Workplace Safety

Violence in the workplace takes many forms, from raised voices and profanity or sexual harassment to robbery or assault. Violence can also happen at home or in your car or parking lot. For you personal safety, being proactive can prevent many potentially violent situations from escalating.

Some indicators of a potentially violent individual may include:

  • A history of angry or abusive behavior
  • Serious medical or personal problems
  • Finger pointing
  • Verbal threats
  • Pacing, extreme restlessness
  • Verbal expressions change (stop talking or start talking endlessly)
  • Red face or neck
  • Body gestures change (arms waving, hands clutched, fists formed, etc..)
  • Talking about weapons

If an individual becomes agitated:

  • Watch for warning signs and maintain professionalism
  • Remain calm and treat individual with respect
  • Maintain a means to escape at all times
  • Report the incident to your supervisor and complete an incident report

Keep your workspace safe
Lock work areas
Don’t allow persons to piggy-back into secure areas
Report suspicious behavior or persons to Public Safety immediately

Be alert
Don’t isolate yourself with a potentially violent person
Always keep an open path for exiting – don’t let the potentially violent person stand between you and the door.

What can you do if you witness a violent situation
Remove yourself from the situation
If on Medical Campus, call Public Safety at 617-414-4444
Call BUPD at 617-638-5000 on the Medical Campus or 617-353-2121 on the Charles River Campus
Report the incident to your manager

Resources

BMC:
BMC Employee Assistance Program – confidential counseling via toll-free phone line or in person for BMC employees and eligible dependents.
Public Safety Department – The Public Safety Department provides services and support to the Boston University schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Public Health, and to Boston Medical Center.

BU:
BUMC Public Safety – The mission of the department is to provide a safe and secure environment for employees, patients, staff, students and visitors
Workplace Violence Prevention – BU policy
Faculty and Staff Assistance Office – free, confidential counseling and referral service for faculty, staff and their families with locations on both Medical and Charles River campuses
Occupational Health Center – provides prevention, diagnosis and treatment of work-related injuries to the employees of BU
BU Police Department
Appropriate Treatment in Medicine – BUSM initiative on appropriate treatment of medical students
Public Safety Department – The Public Safety Department provides services and support to the Boston University schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, and Public Health, and to Boston Medical Center.