Overview: Workplaces are good targets for terrorist acts because they are consistent gathering places of many people at once. This is especially true of bigger workplaces in major cities. All employers can benefit from some level of terrorism response and prevention, but employers that are at higher risk for a terrorist act should make sure to have a complete plan in place.
There are many ways that a terrorist act could occur, and employers should be prepared for any of them. A terrorist act could involve a shooting, a chemical or biological attack or a bomb, among others. Workplaces should be prepared by teaching employees how to handle bomb threats, recognize suspicious packages, report unusual behavior and successfully evacuate buildings. Crisis Management Teams should also be instituted before any crisis takes place.
Should a terrorist act should occur, employers should be prepared to help affected employees. Counseling services or time off from work might be good places to start. An employer's response to a tragic event can go a long way towards making employees feel safe again.
Trends: As part of a terrorism prevention response, many states have established a toll-free telephone number that can be utilized to report any suspicious activities. Having such numbers listed near phones, in employee handbooks and anywhere else that can be easily accessed will allow employees to report potential terrorist acts directly to trained responders.
Author: Melissa Gonzalez Boyce, JD, Legal Editor
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