While some industries are more prone than others, workplace violence can happen anywhere. Workplace violence falls into four categories: criminal intent, customer/client, worker-on-worker and personal relationship. Regardless of the confrontation, the deadliest situations involve an active shooter.
A lot can happen in the chaotic minutes before police arrive, so your best options are to stay calm and either run, hide, or fight.
- If there is an accessible escape route, leave your belongings and get out as quickly as possible.
- If escape isn't possible, find a hiding place, lock and blockage the door and silence your phone.
- As a last resort and only if your life is in imminent danger, attempt to incapacitate the shooter by throwing items, improvising weapons and yelling.
There is no way to predict an attack, but you can be aware of behaviors that might signal future violence:
- Excessive use of alcohol or drugs
- Unexplained absenteeism, change in behavior or decline in job performance
- Depression, withdrawal or suicidal comments
- Resistance to changes at work, or persistent complaints of unfair treatment
- Violation of company policies
- Emotional responses to criticism, mood swings