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Top Tips Part IV – Tips for Employees in Preventing Workplace Violence

Do’s 

  1. Trust your instincts.  If you have a generalized feeling of fear or discomfort, it may be more accurate than you think.  Report it to HR!
  2. Immediately report all Level 1, 2 and 3 behaviors.  Level 1 behaviors often escalate into Level 2 and 3 behaviors, but employees often don’t report Level 1 or 2 behaviors.  When in doubt, report the behavior to HR.
  3. Immediately report warning signs that make you fearful or uncomfortable.  Warning signs may or may not mean that violence will occur, but why take a chance?  Report them to HR.
  4. Immediately remove yourself from situations that make you fearful or uncomfortable.  If you can do so without jeopardizing your safety, you should immediately remove yourself from situations that are making your fearful or uncomfortable.  Do it calmly, without making a scene, without warning to the other person that he/she is scaring you, and then report the situation to HR.
  5. Keep and preserve all evidence of threats and potential violence.  If you receive threatening or harassing e-mails, voicemails, letters, objects, etc., keep the evidence and turn it over to HR.  It is very useful in determining if a real danger exists and what to do about it.

Don’ts

  1. Do not engage in any Level 1, 2 or 3 behavior yourself.  You are expected to conduct yourself appropriately at all times.  This includes learning to deal appropriately with anger and disagreements.  If you believe you have an anger control problem or difficulty in resolving conflicts, please contact HR and/or seek professional assistance.
  2. Do not try to intervene yourself.  As a general rule, if you believe someone else may be potentially violent, you should not try to befriend that person with the hope that your friendliness will prevent violence from occurring.  If you become too friendly, it is possible that you could become a target of that person’s anger.  Instead, report the situation to HR.
  3. Do not ignore warning signs.  The earlier the possibility of violence is reported, the better chance an employer will have to address the situation in an effective way and to prevent violence.  Take all warning signs seriously.  Do not minimize the seriousness of the situation, even if the potential perpetrator is making light of it, laughing about it, or appears to be joking.  Report the matter to HR.
  4. Do not respond to stalking behavior.  If you believe you are being stalked at work or on the premises, immediately report it to HR or an appropriate member of management.  As a general rule, you should not accept a stalker’s phone calls, reply to a stalker’s e-mails, speak to a stalker, or return mail unopened to a stalker.  Keep all evidence of stalking and talk to HR or the police before you do anything else.
  5. Do not allow personal relationships to interfere at work.  If you are experiencing domestic violence at home or as the result of a personal or intimate relationship with someone else, make every effort to keep it out of the workplace.  When it spills over into the workplace, it can become a problem for everyone.  It could end up jeopardizing not only your safety but also the safety of your co-workers.  If you need assistance with a violent personal relationship, contact law enforcement authorities or domestic violence shelters and organizations for help.