Develop a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy

HR Professionals Respond To Active Shooter Incident with Ideas to Prepare Businesses for the Unthinkable

The nation is still reeling from the shocking workplace shooting that took place on the afternoon of Friday, February 15th at Henry Pratt, a Mueller Company on the near west side of Aurora. Five employees were fatally wounded and another employee, as well as 6 law enforcement officials, were injured by Gary Martin, an employee that was in the process of being terminated.

The Tandem Family of Companies, who provided Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services to the first responders, delivered trauma response services, including confidential counseling for both employees and their family members.

“It’s important for the responders, victims, the affected families, and the whole Henry Pratt community to have resources available to help them deal with, what can be, complicated responses to this heartbreaking event,” says Helen Corley, Director of TFC’s Employee Assistance Program division. EAP services, which have been a traditional part of business benefits packages since the late 1980s, are only a part of the solution.

A reported 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year, according to the National Safety Council with the deadliest situations involving an active shooter. It is essential that all businesses have policies and procedures in place to prevent workplace violence, as well as plans to react in emergency situations like this.

“Unfortunately, this type of workplace tragedy is far too common in America today,” says Salo Doko, President of the Tandem Family of Companies. “It’s this type of event that forces employers and HR professionals to consider the importance of best practices around both employee termination and workplace violence.”

The HR experts at TFC remind their clients and other organizations to actively take steps to deter and adequately deal with workplace violence including:

  • Develop a zero-tolerance workplace violence policy.

    Keep it in your employee handbook and routinely review it with all employees, not just the new ones.

  • Train employees how to identify and deal with workplace violence.

    Include concrete examples of behaviors that are unacceptable and what action steps they can take to report or deal with them.

  • Document an emergency plan for an active shooter incident.

    Use exercises to roleplay, so employees get comfortable with your emergency plans.

  • Train management to identify the warning signs of potential future violence.

    Include proper responses and documentation in your training.

If your business needs assistance with developing or implementing workplace violence policies, procedures or training, contact The Tandem Family of Companies today at 630.928.0510 or visit