Violence in the Workplace

SKU: C-448Duration: 11 Minutes

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Course Details


Training Time: 11 minutes

Compatibility: Desktop, Tablet, Phone

Based on: Industry Standards and Best Practices

Languages: English, Spanish

Every year in the U.S., there are an estimated 2 million reported cases of workplace violence. NIOSH defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, or intimidation that occurs in the workplace. It can be instigated by criminals, customers, co-workers, or someone you have a personal relationship with. This course will raise awareness of the consequences of workplace violence and describe how to recognize warning signs so you and your coworkers can avoid these dangerous situations.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the dangers of workplace violence
  • List types of workplace violence
  • Identify warning signs of workplace violence
  • List risk factors that increase the likelihood of workplace violence
  • Describe how to deal with angry people
  • Explain the importance of reporting threatening behavior

Key Questions

The following key questions are answered in this module:

What is workplace violence?
The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), defines workplace violence as any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, or intimidation that occurs at the workplace.

How do you distinguish the main types of workplace violence?
Workplace violence is generally categorized based on who instigates the violence. The four main types include: criminal intent, customer, client, or patient, co-worker, and personal.

What are some warning signs that a coworker is capable of instigating violent acts?
Being intolerant of criticism, being suspicious of coworkers, argumentative, angers easily and quickly, acts intimidating, empathizes with others who commit workplace violence, has serious relationship or financial problems, socially isolates self at work, is cruelly teased by fellow employees, and has a history of psychological issues.

What should I do if I'm confronted by a coworker who is angry and aggressive?
Let the person speak without interrupting or arguing, sympathize with the person's point of view, speak in calm, soft tones, have non-threatening body language and posture, don't take it personally, and ask what you can do to help them.

What rights do I have as an employee to ensure I'm safe from violence at work?
OSHA requires all workplaces to be free of recognized hazards through regulations that establish the right for employees to: request an inspection, file a report, review your employer's records of work-related injuries, and to be protected from retaliation and discrimination.

Sample Video Transcript

Below is a transcript of the video sample provided for this module:

Violence instigated by people committing crimes results in approximately 85% of workplace violence fatalities. Examples include robbery, shoplifting and trespassing. Workers who handle cash or work at locations where cash is present are at a higher risk of crime related violence. Examples of these types of jobs include taxi drivers, cashiers and bank employees. Some states and cities have regulations in place to help prevent violence to workers in these types of high risk jobs. One example is a New York law that requires taxicabs to have bulletproof barriers.

Additional Resources

Use the additional resources and links below to learn more about this topic:

  • U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) –
  • OSHA Safety and Health Topics -
  • OSHA Fact Sheet -
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) –
  • NIOSH Workplace Safety & Health Topics -
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