Workplace Violence: Know the Warning Signs 

Workplace Violence Warning SignsWorkplace violence is an unfortunate fact of everyday life in the United States.

Understanding Workplace Violence in the U.S.

According to U.S. Department of Labor, nearly 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence each year.

Homicide accounted for 9 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in 2015 (417 workplace homicides that year). The vast majority of workers are injured or killed in robberies or other similar crimes. However, 15 percent of all work-related homicides are initiated by disgruntled workers or former employees.

Workplace violence can be classified into five types. 

  • Type 1 – Criminal intent
  • Type 2 – Customer/client
  • Type 3 – Worker to worker
  • Type 4 – Domestic violence
  • Type 5 – Ideological violence

Recognizing the Signs of Workplace Violence

So what are some of the warning signs? As human resources specialists, we encourage clients to keep an eye out for coworkers or customers showing these traits:

  • Excessive alcohol or drug use
  • Unexplained absenteeism or ongoing violations of company policies
  • A decline in job performance
  • Significant changes in behavior such as increased irritability, paranoia, wide mood swings
  • Constant complaints of being treated unfairly, and verbalized negative thoughts about supervisors and/or coworkers
  • Resistance to changes at work
  • Withdrawal from social interactions
  • Real or suspected rumors of layoffs or firings.

Small incidents could be an indicator of future actions.

If you’re concerned about someone, take action. Report your concerns to your human resources department or leaders in management. Have any additional questions on recognizing workplace violence? Get in touch with our human resources company to get started on a plan of action. Contact Cornerstone Insurance Group today. 

Written by Tom Scherrer, CSP, CFPS, Loss Control Consultant at Cornerstone Insurance Group.