Workplace violence often begins with inappropriate behavior or signs that, when detected and reported, may help prevent its occurrence. The following information may be helpful in detecting or anticipating workplace violence and help to create a safer, healthier workplace for everyone.

If violence occurs or there is an immediate threat of violence:

  1. Leave the area immediately if possible. If this is not possible, try to lock yourself in a secure area.
  2. If possible, dial 911 or 765-285-1111. Give University Police as many details as possible.

Examples of Workplace Violence

  • Threats, direct or implied
  • Physical conduct such as pushing, shoving, or striking that harms or has the potential to harm people or property
  • Conduct that harasses, disrupts, or interferes with another individual's performance
  • Conduct that creates an intimidating, offensive, or hostile environment

Potential Warning Signs

  • Verbal, nonverbal, or written threats
  • Fascination with weapons or violence
  • New or increased stress at home or work
  • Expressions of hopelessness or anxiety
  • Insubordinate behavior
  • Dramatic change in work performance
  • Destruction of property
  • Drug or alcohol abuse
  • Externalization of blame

Risk Factors That Contribute to Workplace Violence

  • Termination of employment
  • Disciplinary actions
  • Ongoing conflicts between employees
  • Domestic or family violence
  • Financial problems

Workplace Violence Prevention

  • Be aware of what is going on around you at all times. Awareness is a proven method for increased personal safety.
  • Tell your supervisor when you notice unusual or suspicious behavior.
  • Attend a violence prevention seminar that includes training in conflict resolution and positive ways of dealing with hostile individuals. These are offered by University Police and the Counseling Center.
  • Refer employees exhibiting inappropriate behavior to the university’s Employee Assistance Program
  • Refer to the Supervisor Handbook prepared by the Employee Assistance Program for guidance in dealing with aggression, violence, and other inappropriate behaviors.
  • Do not hesitate to call Ball State University Police (765-285-1111) for help.
  • Remember: A safe workplace is everyone's responsibility.