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What does OSHA expect for company training with regard to an active shooter event?

Though OSHA does not have any specific guidelines for active shooter training courses, they recognize the importance of preparing workers for these types of incidents.

The courts and OSHA alike hold employers responsible for preventing workplace violence under the General Duty Clause, which states: “Employers must maintain a workplace free from recognized hazards causing, or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to workers.”

In 2017 OSHA released a directive titled “Enforcement Procedures and Scheduling for Occupational Exposure to Workplace Violence.” This directive was for OSHA inspectors, in order to start implementing proper workplace training for violent events.

OSHA does not have specific requirements for active shooter response training.

However, employers are responsible for putting into action a plan and a training program.

Where Should Companies Start with Active Shooter Response Training?

Start by understanding OSHA’s general guidelines for a workplace violence incident. That’s the best way to be proactive and implement a safety training program that helps prepare employees for an active shooter incident. These guidelines can be used for training employees for any type of workplace violence event.


  • Employers must have a plan that focuses on the risks most likely to affect your workplace
    • If you own a retail store that’s open early in the morning or late at night, incidents are more likely to occur in those high-risk times of the day. So, make sure training includes how to prevent an incident by using safety procedures.
  • Management commitment and worker involvement
    • It’s not enough to establish a plan. You need to get both management and employees in on the plan. Offer feedback and participate in a dialogue so everyone understands what to do if a workplace violence incident occurs.
  • Conduct a worksite analysis that assesses your facility’s strengths and schedule classes!