Tip of the month: Office safety: Protecting yourself from workplace violence

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The complexities of healthcare delivery systems require communication tools that are effective and non-abrasive, as managers may be confronted with aggressive scenarios in the workplace. However, managers must protect their individual work spaces as well.

Perform a safety check of your office space and develop a plan. Start by asking yourself the following questions:

  • Do I actually lock private files or do I only lock my doors?
  • Do I have an escape route from behind my desk if I am confronted by someone entering my office? If not, consider repositioning your desk and chair.
  • Do I have a plan in place for who I will call should someone in my office use threatening language or behavior?
  • Do I have a work area other than my office for meetings, performance reviews, or other activities that could potentially lead to aggressive behavior?

For more information, check out the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s fact sheet on workplace violence at


Amdur, E. (2009). Grace Under Fire: Establishing a Culture of Safety and Learning the Skills for Calming and De-escalating Aggressive Individuals. Washington: Stand and Live, Inc.


Shelley Cohen, RN, MSN, CEN, Health Resources Unlimited, Adapted with permission.