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Early Warning Signs of Workplace Violence

Text 1:  Type 3 Violence:  Early Warning Signs.

Often, when we hear media reports of employees who “went crazy” in a workplace, killing and/or injuring co-workers and managers, we think that the person simply “went over the edge,” that there were no clues.

This is not true.  Not only are there many warning signs, these warning signs are frequently given.  Some warning signs are subtle, but others are obvious.  Following is a list of warning signs to look for in your employees.  

Signs of Potential Violence in a Co-Worker, Former Employee, or Friend of Employee:

Verbal threat to hurt or kill someone

Repeated statements about “getting even” or “making someone pay”

Talking about news coverage of violent behavior, “I can understand why that guy blew everyone away at the Post Office.  They probably deserved it”

Following, stalking

Romantically obsessed with someone for example, unwanted phone calls, letters or gifts

Angry, confrontational behaviors

Fights or argues easily, unpredictable mood swings

Drug or alcohol abuse

Delusional thinking “God or aliens speak to me”

Belligerence toward customers, managers, or co-workers

Thinks others are “out to get him,” acts like a victim

Obsession with “getting even” with a supervisor

Unexplained negative change in performance

Obsession with work; seems to have no outside interests or friends

Loner — doesn’t socialize with other employees, excludes himself

Has weapons, access to weapons

Has had special training in the use of weapons (military or security)