Examples of Workplace Violence:

  • Physical assault and/or threat
  • Stalking or continuous harassment of another causing terror, fear, worry or intimidation.
  • Actions aimed at disrupting or sabotaging business operations.
  • Indirect threats such as, “I know where you live.”

If you are a victim or a witness:

  • Call 9.911 immediately and advise the dispatcher of the following:
    • Your name, location and type of workplace violence.
    • Injuries and extent of the injuries.
    • Is a weapon involved?
    • Is the perpetrator still in the area?
    • Does the threat still exist?
    • A description of the attacker and direction of flight.
  • If no injuries occurred or there is no imminent danger:
    • Call 9.911 and report incident.
    • Advise your supervisor of the incident.

Types of Threats

  • Written
    • Notes or letters
    • Faxed messages
  • Electronic
    • Telephone or voice mail
    • E-mail
  • Following a person on or off site.
  • Repeatedly being in the same area when requested not to be.
  • Any behavior which creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work, learning, or campus living environment, and
  • which is based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, veteran’s status or any other legally protected characteristic, and
  • if such conduct would be offensive to a reasonable person.
  • Overheard threats which are directed against an employee, student or property.
  • Stalking
  • Harassment (also see Harassment Policy in Employee Handbook)
  • Overheard Threats

What to do if confronted by a threatening person:

  • Leave the area/get out of harm’s way...example: excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.
  • Call 9.911 immediately.

If you're unable to leave the area:

  • Try to stay at a safe distance.
  • Try to calm the threatening individual.
  • Try to get the attention of a co-worker so they can call 9.911.
  • Listen to the individual, letting them do most of the talking.
  • Use delaying techniques to give the individual the opportunity to calm down.
  • Acknowledge the person’s feelings.
  • Be respectful and empowering.
  • Be reassuring and point out choices.


  • Upset the individual with communication that generates hostility.
  • Reject all the person’s demands from the start.
  • Use body language/speech that challenges the person.
  • Make sudden movements.
  • Belittle, criticize or agitate the person.
  • Make false statements or promises.

Profile of A Workplace Violence Suspect:

  • Has irrational beliefs and ideas.
  • Is fascinated with weapons and acts of violence.
  • Expresses a plan to hurt one’s self or others.
  • Incites fear among co-workers.
  • Displays unwarranted anger.
  • Is unable to take criticism.
  • Has a noted change in usual behavior.
  • Feels victimized.

All Emergencies Dial: 9.911