University of Vermont

Human Resource ServicesĀ and Operations

Utilizing the Personal Safety Response Team

Personal Safety for Staff and Faculty

Urgent and Imminent Threats

1: Call 911.
2: Report the situation to your supervisor or the head of your unit.

Other Concerning Behavior

For Employees: Report the situation to your supervisor or the head of your unit.

For Supervisors/Managers: For management assistance call 656-3150 and ask to speak with your servicing Labor and Employee Relations Professional.

For Employees and Supervisor/Managers: The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has counselors available 24 hours/day. EAP Counselors provide emotional support and resources and can be reached by calling 864-3270 or by visiting their website at

Although it is impossible to predict who will commit violence or when it will occur, early intervention with appropriate resources can help individuals by assisting with coping strategies, reducing stress, and/or resolving problematic situations.

The following are some warning signs which could lead to potential violence in the workplace. Knowing an employee's normal behaviors and observing signs in the workplace of unusual behavior changes, how they speak about work, comments about self, statements about others or home life may present clues to an individual’s well-being. Recognizing the potential for workplace violence requires observation, information, and judgment. The behaviors listed below may help you to determine the potential for violence, help you think before you act, and help you assess your own feelings about an employee in question.

Warning Signs

  • Personal life stressors such as financial, marital, or family issues
  • Substance abuse problems
  • Increased frustration with one's circumstances
  • Increased belligerence
  • Obsession with a supervisor or coworker, perceiving unfair treatment
  • Recent marked decline in work performance
  • Less concern for appearance or personal hygiene
  • Changes in personality, mood, behavior
  • Hypersensitivity to criticism, confrontational, easily provoked, unpredictable,
  • Excessive crying
  • Preoccupation with weapons, antisocial behavior
  • Direct or veiled threats to harm self or others
  • Implicit threats such as "you'll be sorry" or "this isn't over"
  • Preoccupation with other workplace violent events
  • Chronic blaming with no sense of personal responsibility visits
  • Disregard of behavioral boundaries at work such as excessive emails, phone calls, and/or
  • Face-saving, attention-getting, manipulating, retaliating behaviors

Special acknowledgement to the University of Washington's HR web site on Violence Prevention for use of some material.

See the Overview of the Personal Safety Response Team.

Last modified December 20 2016 02:11 PM