Is Your Company a ‘Soft Target’?

Soft TargetCategory: Opinion

The recent shootings at the Walmart in EL Paso and Ned Pepper’s Bar in Dayton illustrate the vulnerabilities of soft targets, i.e., establishments easily accessible to anyone.

Both of these locations are also workplaces. Workplace shootings are a common occurrence that happen with such regularity they don’t even make the front page of the news anymore. Do you realize that, just since the Dayton shooting on August 4th, there have been 10 more mass shootings (workplace & non-workplace) according to the Gun Violence Archive?

Although it’s uncomfortable to do, every manager at every workplace needs to consider how their organization would react if an active shooter entered their building. Here are some considerations:

Determine if Your Workplace is a Soft Target

How soft of a target are you? Do you have a retail operation? Are you a warehouse with many people coming and going? An office building with lax security? The softer the target, the more training you need to cover all the possibilities of how such an event could happen and how to react. And even in a relatively harder-target location, you have new employee interviews, ex-employees visiting HR, vendors, repair people and contractors in and out regularly.

Train Employees

Every employee needs to know what to do given their situation if an active shooter appears. No matter what, the basic steps to follow during an attack are:

  • RUN and escape, if possible.
  • HIDE, if escape is not possible
  • FIGHT as an absolute last resort.

There are many other things to think about such as planning before an event, and what to do immediately after one according to Homeland Security. You can read more tips on their website by clicking here.

We also have a 40-second video (mp4) animating the three steps above, that you are welcome to download from us at no charge/no signup. You can use it on almost any digital signage or computer you already have to get started with some basic employee training.


Deliver the important workplace and home safety messages that keep your employees informed and motivated with Marlin’s Electronic Communication Station (ECS). Address key issues like teamwork, quality, diversity, and job safety along with news, sports, and weather to keep them engaged and coming back. Learn more here.

Frank Kenna III
August 14, 2019

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