Warning Signs

Warning Signs

Remember that it can be very difficult to know when a person is going to be violent.  While not all people will show the following signs, these types of behaviors and physical signs can serve as warning signs that a situation is about to turn violent.

Always take these behaviors ‘in context’.  Look for multiple warning signs and for signs of escalation (the behaviors are getting worse).

If you are concerned about a person who shows some or all of the identified characteristics, TAKE ACTION.  Report your concern to your supervisor, or human resources department.

Always take particular note if, there is a change in behaviors, the frequency and intensity of behavior and if they are disruptive in the workplace.

  • Yelling, swearing or emotional language
  • Complaints of unfair personal treatment
  • Sudden and/or unpredictable change in energy level
  • Frequent Arguments
  • Physical touching/pushing
  • Crying, sulking or temper tantrums
  • Excessive Absenteeism or lateness
  • Disrespect for Authority
  • Refusal to acknowledge job performance problems
  • Personal hygiene is poor or ignored
  • Pushing the limits of acceptable conduct
  • Disregarding the health & safety of others
  • Increase mistakes or errors, or unsatisfactory work quality
  • Faulty decision making
  • Testing the limits to see what they can get away with
  • Forgetfulness, confusion and/or distraction
  • Social isolation
  • Holds grudges, especially against supervisor. Verbalizes hope that something negative will happen to the person against who they have grudge

Increase in personal stress:

  • An unreciprocated romantic obsession
  • Serious family or financial problem
  • Recent job loss or personal loss


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