What Are You Doing for Workplace Violence Awareness Month?

Photo: Jacob Wackerhausen / gettyimages

Workplace violence is a serious issue, affecting healthcare professionals, educators, and workers in every profession. At CPI, we teach that workplace violence occurs on a continuum, with behaviors ranging from discourtesy and disrespect to intimidation, harassment, and bullying to retaliation to verbal assault to physical aggression. None of these behaviors are acceptable, and facing them shouldn’t be a part of your job.

Designated by the Alliance Against Workplace Violence (AAWPV), Workplace Violence Awareness Month throughout April is a great time for promoting prevention by educating others and sharing resources like articles, fact sheets [PDF], and training and seminars.

If you’re a Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® Certified Instructor, you can teach your coworkers programs on topics like Workplace Bullying, Weapons in the Workplace, and Breaking Up Fights. If you’re a Prepare Training® Certified Instructor, you can teach your coworkers programs on topics like Workplace Bullying, Giving Bad News, and Challenged by Mental Illness at Work.

If you’re not a part of the CPI family, you can still share strategies, such as the importance of learning to recognize the warning signs of potential violence. This sounds simple and intuitive, but it’s easy to get so absorbed in both the everyday demands of your job and the stress of an isolated incident that you lose sight of the signals that a person is starting to lose rational control of their behavior. Instead, make it a point to keep an eye on gestures, facial expressions, and tones of voice that indicate distress. If someone starts to escalate, project empathy, respect their personal space, and set and enforce reasonable limits. Strategies like these can help minimize the potential for violence.

Both organizations that have CPI Certified Instructors and organizations that don’t implement CPI training can use our Workplace Violence Prevention and Response Policies and Procedures Template, an editable document that you can customize with your organization's logo and policies. It offers guidance and resources and suggests expectations, practices, and protocols to follow to prevent workplace violence.

Also check out “4 Tips for De-Escalating Behaviors” and let us know—what are you doing to keep your workplace safe this month and beyond?

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About the Author

“I believe that more often than many people think is possible, we can prevent problems from getting out of control. We can make each other safer.”