workplace violence

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence is an alarming issue that affects employees across various industries like healthcare.

Actions like rude words or physical attacks can seriously affect people and their jobs.

So, to have a good and positive workplace, it would be best if you were safe from this at work.

But, how can you protect yourself from workplace violence?

American Healthcare Compliance offers courses to help healthcare professionals recognize how to protect themselves and others from workplace violence.

Contact us for more details about our Violence in the Workplace for Healthcare Professionals training.

Now, Let’s look into “what can you do to protect yourself from workplace violence”.

What Is Workplace Violence?

Workplace violence is when someone at work behaves aggressively towards others. It can include things like shouting, threats, or physical attacks.

To stop this, companies usually create guidelines and give training on how to handle workplace violence.

Types of Workplace Violence

Researchers in the field of occupational health have categorized workplace violence into four main types:

  • Criminal Intent (Type I)
  • Customer/Client (Type II)
  • Worker-on-Worker (Type III)
  • Personal Relationship (Type IV)

Environmental Factors Contributing to Workplace Violence

Environmental factors that contribute to workplace violence include:

  • Dark or lonely spots in the workplace.
  • Not enough security like cameras or guards.
  • Lots of stress from work.
  • No clear rules for handling fights.
  • Drugs or alcohol around.
  • Not punishing bad behavior enough.
  • People being mean to each other.
  • Easy access to weapons.
  • A messed-up layout that makes it hard to move around.
  • Not teaching people how to deal with fights.

Steps for Identifying Potential Threats of Violence

Recognizing the early signs of potential violence can prevent escalation. Here are some behaviors to watch out for:

  • Verbal Threats: Words suggesting damage or conflict towards other
  • Physical Actions: Hostile moves, property damage, or having weapons.
  • Emotional Indicators: Big mood ups and downs, mistrust, or feelings of despair.
  • Behavioral Changes: More absences, a drop-in work quality, or pulling away from colleagues.

What Can You Do to Protect Yourself from Workplace Violence?

Many organizations worldwide are worried about workplace violence.

Workplace violence affects more than 37,000 US workers annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

You may not be able to get rid of all the risks, but there are ways to prevent workplace violence from happening in the workplace.

7 Tips to Prevent Workplace Violence

Some tips for preventing workplace violence include:

  1. Establish Clear Policies and Procedures

Create and share policies on good conduct, how to report problems, and penalties for breaking safety rules. Ensure everyone on the team knows these guidelines and where to find help when required.

  1. Expand Training

Give team members training on identifying and calming down possible tense situations. It should include techniques for dealing with tough behavior and plans for keeping a secure environment.

  1. Build a Supportive, Re­spectful Environment

Promote a respectful, empathetic, and cooperative workplace. Encourage free communication between team members and leaders and ensure workers can express issues or request help without fear of penalty.

  1. Improve Safety Ste­ps

Install security systems like cameras and alarms in areas where violence could occur. Ensure these systems are regularly maintained, and that staff know how to use them.

  1. Adequate Staffing and Resources

Make sure there are enough people to do the job properly. Overworking staff can lead to stress and frustration, which can increase the likelihood of violence. Provide resources like counseling services for those who need support.

  1. Screening for Potentially Violent Individuals

Develop protocols for identifying patients or visitors who may be at risk of violent behavior. Conduct risk assessments and have measures in place to manage these situations safely.

  1. Promotion of Self-Care and Stress Management

Support staff in making time for self-care and learning how to handle work pressure. Provide tools like therapy, health initiatives, and short rest periods to relax and refresh.

How to Disseminate a Workplace Violence Policy?

  • Emails: Email everyone at work the new rules about violence. Please keep it simple and easy to understand.
  • Meeting: Hold meetings where you discuss the policy face-to-face. Use easy words and examples to explain workplace violence safety tips.
  • Employee Handbook: Include the work violence policy in the book that explains all the rules. That way, new hires will also know about it.
  • Training Session: In special classes, teach everyone about the policy. Use pretend situations to show what to do.
  • Online Portals: Put the policy on the computer so everyone can read it whenever necessary.
  • Feedback Channels: Encourage people to ask questions if they are unsure about something in the policy. Everyone must understand and feel safe.

These ways make it easy for everyone to know and follow the workplace violence policy.


Workplace violence is an issue we should worry about. It can truly impact both people and their jobs. What can you do to protect yourself from workplace violence?

First, having easy-to-follow policies is a good start. Training sessions can make sure that everyone knows these rules.

A friendly work atmosphere can also slow down the possibility of harm. Good safety practices help, too, but bosses can also do more.

Helping workers take care of their health and handle stress is key. It is also important to spread the word about the rules providing training.

These efforts create a secure workplace environment, improving productivity and morale.

Contact us at American Healthcare Compliance to learn more about our courses, which are designed to assist healthcare professionals in identifying methods to protect themselves and their colleagues from workplace violence.


What are the key components of a workplace violence prevention plan?

A plan to prevent violence at work typically includes several elements. Clear guidelines, staff training, ways to identify threats, and procedures to report incidents.

 What should I do if I feel unsafe at work?

If you feel unsafe at work, report your concerns to your supervisor or HR department immediately.

How can I help a colleague facing violence at work?

Give your backing and hope to the colleague in trouble. Suggest they share the situation with bosses or human resources for help.

Do employers have legal rules to follow about workplace violence prevention?

Quite a few places have laws or rules. These mandate employers to take steps to avoid violence in the workplace and ensure a secure work setting.

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