by Morgan Montalvo
A national risk assessment group has developed a blueprint to help small businesses plan for and defend against armed attacks in the workplace, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
The American Society of Safety Professionals' Active Shooter/Armed Assailant Technical Report teaches small business owners and managers how to assess a wide range of risks, says Brian Hammer, the organization's project chairman.
Hammer says the report is an outgrowth of a larger threat assessment document for large companies, tailored for smaller firms that lack large safety or security budgets.
"Any organization, first of all, needs to assess what their risk is. That risk means 'What are the threat levels that could occur?' and is that a mad customer, a disgruntled employee, a mad vendor, somebody who is politically not aligned with what you do," Hammer says.
According to the FBI, he says, the number of workplace armed attacks increased by 50 percent from 2016 to 2017, with a threefold increase in related deaths.
Hammer says any company's workplace safety plan "has to be developed around their location. And when they've developed that plan, they've got to come up with 'What are the things that we need to improve on?'
"And some of that is, in fact, what we're going to call 'target hardening,' " he says.
Armed attacker deterrents, Hammer says, can be as simple - and affordable - as more lighting in dark areas around building exteriors, better locks, and wireless video cameras that are easily monitored from a laptop or mobile device.
"As I harden my facility, I also harden it against theft, I harden it against vandalism and, of course, in this case I harden it against somebody who may want to do my employees some harm," Hammer says.
The American Society of Safety Professionals' Active Shooter Armed Assailant Technical Report is available at: http://www.assp.org