Indicators of Potential Violence

Employees typically do not just “snap,” but display indicators of potentially violent behavior over time. If these behaviors are recognized, they can often be managed and treated.

Indicators of potentially violent behavior by an employee may include:

  • Depression/withdrawal.
  • Repeated violations of company policies.
  • Explosive outbursts of anger or rage without provocation.
  • Behavior that may suggest paranoia (e.g., “everybody is against me”).
  • Escalation of domestic problems into the workplace.
  • Talk of severe financial problems.
  • Talk of previous incidents of violence.
Source: DHS Active Shooter Booklet
Worker dialing number on an office phone

Report violent acts or threats of violence to your immediate supervisor, security or human resources. Regardless of the type of workplace violence, the chances for prevention improve with increased awareness of potential warning signs and rapid response to a problem.

The IS-106: Workplace Violence Awareness Training course offers more information about violence in the workplace, how to recognize the warning signs, and what actions to take to prevent or minimize violence. While this course is designed specifically for FEMA personnel, it is applicable in all work environments. A link is provided at the end of this course.