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Cooperatively Developed By. Building A Safe Workplace: Preventing Workplace Violence Employee Training. and The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Program Objectives. 1. Participants will understand the mutual responsibility of employer and employee to maintain a safe place to work.

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Cooperatively Developed By

Building A Safe Workplace:Preventing Workplace


Employee Training


The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania


Program Objectives

1. Participants will understand the mutual responsibility of employer and employee to maintain a safe place to work.

2. Participants will be able to identify workplace situations which may be potentially violent.

3. Participants will recognize the warning signs for potential workplace violence.

4. Participants will learn how to respond to actual or potentially violent workplace situations.


Employer Responsibility

The Commonwealth

is committed to providing

a safe work environment.

employee responsibility
Employee Responsibility

All employees are responsible for making and reporting observations and taking measures which help to facilitate and ensure a secure workplace which is free from threats of violence.



  • Workplace Violence
  • Assault
  • Domestic
  • violence
  • Intimidating or
  • harassing behavior
  • -Psychological
  • intimidation or
  • harassment
  • -Physical intimidation
  • or harassment
  • Threat
  • SEAP

Typesof Violent Episodes

 Stranger Violence

 Client Violence

 Employee Violence

 Domestic Violence

domestic violence
  • Domestic violence accounts for 27%
  • of all workplace violence
  • Early warning signs include:
  • increased fear
  • emotional episodes
  • physical injury
  • phone calls
  • performance decline

If You Know a Victim ofDomestic Violence...


Express concern


Offer help



Continuum of Violence

  • Early on in the process there may be:
    • Refusal to cooperate
    • Rumors and gossip
    • Arguing
    • Belligerence
    • Swearing
    • Sexual comments
        • As feelings grow there may be:
          • Increasing arguments
          • Refusal
          • Sabotaging
          • Threats to self/ others
          • Sending sexual, violent, or inappropriate notes
          • Stalking
  • As behavior escalates there may be:
    • Threatening/attempting/ committing suicide
    • Physical fights
    • Destruction of property
    • Criminal activity
    • Threatens to use/ uses weapons to harm others.

What to Watch For

Everyone has his or her own “normal”


Be a good observer of unusual behavior, routine, and changes from the usual.


Warning Signs

  • History of violence
  • Mental illness
  • A romantic obsession
  • Chemical dependency
  • Chronic blaming
  • Impaired neurological functioning
  • Increased frustration with one’s circumstances
  • Fascination with weapons
  • Threats of revenge
  • Absence of emotional control

Triggers of Workplace Violence

  • Domestic disputes
  • Job performance counseling or disciplinary action
  • Job stress
  • Harassment
  • Racial, ethnic, cultural, gender or lifestyle conflicts
  • Furloughs
  • Terminations

Possible Motivations

Individuals exhibiting violent behavior may have the following motivations:

  • Face-saving
  • Attention-seeking
  • Manipulating
  • Retaliating

Assault Cycle

  • First:
    • A traumatic experience
    • Second:
    • Projection of responsibility; externalization of blame
  • Third:
    • Self-protection and self-preservation
    • Fourth:
    • Internal conflict followed by committing or attempting to commit violence

Avoiding Victimization

  • Be alert.
  • Avoid unnecessary risks.
  • Always have a plan.
  • Let someone know where
  • you are.
  • Report any potential or
  • actual incidents to your
  • supervisor.

Agency Workplace

Violence Coordinator

  • Purpose:
  • Assess
  • Prevent
  • Implement
  • Communicate
  • Recommend/ implement training Workplace hazard assessment
  • Trauma Team.

How to

Address Violence

  • Early Warning Signs
  • When the Situation Has Escalated
  • In an Emergency

Addressing Potential Violence

Employees have a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace. We recommend the following process to assist employees in addressing uncomfortable situations:

-Think before you act.

-Assess your feelings.

-Describe behavior observed.

-Assess behavior.

-Determine whether you need assistance.

-Report the threat/behavior to your supervisor.


Responding to a Threat:

During a Confrontation

When in physical jeopardy,seek safety and call law

enforcement as soon as possible.

  • Remain calm.
  • Try not to escalate the situation.
  • Establish an escape route.
  • Involve witnesses.
  • Activate response plan.
  • Give your full attention.
  • Restate/validate their concerns.
  • Ask for their suggestions.
  • Let them know what you can do.
  • Follow through.

Preparing to

Deal With Violence

Aggressive Behavior

Bomb Threats

Telephone Threats

Mail & Packages


The Obligation to

Report Incidents

  • Employees are to report any workplace situation which may contribute to the occurrence of violence to their supervisor in accordance with agency policy.
  • Supervisors are to take appropriate action and report back to the employee in a timely manner.