Depending on the nature of your business, you may employ security personnel who are permitted to carry handguns with them while on-the-job.
Naturally, it’s extremely important that you only hire qualified candidates for such positions. However, while you should trust your security personnel to already understand gun safety, it’s wise to require that they undergo regular firearm safety training as well.
The following are key benefits of prioritizing this form of training
You’ll hopefully never learn that a customer or employee was injured because a member of your security team was negligent when handling their firearm. However, this can happen.
There are also instances when an injured party may claim security personnel negligence was a factor in their injury, even though this might not actually be the case. Perhaps it was the injured party who was actually negligent.
In these circumstances, if they choose to file a claim or lawsuit, you need to be able to show that you’ve taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents. Although no one can guarantee an ideal outcome for your business when a claimant seeks compensation, if your security team genuinely wasn’t negligent, you (or your insurer) will be less likely to pay out if you can demonstrate that you’ve trained your employees to handle their firearms responsibly.
Easing Employee Fears
Armed security guards exist to protect employees. That said, some employees understandably feel tense or anxious when in the presence of anyone with a firearm.
This can have a negative impact on employee engagement. Research has shown that employees are less likely to be engaged at work if they don’t feel safe. On the other hand, research has also shown that providing employees with a safe working environment boosts engagement, which can boost overall workplace safety. Engaged employees are simply more attentive to hazards and risk factors.
Thus, along with training your security personnel regularly, you may want to make it clear to all employees that you’re doing so, even if they aren’t necessarily going to be the ones participating in training sessions. They’ll likely feel more comfortable with the presence of armed guards if they know said guards are properly trained.
Although the presence of armed guards at your business may be necessary in some instances, ideally, they’ll never actually have to use their firearms at work.
However, if they’re not using their firearms often, they may grow “out of practice.” This can manifest itself in the form of forgetting safety procedures. Even a minor error can have significant consequences when a firearm is being handled.
That doesn’t need to happen. Instead of assuming all members of your security team know how to handle their firearms safely and haven’t forgotten any of the basics, require that they undergo annual training.
Although the details of the applicable laws can vary from one state to another, in some instances, armed security guards are required to undergo routine training. Make sure you’re thoroughly aware of the requirements in your state when deciding how (and how often) to train your security personnel. Again, although an accident will ideally never happen, if one does, you may be able to minimize your liability by showing you’ve complied with the laws and regulations.
None of this is meant to suggest that firearms are inherently “bad.” On the contrary, armed security guards could potentially save lives. You simply need to ensure yours are properly and regularly trained.