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Preventing Active Assailant Events in the Workplace Webinar: Part 1 of 3

oswaldcompanies May 18, 2023

Active assailant events are becoming more frequent and they’re causing more injuries and casualties than ever before. They’re happening in schools, public spaces and workplaces of all types.

This alarming trend prompted Oswald to host a three-part webinar series on prevention, response and recovery. The first webinar took place on May 17, hosted by David Hosier, senior risk management consultant at Oswald, and Jason Destein, consultant and physical security at Margolis Healy & Associates.

Jason discussed the history of active assailant events, the current environment and how to prevent these tragic events.

The first mass shooting in the workplace occurred in 1984 and these targeted acts of violence are on the rise. The U.S. is currently experiencing an average of one mass shooting per week and, if we stay on this trajectory, we could reach 500 per year, Jason said.

This has prompted companies, schools and government entities to spend $3 billion a year on security tools such as cameras and locks. That’s up from $100 million annually in 2008, Jason said.

While these tools and tactics are helpful, organizations must combine technology with staff capabilities and purpose to create a balance that puts the organization in a much better position to prevent and deter targeted workplace violence.

Be Proactive, Pay Attention

We often ask the important questions after an act of violence: who, what, why. The answers to these questions are typically visible beforehand when the perpetrator shows signs of violent tendencies.

For example, a school shooting occurred in 2013 in Arapahoe, Colo. It was later discovered that the shooter began showing signs of violence toward his classmates in 2003. If these common signs are linked and investigated in real-time, and help is provided, prevention is a much stronger possibility.

Prevention becomes even more likely if the community is involved. Make it easy for neighbors, friends and family to report strange or violent behavior. Platforms exist that enable people to report anonymous tips. Government agencies are using these platforms to prevent many types of crimes, such as active assailant events and trafficking.

10 Steps to Prevention

Jason provided 10 steps to prevent targeted violence in the workplace. Below are the first three steps. Watch Oswald’s one-hour webinar for the full step-by-step planning guide. Password: Active20231!

  • Change the mindset of your organization to thinking about prevention. Notice the signs or cries for help.
  • Assemble and train a threat assessment team
  • Implement an Evidence-based violence prevention program

By following these 10 steps, your security ecosystem will be more balanced and designed to reasonably anticipate when someone needs help. If you anticipate, you can prevent.

None of this is easy. Oswald and Margolis Healy can help your organization become better prepared and protected. Visit and Margolis Healy.

Sign up for the remaining free webinars on response and recovery.


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