Knowing workplace violence warning signs can help prevent disasters and save lives. It’s vitally important to recognize situations that can result in workplace violence, such as layoffs, people going through personal difficulties, and other red flags, and to be watchful of behavior so you can react before it’s too late.
Workplace violence is not something you just see on the news on occasion…it happens all the time in businesses all over the country. It isn’t just the devastating mass shootings. Workplace violence consists takes a wide variety of forms, including verbal harassment and threats that often are never even reported. In many of these cases, the bad actor or actors were giving warning signs that a company could have noted and prepared for the incident.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration describes workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” This can range from a variety of acts, from threats to physical violence, and can affect employees, customers and visitors at your business.
Workplace Violence Warning Signs
While in many cases incidents happen seemingly without warning, often there are workplace violence warning signs that are cause for concern. For business owners, workplace security is a necessary high priority, and part of protecting their employees is being aware of and spotting warning signs. Owners and managers must take great care to be mindful of certain behaviors, and know that not all of them have to be present to signal a workplace violence incident.
Here are a few signs to be aware of with potentially threatening employees. If you witness one or more of these behaviors, it may be time to be prepared:
Change in Behavior. If an employee begins to become isolated, despondent, or unproductive, it could be a sign of a deeper issue. Sometimes a normally friendly person may become short or snippy with people or become agitated at seemingly small things. Whether it happens quickly or over time, a change in behavior is cause for concern and possibly may require intervention.
Apparent Hopelessness. Employees that are unhappy with professional or personal situations over a long period of time may start to snap and show aggressive behavior. A person may feel as though they have no control or power and react angrily more often to everyday situations.
Aggressive Behavior. You’ve seen the employees that complain repeatedly about co-workers and managers, but often it takes a darker turn. Sometimes an employee may post inappropriate commentary on their social media accounts or show more aggressive behavior towards co-workers.
Verbal Threats. All spoken threats should be taken seriously, whether they are meant to be or not. In many cases of workplace violence, there are threats beforehand that may not have been taken seriously enough. Any sort of verbal abuse and threatening words should be treated as potential violent behavior.
Repeated Absence. Employees who feel overwhelmed by their work or home situation or a combination of the two may start missing work or showing up late often. A manager should address the issue immediately and get to the bottom of why the employee isn’t showing up.
Carrying or Fascination With Weapons. There have been cases of workplace violence incidents where the perpetrator had shown interest in guns or other tools of violence, such as bombs or flamethrowers. If you are receiving reports of an employee showing interest in weapons, it’s a problem that should be addressed immediately.
Are You Seeing Warning Signs of Workplace Violence?
Being prepared and aware of potential workplace violence warning signs is the best way to deter potential workplace violence incidents, and seeing the workplace violence warning signs is a vital part of the equation. If you sense a possible threat, especially after reading this, you may want to take additional steps to protect your employees and staff. Your diligence could prevent damage, injuries or worse.
Don’t wait until it’s too late…reach out for protective services now.
Blackstone Security Group, LLC, is here to provide you with highly skilled and trained security personnel, both armed and unarmed, who can protect your business and employees from a variety of threats. Our security professionals have military and police backgrounds and are trained to handle workplace violence situations. Our founder and owner, Dave Ollivier, has spent a lifetime in the profession of protecting citizens…he is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, a former police officer and detective, and a member of the ASIS International Global Security Network.
If you are looking to protect your place of business, reach out to Blackstone Security today. Call us at 856-885-4319 to speak with our owner Dave Ollivier, or click here to send us your info and request a quote online.