Know The Warning Signs To Prevent Workplace Violence

March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 3:11 PM EDT

By Jaclyn Asztalos

March 8, 2011 Updated Mar 8, 2011 at 3:11 PM EDT

Workplace and in-school violence can happen anywhere, even here in the Western New York. Last year, a man was shot and killed by a fellow employee while working at Merge Restaurant in Buffalo.

"When it comes to workplace violence, it a situation that effects all types of agencies and industries including higher education," Director of Security at Medaille College Ronald Christopher said.

Medaille College teamed up with national group Allied Barton Security Services for a community seminar, Tuesday. They stressed a proactive approach to fighting workplace violence.

Bob Chartier with Allied Barton said, first and foremost, employees must recognize the warning signs.

"Pay attention to behavior signs of people you work with and students and faculty. When there are instances that don't make sense or just uncomfortable, bring it to your managers attention," Chartier said.

Allied Barton travels the country educating people about this violence for many reasons. Currently, Karen Healy-Case with Allied Barton said there is one trigger that may be cause for concern across the U.S.

"The economy fluctuates people get tired and angry. They take it out on other people doing things they may not normally do. The abusive side may come out because they are under a lot of stress," Healy-Case said.

Officials said the violence does not have to be as severe as a shooting. They say it could be verbal abuse or nasty emails or text messages.

"A lot of it has to do with emails office to office. It could have to do with nasty behavior, demoting someone, picking on an employee, isolating that employee from other employees. So no it doesn't have to be extremely violent," Healy-Case said.

Most groups at the seminar, including Medaille College, said they already have an emergency plan in place. Along with that plan, they hope to pass this information onto fellow employees and students to help them become a part of the fight against this type of violence.