Preventing Workplace Violence

Some basic planning and preparation strategies can minimize or avoid violent situations in the workplace. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

Never underestimate the potential for violence, and take every threat seriously.

Prioritize peaceful conflict resolution. If safe, intervene when tempers fl are to deescalate the situation.

If you feel threatened by someone at work or at home, arrange to walk into and out of work with a group of employees – and let your supervisor and Human Resources help you work out a plan.

If you see something, say something – if someone feels off, talk to your supervisor or Human Resources about what you are witnessing.

Recognize potentially violent behavior

The following are indicators that can signal the potential risk of violent episodes:

Sudden change in behavior, deterioration in job performance.

Direct or indirect threats of violence.

Paranoid behavior.

Sexually harassing, or obsessing about a coworker: sending unwanted gifts, notes, unwanted calling, stalking.

Poor relationships with coworkers or management.

Sudden mood swings.

Sudden refusal to comply with rules or refusal to perform duties.

Inability to control feelings, outbursts of rage, swearing, slamming doors, etc.