So far, in 2023, there have been at least 39 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 18 deaths, including shootings at schools in Nashville, Tennessee, and Michigan State University. Workplace shootings outside of schools also took place earlier this year in Half Moon Bay, California, when an agriculture worker killed four and wounded one at a mushroom farm, and in Yakima, Washington, when a man opened fire at Circle K killing two people inside the store and one outside.
These and other incidents reveal the increase in workplace violence and the boost in Active Shooter, Assailant, and Deadly Weapons Protection coverages. According to an article in PropertyCasualty360 last year, submissions and bind orders at AXA XL for Active Shooter insurance were up 50%. Beazley has also seen a spike for its Deadly Weapons Protection.
These programs in varying forms can provide preventive advisory services and coverage for legal liability, crisis management, employee counseling, medical services, property damage, business interruption, and more.
Robust Risk-Prevention Plans Needed
Organizations should evaluate their risk-prevention plans for proactive steps they can take to help mitigate workplace violence risks. Working with an experienced security consultant to complete a full evaluation of the business and operations is integral to a sound risk-management strategy. A consultant can assist in thoroughly securing a building, developing a pre-screening procedure for visitors to reduce the risk of an outside perpetrator, and creating a screening plan for employees that fits into a comprehensive workplace violence prevention program, among other measures.
Furthermore, workplace violence incidents are frequently preceded by warning signs and unusual behaviors. Organizations and their employees must recognize these red flags. Some threats can be eliminated from the outset if employees are trained to recognize and report certain behaviors. A security consultant can assist in developing a best-in-class employee training program that empowers employees to reduce potential violence.