Arming Managers, Protection or Liability?

gun on office desk

How Arming Executives May Create Liability Issues

In 1986, the deadliest workplace shooting occurred at a United States Post Office in Edmond, Oklahoma. During that shooting, 15 people lost their lives and 6 sustained life altering injuries. But what is lesser known is that this incident is where the term, “Going Postal” was inspired. What is not inspiring though is the fact that since this tragedy, workplace violence has been on the rise.

According to OSHA, over 2 million U.S. workers are the victims of workplace violence each year. And since the Edmond, OK shooting there have been 37 mass shootings that fall under the ‘workplace violence’ category. Sadly, those 37 shootings have resulted in 211 deaths, and 154 injuries. So how can employers and corporations better protect those who work for them and reduce risk management liability?

A Viable Solution?

Arming upper level management is certainly one possible solution or response to active shooter situations. In the seconds that count during an active shooter situation, having someone within the building that is armed and trained could literally mean the difference between life and death for those around them. But doing so can carry heavy liability.

If arming managers is a viable solution, how do corporations and insurance companies balance protection and risk management?

They need to develop and implement a comprehensive training program and policy.

Any training program should include topics such as:

  • Firearms training and qualifications
  • Shoot-Don’t-Shoot simulations
  • Law Enforcement joint training
  • Local and state laws and regulations
  • Civil liability
  • Weapon storage and access
  • Psychological Evaluations
  • Post incident resources

Much like the debate to arm teachers, the decision to arm managers within corporations is sure to be a controversial one. But what is not controversial is the need to make public and private business more secure for its most precious assets, its people.

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