Workplace Violence: Warning Signs

The following is a list of warning signs that an individual could become violent. Remember that you have the right to a safe and healthy work environment.

  • Case folder indicates previous history of violence
  • Makes hostile remarks
  • Seems distracted
  • Has difficulty concentrating
  • Appears anxious, upset, or depressed
  • Speech disjointed, doesn’t make sense
  • Body language: combative stance, makes fists, wild gestures, pacing, etc.
  • Personal appearance unkempt or markedly different than usual
  • Dressed inappropriately for climate/weather, such as heavy clothes in summer or light clothes in winter
  • Makes repeated phone calls expressing rage, anger, or threats or claims that s/he is not receiving services to which they believe s/he is entitled
  • Refuses to take medication
  • History of drug or alcohol abuse

Remember! Violence at the workplace is a serious problem and should be identified, assessed, and controlled–just like any other workplace hazard. If you are concerned about violence at work, talk to your co-workers, health and safety committee, union representatives, and employer.


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