Workplace Safety

Threats to safety are becoming an increasingly common problem in schools, businesses, and even churches. Your organization can establish procedures that may help prevent an unsafe  situation from occurring or may help minimize the damage if a threat to workplace safety occurs.

You’ll need at least two sets of procedures: A preventative plan and an emergency response plan.

Prevention: The sample policy below is designed to prevent threats to workplace safety. It requires visitors to check in, prohibits weapons on your property, and reminds employees that you have a right to inspect all work areas, classrooms, and common areas.

Emergency Response: Because every organization is unique, it’s vital to create an emergency response plan that assesses your particular situation and determines how you’ll respond to workplace safety concerns.

Your response plan should address at least three basic threats:

  • The report of a weapon.
  • The use of a weapon.
  • A hostage situation or barricaded gunman.

For each scenario, consider how you will perform the following functions:

  • Communication: How will you tell others about the threat and possibly the need to evacuate? Who will notify law enforcement?
  • Evacuation: How will people leave the building and where will they go afterward?
  • Responsibilities: Who will do what?
  • First aid: How will you treat the injured?
  • Training: How will you ensure that everyone knows what to do in a crisis situation?

For help developing workplace safety response procedures for your organization, talk with first responders, emergency managers, community organizations, and others about how you can prepare for violent incidents and respond to them.

Your local police department’s Special Response Team (SRT) or Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit may have a response plan that it would be willing to share. In addition, the local school system may be able to recommend some safety experts who have conducted training workshops in your area.

Be sure that the expert you choose has proper credentials and has experience working with religious organizations like yours. Ask similar organizations about their crisis response plans and encourage them to start continuity planning, if they haven’t already.


It’s important that a safe, secure workplace be maintained for the benefit of this organization’s employees, members,  students, or others on the premises. Accordingly, any actual or potential threat to safety within the workplace will be promptly addressed. Any employee who threatens or commits violence in the workplace faces disciplinary action, which could include immediate termination. No threats of violence will be tolerated.

“Violence” includes physically harming another, shoving, pushing, harassing, intimidating, coercing, displaying weapons, or threatening or talking of engaging in those activities. It’s the intent of this policy to ensure that everyone associated with this organization, including employees, members, students, or others on the premises, can feel as secure as possible in this environment.

This organization specifically bars employees from possessing weapons on our property, unless the weapons remain locked in the trunk of an employee’s car. Similarly, employees may not carry weapons while engaged in business on our behalf. Weapons include guns, explosives, and other items designed to inflict harm. Employees may carry non-lethal sprays (such as pepper spray or mace) for personal protection. Such sprays may be used only to protect oneself or others from physical harm. Appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including termination, will be taken against any employee who violates this policy.

Desks, telephones, computers, and work areas are the property of (name of organization). Accordingly, (name of organization) reserves the right to enter and inspect your work area, classroom, storage areas, computers, or desks, with or without notice.

All business and personal visitors should use the main entrance of the building and register with the receptionist during office hours. When an employee is advised of guests, the employee should personally meet visitors in the reception area, ensure that the guests have completed the visitor log, and escort them throughout the building until they depart. This helps our organization provide security and maintain proper procedures.

(Name of organization) locks all entrances to the building at the end of each day. Unless an employee has personal knowledge of the visitor, the employee should not permit any non-employee to enter the building after hours. If an employee has invited a guest into the building after work hours, the employee should accompany the guest at all times.

Employees should immediately report any suspicious people or activities to the business administrator. They should also report any threats of violence against an employee or the organization, as well as any violations of this policy.

This is a sample handbook policy only. Your organization is responsible for compliance with all applicable laws. Accordingly, this document should not be used or adopted by your organization without first being reviewed and approved by a licensed attorney in your area. Brotherhood Mutual assumes no liability in preparation and distribution of this sample document.

Working Together © 2022 Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved. Updated 9/2021.