What can we do about it?

Our aim is to eliminate workplace violence and harassment.

We can achieve this essential goal with the following processes:

Next, we’ll take a look at each of these steps in more detail.

This was out of character for him and the team leader let it go. This week, the team leader needed to speak to Vic about his job performance, and he became red in the face and exploded in anger

Later, the team leader learned that Vic had been facing a lot of stress at home.

His wife had a serious illness.


In this situation, there was a missed opportunity for early intervention and de-escelation.

How can we improve communication?

Vic’s team leader was not aware that his wife was ill. This was causing Vic undue stress and as a result, his job performance was impacted. What could vic and his team leader have done to prevent the situation?

Checking in

When his team leader noticed Vic’s decreased job pace, she could have asked Vic how he was feeling and offered suggestions about how she could help him.

Sharing concerns

When Vic realized that the stress at home was affecting him at work, he could have let his team leader know that he needed some support

Preventative results

Vic’s team leader’s concern might have eased some of his worries

Learning to prevent workplace violence is the most proactive and effective approach to cultivating a safe workplace.

Recognize and prevent

What are prevention strategies?

It is important to recognize opportunities to prevent workplace violence and harassment.

How to recognize signs of workplace violence and harassment:

Physical signs

  • Flushed or pale face
  • Sweating, pacing or restlessness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Clenched jaws or fists
  • Exaggerated or violent gestures
  • Changes in tone and volume of voice
  • Rapid breathing
  • Unusual facial expressions
  • Avoiding eye contact

Personality traits

  • Suspicious of others
  • Sense of entitlement
  • Holds grudges
  • Difficulty with feedback or criticism
  • Feels victimized
  • Lack of concern for other’s safety
  • Blames others
  • Has low self-esteem

Aggressive behaviours

  • States intention to harm someone
  • Argumentative
  • Angry, impulsive, irritable or easily frustrated
  • Challenged others
  • Shows escalating behaviours

Marked changes in mood or behaviours

  • Irrational beliefs and ideas
  • Appears depressed or expresses hopelessness
  • Heightened anxiety
  • Marked decline in work performance
  • Excessive behaviour such as repeated phone calls or gift giving

History of violence

  • Violent towards others in the past
  • Fascinated with incidents of workplace violence
  • Obsessed with weapons
  • Violent towards inanimate objects or animals

Personal issues

  • Serious financial problems
  • Spousal/partner job loss
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Relationship problems
  • Social isolation at work
  • An unreciprocated romantic obsession
  • A history of being bullied
  • Substance abuse

How can your team leader support you in prevention?


Provide guidance on how to avoid violence. Or, if violence occurs, how to respond to and resolve it.

On-the-job support

Support through safety talks, team huddles before shifts and bulletins

Additional esrouces

Provide equipment, training and information that will keep you safe

Once we are equipped with information and backed with the right supports, we have the tools to respond.


Responding to violence and harassment: What can you do?

If you are in a life-threatening situation

  • You must contact 911
  • When it is safe to do so, contact your team leader to report the incident
  • If you do not want to report to your team leader for any reason, you can report to another team leader or anyone in Human Resources


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