Gun Violence Concerns Prompt Increased Security, VR-Based Training in Workplaces

Small business are looking at enhancing their security in the wake of numerous gun violence incidents in workplaces over the last year.

A survey conducted by Vistage Worldwide Inc. on behalf of The Wall Street Journal finds 35 percent of business owners say they have taken steps to protect against potential shootings or other workplace violence—or plan to do so soon. The survey polled nearly 800 small companies.

“Some companies are adding security cameras and replacing open-door policies with buzzers and locks, while others are signing up for advanced first-aid training or making tough choices about allowing weapons at work,” the report noted.

Other companies are turning to virtual reality training to simulate active shooter events.

Pixvana, a virtual reality (VR) solutions provider specializing in corporate learning and training, and Alexo, experts in tactical training to counter workplace violence, said this month they are partners in the release of a VR experience intended to prepare employees for an active shooter event. The Active Shooter Response training experience utilizes VR’s immersive powers to enable learners to practice situational awareness, increase readiness, and quicken reaction and response.

The VR training video features Alexo’s founder, Drew Hancock, a Seattle police officer and SWAT Supervisor. Through the VR training, Hancock teaches decision-making strategies and simulates life-saving tactics for employees. Interactive quizzes are featured during and after the program.

“It’s unfortunate that this type of training is now necessary for every company, large and small, and for every employee near and far,” Hancock said. “However, VR makes it simple for even the most disparate, global organizations to deploy this high-impact training at scale, anytime and anywhere.”

Seattle-based Vulcan Inc., which oversees the business activities and philanthropic efforts of Microsoft’s late co-founder, Paul Allen, has been the first to trial the innovative workplace safety training for its employees. Early results from the VR experience show a 32 percent overall increase in employee readiness for a live shooter event, according to a release from the firms.

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Article Written by Joan Goodchild | View all articles by Joan Goodchild