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In order to prevent active shooter incidents in the workplace, organizations must be able to recognize the warning signs and have solid reporting policies in place, according to a recent Risk & Insurance Management Society Inc. (RIMS) report. The RIMS report found that many workplace shootings involve employees, customers or someone related to the business. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that more than 20 percent of violent attacks in 2016 were carried out by individuals classified as people who employees likely recognized, with co-workers as the assailants in 66 workplace homicides. Students, patients, customers or clients were responsible for 49 incidents, and relatives or domestic partners caused 43 incidents, according to the report, which said assailants usually exhibit warning signs before causing violent situations. “Distinguishing whether those incidents are isolated or part of a progression may make all the difference in identifying threats,” the report noted. The risk manager and human resources department should establish a process where employees can report threatening activity. Employees should be encouraged to alert human resources if they feel their spouse or domestic partner might intrude on the workplace either physically or through the internet or social media. Organizations also should have active shooter preparedness plans in place and test those plans through tabletop exercises and planned or unplanned drills, the report said.

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