Preventing Workplace Violence: Everybody's Responsibility

Reviewed Jun 24, 2020

Close

E-mail Article

Complete form to e-mail article…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

Separate multiple recipients with a comma

Close

Sign-Up For Newsletters

Complete this form to sign-up for newsletters…

Required fields are denoted by an asterisk (*) adjacent to the label.

 

Summary

  • Take steps to prevent workplace violence.
  • Recognize and report threats from co-workers or clients.
  • Help keep your worksite safe.

We hear about workplace attacks often. You might think workplace violence only involves physical attacks and murder. However, the FBI reports that workplace violence from co-workers or clients often starts with bullying.

In general, workplace violence can be broken down into four types:

  1. Crime from outside, such as theft or terrorism
  2. Crime committed by a client
  3. Crime committed by a co-worker
  4. Crime related to domestic violence or stalking

Prevention is always the best policy

Every employee can help reduce the chance that workplace violence will occur.

The first step is to always be aware of your safety at work. That could be as small as making sure the door locks behind you. Or it could be noticing and reporting threatening or strange behavior from a co-worker or client.

The second step is to read your company’s violence prevention policy. Ask Human Resources (HR) about it. Make sure you understand the policy and any parts you need to practice. For example, you may need to know how the alarm system works, or you may need to practice an escape plan.

The third step is to understand that workplace violence often starts with small things. You may notice a co-worker or client making threatening remarks, or you may see a change in behavior in someone at work. Maybe a co-worker has become very angry or sad and has started talking about weapons a lot.

If you notice behaviors that trouble you, report them to your supervisor, HR, or employee assistance program right away. Do not assume that someone else will report it. Your company will keep your report confidential. This is the single most important thing you can do.

Other warning signs from co-workers or clients include:

  • Alcohol and drug use disorders
  • Complaints of unfair treatment
  • Grudges over real or imagined grievances
  • Recent purchase of a weapon or talk of weapons
  • Violent or suicidal comments
  • Threats to workers who are victims of domestic violence or stalking

The FBI says that victims of domestic violence or stalking are more likely to talk to a co-worker than a supervisor. If you think a co-worker may be a victim of domestic violence or stalking, talk to HR.

Try to have the courage to report your concerns. Many times a victim of workplace violence has heard the attacker make threats, but they were too scared to report it.

Help keep the physical worksite safe

It may not be your job to keep doors and lights in working order; but it is everyone’s duty to report problems. For example, if you notice someone propping open a locked entry door, report it. If you notice a broken light in the parking lot, report it.

Other tips include:

  • Do not share keys, key cards, or codes.
  • Do not prop open doors.
  • Keep passwords and codes hidden.
  • Follow procedures for allowing visitors and other strangers to enter the workplace.
  • Follow all policies related to building and staff security. 
By Amy Fries

Summary

  • Take steps to prevent workplace violence.
  • Recognize and report threats from co-workers or clients.
  • Help keep your worksite safe.

We hear about workplace attacks often. You might think workplace violence only involves physical attacks and murder. However, the FBI reports that workplace violence from co-workers or clients often starts with bullying.

In general, workplace violence can be broken down into four types:

  1. Crime from outside, such as theft or terrorism
  2. Crime committed by a client
  3. Crime committed by a co-worker
  4. Crime related to domestic violence or stalking

Prevention is always the best policy

Every employee can help reduce the chance that workplace violence will occur.

The first step is to always be aware of your safety at work. That could be as small as making sure the door locks behind you. Or it could be noticing and reporting threatening or strange behavior from a co-worker or client.

The second step is to read your company’s violence prevention policy. Ask Human Resources (HR) about it. Make sure you understand the policy and any parts you need to practice. For example, you may need to know how the alarm system works, or you may need to practice an escape plan.

The third step is to understand that workplace violence often starts with small things. You may notice a co-worker or client making threatening remarks, or you may see a change in behavior in someone at work. Maybe a co-worker has become very angry or sad and has started talking about weapons a lot.

