Workplace Violence Quick Training

Keep This in Mind

What to do:

If you are involved in a workplace violence incident

  • Call 911 as soon as possible
  • Notify others in your work area

Follow these DOs and DON'Ts:


  • Project calmness: move and speak slowly, quietly, and confidently.

  • Focus your attention on the other person to let him/her know you are interested in what he/she has to say.

  • Maintain a relaxed yet attentive posture and position yourself at a right angle rather than directly in front of the other person.

  • Accept criticism in a positive way. When a complaint might be true, use statements like "You are probably right" or "It was my fault". If the criticism seems unwarranted, ask clarifying questions.

  • Acknowledge the feelings of the other person. Indicate that you can see why he/she is upset.

  • As soon as possible after the incident prepare a written statement concerning the incident. Keep the statement in case it is needed in the future.


  • Appear apathetic or cold, go strictly by the rules, or give them the run-around.

  • Reject all of their demands from the start.

  • Make sudden movements. Instead keep your speech low and slow.

  • Challenge, threaten, belittle, or dare the person.

  • Act like the situation is less serious than it really is.

  • Invade the person's personal space. Try to maintain a space of 3' to 6' between you and the other person.

If the Situation is Threatening:

  • Get out immediately

  • Defend yourself (if necessary)

  • Call 911 as soon as possible.

Entire section adapted from USU Public Safety website Workplace Violence, where you will find still more information. (2009)

Last Updated on 8/9/12

Quick Links: