Workplace Security and
Managing Threats of
Workplace Violence

Workplace Security and Managing Threats of Workplace Violence

May 3, 2023

Workplace Security Considerations for Employers

Workplace security could be an employer’s best tool to address threats of violence and the risk of an active shooter incident within the workplace. Many businesses in North America continue to experience an uptick in active shooter scenarios. The average worker continues to be mentally and physically strained, and workplace violence has unfortunately been much more common than in years past.

The responsibility to maintain a safe and secure workplace that is free from violence and harassment rests solely on the employer. In a post-pandemic world, the everyday worker has become increasingly hostile, creating a potentially dangerous workplace for everyone involved. Know when to enlist workplace security resources to manage the risks and address issues of harassment and violence in the workplace.

Workplace Violence Warning Signs Every Employer Can Spot

Workplace violence and harassment usually manifest in other ways before it becomes a much more serious incident. It’s important to remember that violence isn’t just a physical act of harm against another person; it could encompass harassment, bullying, and intimidating behaviors.

These warning signs of workplace violence, if spotted, can help employers secure their work site and prevent incidents before they result in serious injury or death. While these signs may not necessarily mean an employee will act out with violence, it instead should warrant a deeper investigation on behalf of HR.

Here are some of the most common signs of potential workplace violence:

  • A worker displays uncontrollable mood swings and negative attitudes that are largely unpredictable. This could include threats against specific individuals or sudden surges in absenteeism.
  • Making unacceptable comments about management and other workers that include bullying, digital harassment, and unwanted comments about someone’s appearance, including race, religion, and sexuality.
  • A worker has shown disrespect to managers and fellow workers and continues to push the line of what is considered proper behavior in the workplace.
  • Sudden changes in behavior, including unexpected periods of social isolation, change in general hygiene, and the inability to take relevant criticism regarding job performance.
  • When a worker wishes that something unfortunate happens to another staff member, including accidents in the workplace or becoming a victim of violent assault.

Workplace Security and Addressing Warnings of Signs of Violence

HR can begin by having a third-party conduct a workplace violence risk assessment that can detail any potential risks. Every workplace is different, and the “risk landscape” changes depending on if your staff works alongside the public, uses heavy machinery, serves alcohol, or are facing stressful working conditions.

Once risks have been identified, a corporation can take a close look at its policies for addressing violence and harassment before it turns into something much worse. Some employers may wish to create a formal procedure that addresses these complex HR issues, while other instances may trigger a need for a physical workplace security force.

Workplace Security and Risks That Call for a Physical Security Presence

When there are warning signs or an employer suspects workplace violence will occur, a physical security guard presence can help manage such risks. In other cases, when an employer has decided to lay off or terminate a large portion of their workforce, a number of security risks could arise either at the time of termination or several days later.

Labor strikes also call for extensive security resources that can secure picket lines and workplaces or protect staff and senior leaders who have decided to cross a picket line.

Workplace Security Solutions from AFIMAC

Workplace violence can be especially complex to address as a corporation. Should workplace violence occur against a staff member, the corporation could be held liable if it is found that they did not actively work to address such risks.

By working alongside AFIMAC, corporate entities can protect their workforce from violence and demonstrate their ongoing commitment to risk mitigation. Should an employer face complex litigation from an active shooter situation in the workplace, AFIMAC can illustrate the efforts your corporation took to protect its staff. 

Explore security resources that address your duty of care obligations, including workplace security, access control systems, protective drivers, and executive protection. Contact Jim Rovers of AFIMAC at to learn more about your options.

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