If you notice behaviors that trouble you, report them to your supervisor, HR, or employee assistance program right away. Do not assume that someone else will report it. Your company will keep your report confidential. This is the single most important thing you can do.

Other warning signs from co-workers or clients include:

  • Alcohol and drug use disorders
  • Complaints of unfair treatment
  • Grudges over real or imagined grievances
  • Recent purchase of a weapon or talk of weapons
  • Violent or suicidal comments
  • Threats to workers who are victims of domestic violence or stalking

The FBI says that victims of domestic violence or stalking are more likely to talk to a co-worker than a supervisor. If you think a co-worker may be a victim of domestic violence or stalking, talk to HR.

Try to have the courage to report your concerns. Many times a victim of workplace violence has heard the attacker make threats, but they were too scared to report it.

Help keep the physical worksite safe

It may not be your job to keep doors and lights in working order; but it is everyone’s duty to report problems. For example, if you notice someone propping open a locked entry door, report it. If you notice a broken light in the parking lot, report it.

Other tips include:

  • Do not share keys, key cards, or codes.
  • Do not prop open doors.
  • Keep passwords and codes hidden.
  • Follow procedures for allowing visitors and other strangers to enter the workplace.
  • Follow all policies related to building and staff security. 
By Amy Fries

Summary

  • Take steps to prevent workplace violence.
  • Recognize and report threats from co-workers or clients.
  • Help keep your worksite safe.

We hear about workplace attacks often. You might think workplace violence only involves physical attacks and murder. However, the FBI reports that workplace violence from co-workers or clients often starts with bullying.

In general, workplace violence can be broken down into four types:

  1. Crime from outside, such as theft or terrorism
  2. Crime committed by a client
  3. Crime committed by a co-worker
  4. Crime related to domestic violence or stalking

Prevention is always the best policy

Every employee can help reduce the chance that workplace violence will occur.

The first step is to always be aware of your safety at work. That could be as small as making sure the door locks behind you. Or it could be noticing and reporting threatening or strange behavior from a co-worker or client.

The second step is to read your company’s violence prevention policy. Ask Human Resources (HR) about it. Make sure you understand the policy and any parts you need to practice. For example, you may need to know how the alarm system works, or you may need to practice an escape plan.

The third step is to understand that workplace violence often starts with small things. You may notice a co-worker or client making threatening remarks, or you may see a change in behavior in someone at work. Maybe a co-worker has become very angry or sad and has started talking about weapons a lot.

If you notice behaviors that trouble you, report them to your supervisor, HR, or employee assistance program right away. Do not assume that someone else will report it. Your company will keep your report confidential. This is the single most important thing you can do.

Other warning signs from co-workers or clients include:

  • Alcohol and drug use disorders
  • Complaints of unfair treatment
  • Grudges over real or imagined grievances
  • Recent purchase of a weapon or talk of weapons
  • Violent or suicidal comments
  • Threats to workers who are victims of domestic violence or stalking

The FBI says that victims of domestic violence or stalking are more likely to talk to a co-worker than a supervisor. If you think a co-worker may be a victim of domestic violence or stalking, talk to HR.

Try to have the courage to report your concerns. Many times a victim of workplace violence has heard the attacker make threats, but they were too scared to report it.

Help keep the physical worksite safe

It may not be your job to keep doors and lights in working order; but it is everyone’s duty to report problems. For example, if you notice someone propping open a locked entry door, report it. If you notice a broken light in the parking lot, report it.

Other tips include:

  • Do not share keys, key cards, or codes.
  • Do not prop open doors.
  • Keep passwords and codes hidden.
  • Follow procedures for allowing visitors and other strangers to enter the workplace.
  • Follow all policies related to building and staff security. 
By Amy Fries

The information provided on the Achieve Solutions site, including, but not limited to, articles, assessments, and other general information, is for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, health care, psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral health care advice. Nothing contained on the Achieve Solutions site is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or as a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care professional. Please direct questions regarding the operation of the Achieve Solutions site to Web Feedback. If you have concerns about your health, please contact your health care provider.  

 

Close

  • Useful Tools

    Select a tool below

© 2023 Beacon Health Options, Inc.