StatisticsAn estimated two million workers arephysically attacked each year.
Types of Workplace Violence
OutsidersThe perpetrator has no legitimatebusiness relationship to the workplaceand enters the workplace to commit arobbery or other criminal act.
InsidersThe perpetrator is either the recipientor the object of a service provided bythe affected workplace or victim.
Employee ConnectionThe perpetrator has someemployment-related involvementwith the affected workplace.
Ingredients for WorkplaceViolence
Mental IllnessMental illness is a core factor forthose who commit workplacehomicides.
Clinical DepressionClinical depression is the mostcommon problem seen bytherapists, counselors andpsychologists.
Personality DisorderPersonality has a tremendousimpact on how we function inrelationships, in the world and atwork.When the pattern of thinking andrelating deviates from the norm,these traits can become personalitydisorders.
PTSDIndividuals who experience PostTraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)have been exposed to a traumaticevent.
Substance AbuseSubstance abuse and chemicaldependency can lead a person to aviolent action and increase paranoiaand aggression.
PsychosisA person who is psychotic has lostcontact with reality and the ability todeal with normal, daily stress.
Limited Coping SkillsLimited or nonexistent coping skillslead to the inability to deal withnormal, daily stress.Individuals will often overreact tonegative events.
Limited Support SystemsInaccessibility to adequate socialsupport systems places individuals atfurther risk for perpetrating an act ofworkplace violence.
Mental IllnessWorkplace violence isn’t areflection on society, organizationsor managers but the employee’sinability to deal rationally andnonviolently with his or herproblem.
Profile of a Typical Perpetrator• Male• History of violence• Loner• Owns several weapons
Profile of a Typical Perpetrator • Requested assistance • Angry person • History of interpersonal conflict
Profile of a Typical Perpetrator• Socially withdrawn• Introverted• Paranoid• Engages in self-destructive actions
Disgruntled ComplainerMost cases, called “revengeattacks,” involve chronicallydisgruntled complainers.These perpetrators have chronicdisciplinary histories, poorinterpersonal relationships and ahistory of impulsive behavior.
LonerThe loner may work at anorganization for years withoutanybody really knowing him orher.Loners are most likely to plot andplan an act of violence.
Domestic AbuserDomestic abusers include a current orformer husband, lover, partner orboyfriend who come into the workplaceto kill or injure their partners.When women are at work, their partnersknow where to find them, and thisplaces not only the victim but the wholeworkplace at risk.
Romantic ObsessorRomantic obsessors believe that theobject of their attraction is in lovewith them.The behavior generally escalatesand may start with letters andintensify to harassing phone calls,attempted personal contact, threatsand even assault.
Warning Signs• Attendance problems• Impact on manager’s time• Decreased productivity• Inconsistent work patterns
Warning Signs• Poor on-the-job relationships• Concentration problems• Safety issues• Poor health and hygiene
Warning Signs• Unusual or changed behavior• Fascination with guns or other weapons• Evidence of possible drug use or alcohol abuse
Warning Signs• Evidence of serious stress in personal life• Continual excuses or blame• Unshakable depression
Dealing with a PotentiallyViolent Situation
Dealing with a Potentially Violent Situation1. Report any concerns or inappropriate behavior.2. Pay attention to your “gut feelings.”3. Don’t panic – stay calm.4. Speak in a normal voice.5. Don’t argue.
Dealing with a Potentially Violent Situation6. Acknowledge the emotion of the situation.7. Establish boundaries.8. Ask questions9. Know your reporting procedures.10. State consequences.
Emergency Responses• Protect yourself• Call for help• Evacuate the building