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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.
    • DON'Ts:

    • 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)