While no one can predict when a person will become violence, there are indicators of increased risk of violent behavior. The FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) has, however, identified indicators of potential workplace violence. These are some of the indicators:

  • Direct or veiled threats of harm;
  • Obsession with others or engaged in stalking or surveillance activities;
  • Intimidating, belligerent, harassing, bullying, or other inappropriate and aggressive behavior;
  • Numerous conflicts with supervisors and other employees;
  • Bringing a weapon to the work place, brandishing a weapon in the workplace, making inappropriate references to guns, or a fascination with weapons;
  • Statements showing a fascination with incidents of workplace violence, statements indicating approval of the use of violence to resolve a problem, or statements indicating identification with perpetrators of workplace violence;
  • Statements indicating desperation (over family, financial or other personal problems) to the point of committing suicide;
  • Drug/alcohol abuse; and
  • Extreme changes in behavior.

If you notice any of these behaviors above, you should take note. Each of these behaviors indicates the potential for escalation of violent behavior and none should be ignored or go unnoticed. By identifying the problem and dealing with it appropriately, we may be able to prevent violence from happening.


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