Workplace Violence

Description: “Violent behavior” means any act or threat of physical, verbal, or psychological aggression or the destruction or abuse of property by any individual. Threats may include veiled, conditional, or direct threats in verbal, written, electronic, or gestural form, resulting in intimidation, harassment, harm, or endangerment to the safety of another person or property.

There are many forms that workplace violence can take:

  • Suicide threats
  • Threats to injure, or the injury of property or persons
  • Fistfights
  • Shootings
  • Stabbings
  • Sexual assaults
  • Unauthorized use of deadly weapons or explosives
Roles & Responsibilities:
  • ERT/Leadership
    • Call 9-1-1
    • Evacuate personnel from the area
    • Direct emergency responders to the area where the incident is occurring
  • Staff
    • Do not attempt to disarm any individual with a weapon
    • Assist anyone who is injured
    • Evacuate personnel away from the scene
    • Allow law enforcement to contain the incident and secure the area
    • Report the incident to your supervisor
Additional Resources & Information:
  • Risk Factors
    • Prior violent behaviors in any of the following situations/settings: other employment setting; domestic violence; criminal record; military record
    • Aggressive property misuse or destruction: throwing, kicking, punching, breaking
    • Direct, conditional, or veiled threats
    • High risk mental disorders (not mental disorders per se!)
    • Fascination for or empathy with workplace violence perpetrators in the news.
    • Substance use combined with any of the above
    • Perception (accurate or not) of having been victimized by workplace, supervisors, or coworkers
    • Obsessive interpersonal behavior: stalking, confronting, spying, harassing, blaming
    • Agitated misery
  • Behaviors Associated with Escalating Risk
    • Increasing intensity of conflicts
    • Movement from veiled threats to specific threats
    • Increasing frequency of conflicts
    • Nothing-to-lose statements
    • Increasing alienation
    • Increasing agitation
    • Statements suggesting increased interest in and access to weapons
    • Stated expectation of notoriety
Additional Resources: