Violence in the Workplace


Examples of workplace violence include: written, verbal or physical threat to harm, physically touching another in such a way that is unwelcome and/or intent to cause distress or injury, approaching or threatening another with a weapon, causing or attempting to cause injury or intimidation to another person; threats or intimidation in disciplinary proceedings; and acts of domestic violence.

Avoiding Violent Situations: Inform management about threats. Eliminate opportunities for violence by:

  • Giving yourself an out.
  • Having a second person in the room.
  • Standing behind a barrier.
  • Using effective people skills.
  • Alerting Safety/Security at 716-9111.

Reacting to Violent Situations:

  • Insulate any potential violence from others.
  • If possible, have another person with you for support and back up.
  • Do not place yourself in harms way if a weapon is displayed.
  • Send positive body signals by keeping a positive posture and maintaining eye contact.
  • Try verbal diffusing techniques or nonviolent crisis intervention until help arrives.
  • Send positive body signals by keeping a positive posture and maintaining eye contact.
  • Do not touch or approach a person who may become violent.
  • Be in control by not getting angry and keeping the person talking.
  • Show concern yet maintain a distance.
  • Call Medical Center Safety/Security (716-9111).

Emergent Situations Requiring Police: If the violence is of such a nature that serious bodily harm is imminent or likely:

  1. Call Winston-Salem Police Department (911).
  2. (These incidents include situation involving weapons or extreme force that by its nature would inflict serious bodily harm.)
  3. Call Medical Center Safety/Security (716-9111) so they can respond and document the incident.

Emergent Situations Not Requiring Police: This addresses emergent incidents that require security response, but making a direct call to security is dangerous or impractical because the threat is still present.

  1. Call 716-9111 and announce that you need DOCTOR ARMSTRONG at your location. Using this code indicates that you require immediate assistance without placing you at further risk by having to announce the nature of the crisis.

Threat has Passed:  In instances where there is no imminent danger or the incident has passed; or it occurred over the telephone:

  1. Contact Medical Center Safety/Security (716-9111) to report.
  2. Employees should notify their supervisor of any occurrence in their work area. Supervisors may find it helpful to contact their representative human resource departments for guidance on disciplinary issues arising from a threatening or violent incident involving employees.

If there are any questions on if an incident should be reported, call 716-3305 for clarification.


Last Updated: 05-04-2015
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Disclaimer: The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and SHOULD NOT be relied upon as a substitute for sound professional medical advice, evaluation or care from your physician or other qualified health care provider.