Workplace violence is defined as any action that may threaten the safety of an employee, impact an employee’s physical or psychological well-being, or cause damage to company property. An effective workplace violence prevention program includes training all employees on what signs to look for and how to communicate such information to appropriate company officials. In light of all of the incidences of workplace violence over the past year, it seems like an opportune time to offer the following tips for detecting potentially violent behavior.
- Unreasonable: they constantly make slighting references and blame others for their problems, are rarely happy about what is going on and are consistently unreasonable.
- Controlling: they consider themselves to be superior, with a compulsive need to always force their opinion on and control others.
- Paranoid: they believe their employer, boss, other employees and neighbors are out to get them, are convinced there is a conspiracy to all functions of society, and are essentially paranoid.
- Weapons Enthusiast with Military/Police Fixation: they may own firearms and have an overly high interest in the military, law enforcement or underground military groups.
- Irresponsible: they don’t take responsibility for their behavior; faults or mistakes are always “someone else’s fault”.
- Litigious: they continually threaten legal action against others, including their employer, and constantly file one grievance after another.
- Angry: they have many hate and anger issues with co-workers, family, friends or the government.
- Violent: they applaud and demonstrate an uncomfortable fascination with violent acts portrayed in the media, such as racial incidences, domestic violence, shooting sprees, executions, etc.
- Vindictive: they make statements such as, “he will get his” or “one of these days I’ll get even.”
- Odd: they may be good at what they do, paying close attention to details, but they lack people skills. Their presence makes others uncomfortable.
- Unhealthy: they may begin to appear unclean or demonstrate poor hygiene, experience sleep disorders, fatigue, sudden weight loss/gain or other health-related problems. They may be addicted to alcohol and/or drugs.