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Occupational Violence and Aggression: Warning Signs and De-escalation Techniques

Preventing Occupational Violence and Aggression in the Workplace

Occupational violence and aggression can be a serious issue in the workplace. It is important to be aware of the warning signs of potential violence from patients, families, or coworkers.


Look Out For The Warning Signs

These warning signs may include intimidating, harassing, bullying, or other belligerent and aggressive behavior, numerous conflicts with patients, families, coworkers, or supervisors, comments that indicate approval of using violence to resolve a problem, comments that indicate desperation over family, finances, or other personal problems, inappropriate references to guns or idle threats about using a weapon to harm someone, and bringing a weapon to the workplace ¹.



Violence Prevention Training

De-escalation training is a crucial component of any violence prevention program. It teaches healthcare staff a combination of strategies, techniques, and methods intended to reduce a patient’s agitation and aggression without having to resort to restraint or seclusion ². De-escalation training is lauded for its potential to prevent violent incidents, reduce injuries, and repair patient-staff relationships ².


In addition to healthcare professionals, employees in other industries can also benefit from violence prevention training. Such training can help employees recognize the warning signs of potential violence, learn how to de-escalate a potentially violent situation, and understand the importance of maintaining a safe work environment ³.



Providing violence prevention training to employees, employers can help create a safer and more productive workplace. It is important for employers to take a proactive approach to preventing workplace violence and aggression by providing employees with the necessary tools and resources to recognize and de-escalate potentially violent situations ⁴.


Occupational violence and aggression can have serious consequences for employees and employers alike. By recognizing the warning signs of potential violence, providing violence prevention training to employees, and taking a proactive approach to preventing workplace violence and aggression, employers can help create a safer and more productive work environment for everyone ¹²³⁴.


Violence Prevention and Self Defense Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self Defense (CVPSD) is a non profit 501(C)(3) with a mission to stop violence by educating at-risk people and empower them with the skills needed to protect themselves by providing online and live training. 


Through workshops and seminars we educate participants about violence prevention and guide them on assessing risk factors while establishing boundaries in relationships. Additionally practical self defense classes equip people with hands on skills and effective strategies to prevent and intervene in cases of assault. CVPSD reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.


(1) Workplace violence: Don’t risk it, de-escalate it. https://www.myamericannurse.com/workplace-violence-dont-risk-it-de-escalate-it/.

(2) Mitigating Workplace Violence via De-Escalation Training - IAHSS F. https://iahssf.org/assets/IAHSS-Foundation-De-Escalation-Training.pdf.

(3) How to De-Escalate a Workplace Violence Incident | EMC. https://www.emcins.com/losscontrol/insights-d/2015/12/wp-violence/.

(4) Occupational Violence and Aggression de-escalation training. https://otr.anmfvic.asn.au/articles/occupational-violence-and-aggression-de-escalation-training.

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