There is no way to be certain that someone will never act violently or in a way that can cause harm to their self or others. We do know that those with mental illness are no more likely than the general population to become violent. We also know that there is direct link between drug use and increased incidence protecting the human rights of individual employees. It can feel unsettling when there is no clear path to action.

Bruce Blythe developed the Violence Propensity Assessment1. Although it cannot provide you with certainty, it may help you reflect on the behaviours of someone in your workplace that you are concerned about. The questions below were adapted from Blythe’s work. Once you have provided answers the employer can share them with an expert to determine your next course of action:

  • Does the person engage in poor judgment?
  • Have they exhibited violent behaviours (in the workplace or personally) in the past to resolve issues?
  • Do they exhibit negative coping skills?
  • Are they known or suspected of abusing substances, which is correlated with violent behaviour?
  • Have they exhibited isolation, non-communication, and/or social withdrawal, which are tendencies that have been known to correlate with workplace violence?
  • If a recent criminal background check is on file, has this been reviewed? The more recent the historical acts of violence (if any), the more pertinent.
  • Have there been any progressive or increasingly problematic indicators to potential workplace violence such as harassment, bullying, threats, intimidation, verbal/physical abuse, sense of entitlement, insubordination, isolation or any other potential indicators?

Visit Violence prevention to learn more.