Four Types of Workplace Violence

Workplace Violence | Prevention | Four Types

There are four separate, yet equally important categories of workplace violence that require their own proactive and reactive approach to ensure employee safety.

They are:

TYPE 1: Violent acts by criminals who have no other connection with the workplace, but enter to commit robbery or another crime. Think: Charlie Hebdo

TYPE 2: Violence directed at employees by customers, clients, patients, students, inmates, or any others for whom an organization provides services.  This is especially common in the healthcare industry.  Think: Boston Hospital Shooting

TYPE 3: Violence against coworkers, supervisors, or managers by a present or former employee. Think: Home Depot Shooting

TYPE 4: Violence committed in the workplace by someone who doesn’t work there, but has a personal relationship with an employee—an abusive spouse or domestic partner. Think: This Story where an abuser brought a weapon into the workplace of his estranged wife.

Workplace violence does not happen “out of the blue.” There are observable behaviors which when reported and assessed SAVE LIVES.

Doing nothing is a choice. Too many preventable incidents of workplace violence have forced our eyes open to the fact that we need to choose to do something more. We can no longer afford in live in a world where we simply hope that nothing will happen, and then solely rely on the first responders to save us once something does.

FBI Report – Workplace Violence: Issues In Response


Spencer Coursen is a nationally recognized threat management expert who has an exceptional record of success in the assessment, management, and resolution of threats, domestic and global security operations, investigations, policy authorship, and protective strategy.

Spencer Coursen | Threat Management Expert

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