Workplace Violence

Workplace Violence is defined as behavior perceived as threatening or intimidating and includes verbal or physical attacks, verbal or physical intimidation, harassment threats (veiled or directed), or any other form of violence. There are several types of workplace violence that have the possibility of occurring:

  1. Individuals that may have a history of violence. Prevention focuses on appropriate staffing and specialized training, augmented with other control measures.
  2. A Patient or family member may be "situationally" violent and be provoked when they become frustrated by delays or by the denial of benefits or social services. Prevention focuses on problem anticipation, appropriate training and other appropriate control measures.
  3. Coworker violence can occur on several levels between: supervisors and subordinates, peer to peer (in the same or different departments), or within or across disciplines.
  4. The potential for violence resulting from personal relationships must be considered as well.

Who is at Risk for Workplace Violence?

Anyone working in a hospital may become a victim of violence; however the following employees may be at the highest risk: direct care providers, emergency response personnel, and security officers.

How can you Prevent Workplace Violence?

You should evaluate each situation upon entering a room or while beginning to relate to a patient or visitor. The following are helpful tips to help prevent workplace violence:

  • Be familiar with potential signals including verbally expressed anger and frustration, body language such as threatening gestures, signs of drug or alcohol use, and the presence of a weapon
  • Be vigilant throughout the encounter
  • Don't isolate yourself with the person
  • Always keep an open path for exiting and don't let the potentially violent person block the door
  • Maintain a behavior that helps diffuse anger such as presenting a calm, caring attitude. Don't ever match the threats or give orders. Acknowledge the person's feelings and avoid any behavior that may be interpreted as aggressive (e.g., moving rapidly, getting too close, touching, or speaking loudly).

How to report Workplace Violence:

If you are involved in a personal situation which may impact you in the work setting, advise Security. Anyone who believes they are a victim of Workplace Violence, or witness an act of Workplace Violence, should notify any of the following: their Supervisor, Security, Human Resources, Service Chief, Chief Medical Officer, or any member of management or administration

NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital will not tolerate any form of retaliation against employees or faculty who report workplace violence or who cooperate in an investigation

For more information regarding Workplace Violence, refer to the Hospital Policy.


NewYork-Presbyterian Allen Hospital

Security Department
Phone: 212-932-4400

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Security Department
Phone: 212-305-2222

NewYork-Presbyterian Lower Manhattan Hospital

Security Department
Phone: 212-312-5110 - external calls
Phone: ext. 3333 - internal calls

NewYork-Presbyterian Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital

Security Department
Phone: 212-342-2222

NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center

Security Department
Phone: 212-746-0911

NewYork-Presbyterian Westchester Behavioral Health Center

Security Department
Phone: 914-682-9100, ext. 2424