APA Center for Organizational Excellence: Workplace Violence

Resources for Employers

Workplace Violence

Reports of mass shootings at work often leave people questioning the safety of their workplaces. News of a mass shooting captures attention, but shootings are not the most common or the only type of violence that can occur. In a 2012 Workplace Violence Survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), more than one-third (36 percent) of organizations reported that they had, at some point, experienced an incident of workplace violence.

Violence threatens safety at work, and it can also affect employee performance and well-being. In the SHRM survey, violent incidents contributed to reports of increased employee stress or depression, and decreased morale, productivity and trust in coworkers and management.

Employers can help by reassuring employees that safety is a top priority, re-evaluating their organizational policies and procedures, and taking comprehensive steps to create a safe work environment.

General Resources

Occupational Violence (NIOSH)

Workplace Violence (OSHA)

Is Your Workplace Prone to Violence? (National Safety Council)

Violence in the Federal Workplace: A Guide for Prevention and Response (Interagency Security Committee)

Violence in the Federal Workplace: A Guide for Prevention and Response. Appendix A: Threat Assessment, Counter Measures, Awareness, Resources, and Case Studies (Interagency Security Committee)

Workplace Violence: Issues in Response (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

DOL Workplace Violence Program (United States Department of Labor)

Violence in the Workplace – Warning Signs (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety)

When and How Should HR Step into Violent Situations? (SHRM)

Active Shooter Preparedness (Department of Homeland Security)

RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event – video (Federal Bureau of Investigation)

When Domestic Violence Comes to Work (SHRM)

Preventing Workplace Violence

Preventing Workplace Violence: Start with Careful Hiring Practices (SHRM)

Preventing Workplace Violence: 10 Critical Components of a Security Plan (SHRM)

Preventing Workplace Violence: Train Employees for a Safer Workplace (SHRM)

Managing High-Risk Employees (SHRM)

Legal Trends: Defuse Workplace Violence. Heed threats and signals; be proactive to prevent potential tragedy (SHRM)

Firing Violent Employees Safely (SHRM)

How to Prepare Your Workforce for Violent Incidents (SHRM)

Guidelines for Preventing Workplace Violence for Health Care & Social Service Workers (OSHA)

Recovery from Workplace Violence

After Workplace Violence Incident, Mental Health Resources a Must (Workforce magazine)

Getting Back to Work After a Workplace Violence Event (SHRM)

Fewer Than Half of U.S. Employers Offer Support Following Workplace Trauma (EHSToday)

Recovery in the Aftermath of Workplace Violence: Guidance for Workers (Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress)

Recovery in the Aftermath of Workplace Violence: Guidance for Supervisors (Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress)

After an Active Shooter (SHRM)

Additional Resources on Workplace Violence

Going Beyond the Headlines on Workplace Violence (APA’s Good Company Newsletter)

Books: Suggested Readings on Workplace Violence (APA’s Center for Organizational Excellence)

APA Journal: Psychology of Violence

Search our database of professional, academic and popular press literature for articles about workplace violence

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