Working conditions which may increase the risk of workplace violence include:

  • Poor lighting
  • Working alone
  • Low staffing levels
  • Contact with the public
  • Lack of available services
  • Working in high-crime areas
  • Lack of quick communication
  • Working in community-based settings
  • Lack of controlled access to workplace
  • Working with money or prescription drugs
  • Working late at night or early in the morning
  • Long waits for services by customers, clients or patients
  • Having a mobile workplace such as a taxicab or police cruiser
  • Management practices that are extremely poor and overly authoritative
  • Working with unstable or volatile persons in health care, social services, or criminal justice settings
  • Tolerance of employees or managers who use intimidation, harassment, or coercion in the workplace

Obviously, there is no single cause for workplace violence and working conditions play only a part in the psychology associated with the individual who commits a violent act within the workplace. The above list, although not all inclusive, are just a few of the major considerations when planning for violence caused by disgruntled employees.

Workplace violence may not always be directed at a specific individual. Revenge may be directed at the company, rather than fellow employees, however employees and coworkers usually tend to become the unintended victims. Actions as arson, vandalism of company property, subversiveness and other forms of criminal mischief personify the behaviors of disgruntled employees seeking retribution against their employer.

Tully, E. J. (1994, August). NEIA Associates – Workplace Violence: How Police Can Help. Retrieved July 4, 2018, from


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