Work Violence and Workplace Violence

At EPIS, Inc., our trained workplace violence investigators can assist you with many aspects of Workplace Violence, if you think you may have a Workplace Violence issue or would like more information, please contact our toll free number of 1888.404.EPIS or complete our online form.

What Is Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence can be any act of physical violence, harassment, and threats of physical violence, threatening, or other intimidation, disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site. Workplace violence can affect or involve employees, visitors and contractors.

There are a number of different actions in the work environment, which can trigger or cause workplace violence. It may even be the result of non-work-related situations such as domestic violence or "road rage." Workplace violence can be inflicted by an abusive employee, a manager, supervisor, co-worker, customer, family member, or even a stranger. Whatever the cause or whoever the perpetrator, workplace violence is not to be accepted or tolerated.

Nevertheless, there is no sure way to predict human behavior and, while there may be warning signs, there is no specific profile of a potentially dangerous individual. The best prevention comes from identifying any problems early and dealing with them.

There are several other Ways to Prevent Workplace Violence during Terminations.

Deterrence of Workplace Violence

A sound deterrence plan is the most important and, in the long run, the least costly portion of any company's workplace violence program. Your company should have the following programs in place to help prevent workplace violence:

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution

    This program is most effective in resolving disputes when a conflict has been identified early and one of the following techniques is used:

    • ombudspersons
    • facilitation
    • mediation
    • interest-based problem solving
    • and peer review
  • Pre-Employment Screening

    A company should determine, with the assistance of its servicing personnel and legal offices, the pre-employment screening //4D techniques which should be utilized, such as interview questions, background and reference checks, and drug testing if it is appropriate for the position under consideration and consistent with Federal laws and regulations.

  • Identifying Potentially Violent Situations

    If you ever have concerns about a situation which may turn violent, alert your supervisor immediately and follow the specific reporting procedures provided by your agency. It is better to err on the side of safety than to risk having a situation escalate.

  • Security

    Maintaining a safe work place is part of any good prevention program. There are a variety of ways to help ensure safety, such as employee photo identification badges, guard services, and individual coded key cards for access to buildings and grounds. Different measures may be appropriate for different locations and work settings. EPIS, Inc. can assign investigators in this setting.

The following are warning indicators of potential workplace violence:

  • Intimidating, harassing, bullying, belligerent, or other inappropriate and aggressive behavior.
  • Statements showing fascination with incidents of workplace violence, statements indicating approval of the use of violence to resolve a problem, or statements indicating identification with perpetrators of workplace homicides.
  • Direct or veiled threats of harm.
  • Numerous conflicts with customers, co-workers, or supervisors.
  • Bringing a weapon to the workplace (unless necessary for the job), making inappropriate references to guns, or making idle threats about using a weapon to harm someone.
  • Statements indicating desperation (over family, financial, and other personal problems) to the point of contemplating suicide.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Extreme changes in normal behaviors.

Once you have noticed a subordinate, co-worker, or customer showing any signs of the above indicators, you should take the following steps:

  • If you are a co-worker, you should notify the employee's supervisor immediately of your observations. Violence TechniquesIf it is a customer, notify your supervisor immediately
  • If it is your subordinate, then you should evaluate the situation by taking into consideration what may be causing the employees problems
  • If it is your supervisor, notify that person's manager.
  • It is very important to respond appropriately, i.e., not to overreact but also not to ignore a situation
  • Sometimes that may be difficult to determine. Managers should discuss the situation with expert resource staff to get help in determining how best to handle the situation.