Do you know the numerous warning signs?

by todaystrainingblog

Are you a good observer? Do you think, or know, your employees? Are you in tune with them? This post may give you a pause, I hope, so that you can re-evaluate your observational skills, your company’s policies & training, &their reporting procedures.

There are innumerable warning signs besides those for employee behavior in spotting workplace violence (WPV). Here is a small list of the signs that as a supervisor or manager you have to pay attention to and consider.

And whether you think about them openly in the front of your mind, or you let them stew and simmer in the back it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that after a rapid & rational thinking process… you inform someone such as HR, security, or the c-suite. And then not have anyone take umbrage about it and actually do something to prevent it or lessen the carnage. And if they don’t act in a timely fashion… you hoist the flag and keep talking about it.

  • 21 behavior warning signs for employees
  • The excuses you may hear around the facility, especially in an union environment
  • Notices on bulletin boards or tacked in restrooms and such
  • The attitudes that management has towards employees, encouraging WPV

  • The profile of an average perpetrator, although it is changing

  • Physical security issues and holes
  • Loopholes in the policies & procedures
  • Inadequate directives and policies
  • Inadequate employee training on WPV
  • C-suite, or executive, ignorance of the issue


Yes, I know that this is a lot for a front line supervisor or manager to think about. It may actually interfere with the manufacturing or distribution process. It may actually slow you down a tad bit. But the question is whether you wish to be on the TV news stating an obvious stupid statement such as “I didn’t expect it out of them! They were always so nice to everyone!” or the equally foolish “I didn’t think it could happen here!”

We have all heard people say these things on Television, radio, and in print. And as security professionals we know for a fact that it could have been, possibly, prevented. If only the warning signs, and the others above, had actually been listened to and believed.

As security professionals it is our duty to assist front line supervisors and managers to bring these issues to the executive or C-suite level. Whether that attention be via training, memos, meetings, or whatever. We need to do what we can to keep the business safe from a WPV incident.

And being perfectly honest, it doesn’t really matter if that incident is an active shooter event or an employee throwing things at another. Both of these can and usually lead to greater issues than just the death of one or more employees

it is up to us to inform the company, or the client, of the potential liability and resulting financial cost of ignoring the issue. And you will be criticized, and roundly called an alarmist, for bringing up these issues, but it is our duty to do so, whether anyone likes it or not.

So as has been the case for decades we are caught in the proverbial catch 22. So we take the business side into consideration first? Or should we take the safety & security of the company/client & its employees first? And if we do either one without the other are we the one facing professional liability for not doing one or the other? That is a question only you and your individual company/clients can answer.


Robert D. Sollars is a recognized expert on security issues, specifically workplace violence. He’s spent nearly 33 years in the security field. Visit his Facebook page, One is too Many, where you will read about other items related to security & WPV issues. Or be a twitter follower at @robertsollars2.

I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear