The Unlucky 13 - Early Warning Signs of Potential Violence at Work
1. Threats: Person makes direct, veiled or conditional
threats of harm.
2. Unreasonable; Person constantly makes slighting references to
others. He is never happy with what is going on. He is consistently
unreasonable and over reacts to feedback or criticism. He blows
everything out of proportion. He is unable to accept criticism of
job performance, has a tendency to take comments personally and
turns it into a grudge.
3. Intimidation and Control Oriented; Person feels a need to constantly
force their opinion on others. He has a compulsive need to control
others. He uses intimidation of others to get his way (can be physical
or verbal intimidation).e.g., fear tactics, threats, harassing behaviors
including phone calls, stalking, etc.
4. Paranoid; Person thinks other employees are out to get them.
She thinks there is a conspiracy to all functions of society. She
feels persecuted, or victim of injustice.
5. Irresponsible; Person doesn’t take responsibility for any
of their behaviors or faults or mistakes, it's always someone else's
fault. Employee does not accept responsibility for own actions,
makes excuses, blames others, the company, the system for problems,
errors and disruptive behaviors, etc.
6. Angry, Argumentative & Confrontive; Person has many hate
and anger issues on and off the job with co-workers, family, friends,
or the government. He is frequently involved in confrontations,
belligerent and arguments with others including supervisors, co-workers,
neighbors, etc. He has low impulse control, frequently involved
in arguments and altercations, physically slams things, doors, etc.,
pounds fist or verbally demonstrative, uses inappropriate language.
7. Violence Fascination and Acceptance; Person applauds certain
violent acts portrayed in the media such as racial incidences, domestic
violence, shooting sprees, executions etc. He may have had trouble
with the law, even just a minor incident. He is fascinated with
the killing power of weapons and their destructive effect on people
coupled with extreme interest in guns, particularly semi-automatic
or automatic weapons.
8. Vindictive; Person makes statements like "he will get his"
or "what comes around goes around" or "one of these
days I'll have my say". She often verbalizes hope for something
to happen to the person against whom the employee has a grudge.
9. Bizarre Behavior: Person is quirky, strange; considered weird
and behaves in unusual manner; their presence makes others feel
uneasy and uncomfortable;
10. Desperation: Person expresses extreme desperation over recent
family, financial or personal problems.
11. Obsessions: Person has obsessive involvement with the job, particularly
when no apparent outside interests exist. He has a romantic obsession
with co-worker who has no interest in him. He suffers from other
forms of obsessions.
12. Substance Abuse: Person has signs of alcohol and/or drug abuse.
13. Depression: Person displays chronic signs of depression, loss
of interest and confident in life or work, is lethargic, lacks energy,
particularly when this is a significant change in behavior.
© National Institute for Prevention of Workplace Violence,