You can decrease the odds of workplace violence by knowing the warning signs, reporting any violent or potentially violent behavior, and learning to effectively deal with stress and conflicts. Remember to report all forms of violence that occur in the workplace. By informing your supervisors and security of potentially dangerous individuals, you could save lives—even your own.
Verbal outbursts are important to address, because they can often signal more serious violence to come. Verbal attacks can include:
Most cases of workplace violence don't just happen. The best way to identify potential violence is to recognize warning signs.
Anger and violence can occur when:
A threat is the clearest indicator that violence will follow. There are three types of threats:
There are other signs that usually accompany a threat. A potentially violent person:
It is crucial that you report any violence (verbal or physical) to your supervisor and security. Don't ignore it. If the perpetrator actually commits the violence he or she threatened, the consequences can be devastating. The university has an anti-violence policy, and you don’t need to fear any repercussions from reporting violent behavior.
It is important to know how to communicate and resolve a hostile or potentially violent situation before it escalates.
Do not attempt to handle the situation on your own. If you cannot call security and have the opportunity to calm the person down, utilize the basic conflict communication skills above and concentrate on: