Workplace violence includes threats, hitting, harassment, obscene calls, bomb threats, shoving, shooting, and sabotage - anything that causes physical or emotional harm where you work. When these occur, remember to stay calm!

In Case of Workplace Violence

If You're a Supervisor

  • Know your emergency plan.
  • Approach the subjects calmly.
  • Make sure that the subjects know that you understand what has upset them.
  • Call for help as soon as possible.

If You're a Co-Worker or Bystander

  • Call 911 and tell security or your supervisor immediately.
  • Carefully describe the suspects and the situation.
  • Do not attempt to resolve the situation yourself.
  • Leave the area and get to a safe place.

If You're a Victim

  • Do not change anything at the scene where the incident occurred.
  • Retreat to a safe place as soon as possible and get help.

Don't Wait! Prepare for Workplace Violence

  • Include workplace violence in your emergency plan.
  • Educate employees about workplace safety.
  • Know who to contact in an emergency situation.
  • Ask someone to screen calls or escort you if you feel unsafe.
  • Always tell security or supervisors about trespassers.
  • Address problems before they get worse!
  • Know the warning signs, including unusual changes in co-workers, depression, aggression, drug or alcohol use.


  • If you receive a suspicious letter or package, don't open it! Slowly put it down and call 911. Wash your hands and don't allow anyone to go near it until police arrive.
  • Stay calm and listen to your radio or television.
  • Avoid letting your children watch live or continuous footage of terrorist acts on TV, since this can be very upsetting for them.
  • Shelter-in-place if instructed by local officials, especially if the incident involves chemicals or other harmful substances.
  • Evacuate your home only if possible and when instructed by local officials. Make sure you know where you're going and follow all official instructions. You probably won't be the only on on the road!
  • If you come in contact with harmful substances, you may need immediate medical attention and decontamination. When this happens, listen for official instruction or call 911.