearables. When employees are in danger, they can easily activate an emergency protocol to contact the security staff and the authorities quickly. Additionally, Kwema wearables can automate roll calls and locate your people during a mass evacuation.


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