Violence in the Workplace

Violence in the Workplace

LCC Violence Policy

Lower Columbia College employees are encouraged to review the LCC Workplace Violence Policy.

Prevent Hostile Situations

Identifying the causes of violence can be difficult, if not impossible. However, some understanding of the theories of violent behavior may help in your observations of others about whom you may have concerns.

Bearing that in mind, remember that just because a factor has been linked to violence doesn't mean it always results in violent behavior (refer to the complete LCC Workplace Violence Policy for a list of factors).

How to Deal with Difficult Situations on Campus

  • Always treat people with respect, regardless of their behavior.
  • Stay as calm as you can. It can keep tensions from escalating and may help defuse the situation.
  • Show empathy and concern. Try saying, "I can see your frustration, and I'm frustrated too. Unfortunately, the rules are..."
  • Don't insist that you are right or contradict another person's statement. Instead, let the person know you see the situation differently. Tell them, "I can see we don't view this situation the same way," and then try to bring in another person who can help.
  • Humor can sometimes help relieve tension in a difficult situation. Be respectful, and don't be sarcastic.

Maintain Your Safety and the Safety of Others

  • If others are verbally abusive, tell them you will be able to help them better if they calm down, lower their voice and stop the negative communication with you. Set limits. You do not have to tolerate abuse.
  • Trust your intuition. If you think someone may be potentially violent, try to buy time and get help from your supervisor or another worker. For example you can say, "Let me see if I can find someone who can help."
  • Don't lie or make up stories to back out of a difficult situation. It could backfire and put you in an even more difficult situation.
  • Know your own strengths and limits, and be able to identify the situations that are especially hard for you to handle. Share strengths and limits with coworkers so you can help and support one another.

When in doubt, if you believe that any of the above behaviors could escalate to violence or threat, call 911, then call Campus Security at 2911 from a campus phone or (360) 442-2911 from any other phone.

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