The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) is collaborating with safety and health experts to develop an active shooter technical report.
The report would help companies and organizations take steps to prevent hostile events and create safer work environments, according to ASSE.
“We are reminded far too often that workplace safety planning is never a finished product,” said Jim Smith, ASSE president, in a statement. “There are critical concerns that need our help in finding solutions, especially on the topic of active shooters because those occurrences in the workplace can have deadly consequences.”
Incidents of workplace violence caused 866 deaths in 2016, which was a 23 percent increase from the 2015 total of 703. Workplace violence was the second-leading cause of on-the-job fatalities in 2016, trailing only transportation-related deaths, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
When a critical safety issue demands more timely action, ASSE produces a technical report, serving as an incremental step in providing initial guidance on that safety matter. These reports can also be a value-added first step in the creation of a more detailed workplace safety standard. Both are consensus-based documents, according to the organization.
The development process is expected to be completed before the end of the year, with the final report made available nationwide following its registration with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). ASSE began writing the technical report after its members and other stakeholders requested technical insight and guidance addressing active shooter events from the perspective of the occupational safety and health professional.
“The safety of workers in any setting is of utmost importance to ASSE, and unfortunately there is no industry or location that is risk-free in today’s environment,” Smith said. “Senseless acts of violence have occurred in schools, night clubs, churches, government offices, manufacturing plants, shopping centers and many other places. As occupational safety and health professionals, we must help employers pursue preventive measures and help get more people trained to recognize and report warning signs in order to mitigate risks.”
At its Safety 2018 Professional Development Conference and Exposition this June, ASSE will conduct a general session on the active shooter issue. A panel featuring experts from the Department of Homeland Security, law enforcement, corporate risk management and employee assistance programs will discuss how safety professionals can best prepare for, and react to, workplace violence. The highly anticipated session runs from 9:15 am to 10:30 am CT on Wednesday, June 6, at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio.