WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: 25 Red Flags
The following is a list of 25 red flag issues that may indicate increased potential for violence, however, this is not intended to be a comprehensive list.
This information must be evaluated in combination with various other factors known about the person, including criminal history, various public records, personal behaviors, bizarre statements, and threats made (if any). Threat risk assessments should be made by security specialists, law enforcement agency, and psychologists with specific experience in assessing workplace violence.
The following items in various combinations are often red flags regarding characteristic behaviors of potentially violent and threatening employees:
25 Red Flags for Workplace Violence:
- History of violence (including domestic violence)
- Bullying & intimidating behavior
- Emotionally unstable
- Exhibit paranoia about what co-workers may think of them
- Have mentioned they have stopped taking medications for personality disorders
- Expressed interest in weapons (Note; all weapons should be taken seriously including high velocity archery sets, guns, knives, glass, etc.)
- High degree of interest in military, law enforcement & other groups (may include hate groups & survivalist groups)
- Verbalized approval of prior violent or aggressive incidents by others
- Frequently blaming others for their issues
- Deteriorating work habits
- Increasing or escalating performance issues
- Escalating distraction & nervousness
- Poor personal hygiene
- Financially pressured and/ or high personal stress: recent death, in a messy divorce or child-custody battle, home foreclosure, etc.
- Prior issues with law enforcement (include all relevant issues)
- “Loner” behavior (socially self-isolating)
- Force their beliefs on others; spreading rumors/ gossip to elevate their own position
- Argumentative, unreasonable & disparaging behavior
- Constantly protesting about their boss/ the company/ filing multiple claims of unfair treatment
- Makes verbal or written threats:
- Direct threats: “I’m going to kill you at work in front of your friends”.
- Veiled threats: “I’ll get him someday”, “I know where you take your kids to school”, “I know where you jog every morning”
- Addiction behaviors: alcohol, drugs (street or prescribed), obsessive romance
- Harassing others regularly or frequently
- Lack basic people skills
- Say they feel hopeless often
- Wants to bring a briefcase or purse into exit interview & will not voluntarily part with the item.
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