Personal Assistance Service (PAS) | 2200 West Main Street | Erwin Square Tower | 4th Floor, Suite 400A | Durham, NC 27705 | 919-416-1PAS (919-416-1727)

Violence in the Workplace

Important Contacts

In the event of an emergency, the Duke Emergency Web Site will be updated frequently with instructions and information about the incident, as well as campus services and resources available to the Duke community.

How to Discuss Violence Prevention in the Workplace

It is important to maintain an open dialogue and conversation on violence in the workplace. For more information, visit the Duke University Emergency web-site and read, 'How Can You Be Prepared?'

  • Make time to review and discuss Duke's Workplace Health & Safety policies and procedures. For example, no weapons are allowed on Duke property; if anyone is seen with a weapon immediately notify Duke Police.
  • Create a supportive environment for employees to reinforce the message that employees will not be penalized or face retaliation for seeking help for themselves, their families or co-workers in need.
  • Be sensitive to cultural beliefs and values. People from different cultures have varied comfort levels for talking about family or personal difficulties, to those outside their community.
  • Respect an employee's reluctance to talk about personal matters, but do not ignore evidence of possible violence such as frequent injuries and unusual explanations for them. Express concern.
  • Review with employees the potential warning signs of workplace violence. Enforce and make it safe for your employees to report threats, obscene or harassing phone calls, letters, or e-mails, and report crime and suspicious persons immediately.
  • Distribute articles to your staff on violence prevention.
  • Invite Duke Police, Duke Human resources, PAS or other community resources to discuss violence in the workplace.
  • Develop and implement and regularly review a departmental safety plan that details how to respond to violence in the workplace.
  • Make time for group discussion whenever a report of violence on campus or in a workplace makes the news.
  • Talk to your staff about how to handle potentially violent situations and encourage them to suggest ways to make a safer workplace.
  • If there are safety concerns about a particular work area make a request of the Duke Police to conduct a safety assessment.
  • Supervisors and/or employees can call PAS (919-416-1727) to discuss concerns and seek guidance.


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