What is Workplace Violence?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplace violence is any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.

Workplace violence is generally categorized by five different types:

Type I

Criminal Intent

The perpetrator has no legitimate relationship with the targeted establishment and the primary motive is generally theft.

Type II


The perpetrator is a customer or client of worker or employer and the violence occurs in conjunction with worker’s normal duties.

Type III


The perpetrator is a current or former employee and the motivating factor is often interpersonal or work-related conflicts, losses or traumas and may involve a sense of injustice or unfairness.

Type IV

Domestic Violence

Women are more often targets while men are more often perpetrators. The risk of violence increased when one party attempts to separate from the other.

Type V

Ideological Violence

Violence directed at an organization, its people and/or property for ideological, religious or political reasons.

Workplace Violence Policy & Liability

While there is no federal law requiring organizations to prevent workplace violence, employers have a duty to provide a safe working environment under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Under this act, organizations are required to submit to compliance inspections by OSHA and can be issued citations for any violations found that could create an unsafe work environment.

Active Shooter Incidents on the Rise in the U.S.

One type of workplace violence that has seen a significant spike in recent years is active shooter incidents. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were 200 active shooter situations in the United States between 2000 and 2015, resulting in 578 people killed and 696 wounded. During that 16-year span, the average number of incidents per year showed a steady increase – from 6.4 during the first seven years, then 16.4 over the next seven years and 20 per year in 2014 and 2015.

How Can Everbridge Help?

When workplace violence incidents occur, communicating with employees is critical. As an organization, you’ll want to be able to alert employees of an incident, check in to see if employees are safe and provide further instructions as an incident is ongoing. Everbridge offers a number of applications that can help organizations prepare for and respond to workplace violence incidents.

Mass Notification
Mass Notification

This application enables organization to notify the right people, at the right time, whatever the situation. With over 100 contact paths, Mass Notification helps ensure that you’ll be able to communicate with your employees during a workplace violence incident.

Safety Connection

This application makes it possible to protect people based on where they actually are. By aggregating location data from access control systems, travel itineraries, wireless access points and other sources, Safety Connection enables your organization to communicate with employees based on their last-known and expected locations.


This mobile application allows for two-way communication between you and your employees. Safety Connection also adds an SOS button to ContactBridge that allows employees to quickly notify your organization’s security team if they feel unsafe out in the field.

Interested in learning about how Everbridge can help your organization prepare for and respond to workplace violence incidents, such as active shooters?