Workplace Violence

Dangerous Individual(s)

If you see someone demonstrating apparently irrational or harmful behavior immediately call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone) for assistance.

Abusive or Threatening Individual

  1. Stay calm and collect your thoughts. Assess the level of threat. Don’t risk staying in a situation if you think physical attack is possible.
  2. If the situation at any point appears dangerous, go to a safe place and call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone ).
  3. If the situation does not appear to be dangerous, take steps to de-escalate the conflict.
    • Move away from an audience
    • Use a clear and calm voice
    • Keep your body language non-threatening
    • Do not use words that threaten or intimidate
    • Be respectful
    • Listen to the individual and allow them to vent
    • Do not argue – let them express their anger
    • Empathize with the individual – imagine yourself in the same situation
    • Ask the individual for a possible solution
    • Think of possible ways to solve the problem
    • If you are unable to solve the problem, seek help
    • Thank the individual for bringing the concern to your attention
    • If at any time, the conflict becomes dangerous, go to a safe place and call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone).
  4. Workplace Violence
  5. Document the event even if you solve the problem. Provide documentation to the police.
  6. University Police will contact the proper campus authority.

Weapons Suspected in the Work Area

  • Seek out a colleague
  • Confidentially tell the colleague of your suspicions with the name/location of the individual
  • Ask the colleague to call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone) from a secure area
  • Continue work as usual until the police arrive

Hears Sounds like Gunshots

  • DO NOT investigate sounds
  • Turn off lights to the room.
  • Lock the door, if possible, otherwise barricade door.
  • If you are alone, hide where you can’t be seen.
  • If possible, call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone).
  • DO NOT attempt to exit via normal routes; these become too dangerous.
  • Wait for police to arrive.

Weapons Pulled or Displayed

  • DO NOT try to disarm the individual.
  • Remain calm.
  • STAY AWAY from the individual with the gun. Talk to the individual in a calm and controlled manner.
  • Ask the individual to put the gun down and move away from it.
  • Do what you can to get the attention of another colleague so that the police can be called.
  • At your first chance, when it is safe, call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone).

Hostage Incident

  • Follow the instructions of the hostage taker.
  • DO NOT try to disarm or negotiate with the hostage taker.
  • DO NOT offer yourself as a hostage.
  • FOCUS on what is happening and make mental notes of events and description of hostage takers.
  • If hostages are taken away, make sure you know who they are and remember what the hostage takers say.
  • At your first chance, when it is safe, call 911 (mobile device) or 9-911 (campus phone).