Workplace Violence Prevention

Section: III.  IV. ADSV - 600
Approved By: Dr. Pamela Transue, 08/02/11
Last Review: 07/01/11
Last Revision: 07/01/11
Prior Revisions: Unknown
Initial Adoption: Unknown


It is the policy of the College to create and maintain a safe learning environment. Tacoma Community College will not tolerate violent behavior towards any member of the College community or any person on College premises. For the purposes of this policy, violent behavior includes any criminal behavior, either direct or indirect, that: threatens bodily harm, harasses or intimidates others, interferes with an individual’s legal rights of movement or expression, or disrupts the workplace, academic environment or the College’s ability to provide service to the public.


To maintain an environment that is free from all acts or threats of violence perpetrated by or against employees, students, or members of the public and to provide a safe workplace.

To Whom Does This Policy Apply

All employees, prospective employees, contractors, visitors, volunteers, students, and any persons engaged in business relations with the College including members of the public.


Personal Prequations

Tacoma Community College employees are accountable for their own actions and their own responses to the actions of others.  Each member of the Tacoma Community College staff is expected to avoid actions that begin or worsen events with a potential for violence.  Each staff member also is expected to control his or her own behavior so that his or her judgment is not impaired and so that tensions do not avoidably escalate.

Depending upon the level of threat presented, the vulnerability of the employee, the vulnerability of others in the vicinity, the likelihood of reducing the degree of the threat and the employee’s and others’ abilities to retreat, the employee either may take action consistent with college training he or she has received to defuse the situation, or seek assistance from a Service Advisor, Security or Tacoma Police Department.


The President, or his or her designee, shall assign specific members of the staff at each work location the duties of Building Safety Officer.  Safety Officers will be trained to conduct site reviews and shall receive additional de-escalation techniques training that will reduce the probability and severity, and assist in the containment of violence. 

Coordination and Expectations

Work life and personal life frequently interact.  If a work-based relationship threatens violence either at work or away from work, Tacoma Community College will offer assistance to its employee to obtain judicial protection.  If a private relationship threatens violence at the workplace, then Tacoma Community College expects its employee to obtain judicial protection and inform the college in confidence of its terms. (See workplace violence procedures)


This policy seeks to prevent and, when necessary, to direct employee responses to all events that threaten violence on Tacoma Community College premises and to events off premises that threaten violence in the course of employment with Tacoma Community College.  This policy recognizes certain job classifications (security for example) where portions of the policy may not apply.

Containing Potentially Violent Events - SAFR 

  1. Safety – Maintain It. 

The recipient of the threat takes personal precautions.

  1. Assistance - Call for It. 

Depending on the level of severity any one or more may apply.

Call Service Advisor.

Call Campus Safety and Security at 5111.

Call Police at 9-911*.

  1. Follow Directions.

Follow police, security, or service advisor directions as well as general training guidance to stay safe.

  1. Report - File It. 

Follow established procedures to report the incident and document what happened.

*There may be a slight delay (3-5 seconds) when calling 911 from a campus phone.  DO NOT HANG UP.

Post Event Follow-up, Assessment, and Recommendations

Immediately following the incident, with the assistance of Campus Safety and Security, the victim(s) and the witnesses, if any, describe what they experienced and observed.

Campus Safety and Security documents the situation, provides analysis, and recommends follow up action to the manager, supervisor, and president.

Campus Safety and Security and the supervisor immediately refer affected employees, whether the employees are victim(s), bystanders(s), or perpetrator(s), to Employee Assistance Services.

Following delivery of the Campus Safety and Security report, Campus Safety and Security conducts post-incident review with respect at least to the quality of the response and lessons for prevention.

Campus Safety and Security and Professional Development Coordinator provide training on lessons learned from the event.


Workplace Violence Prevention – Basic Principles

Basic principles of workplace violence prevention training will be made available to all Tacoma Community College employees.


  • How to identify potential sources of violence in the workplace and how to recognize potentially violent individuals.
  • How to respond appropriately to a threat to Tacoma Community College staff, students or the community at large or property.
  • How to prevent or avoid escalating violence when dealing with staff, students or community members.
  • How to reduce or eliminate security hazards in the workplace.
  • How to obtain medical care, counseling, workers’ compensation services from the Employee Assistance Program or legal assistance after a violent episode or injury.


  • All employees are encouraged to attend workplace violence training and any follow up training offered by the college or supervisor.
  • All employees are encouraged to attend a refresher course at least annually.

Workplace Violence Prevention - Issues and De-Escalation Advanced Training

All Administrators, Supervisors, Managers, Building Safety Officers and Security personnel will be offered additional training on workplace violence issues and de-escalation techniques.

In addition to the training listed above, those whose duties require them to respond to potential violence in the workplace, will be offered training to better prevent, respond to, and follow up on issues of workplace violence.

Specific Training for Interactions with Customers and Students on Premises

Staff whose jobs require interaction with clients over the telephone or in person at Tacoma Community College may attend additional training on effective communication techniques.

Specific Training for Staff Who Work Off Premises

Staff whose work requires them to travel off Tacoma Community College property to pick up supplies, or to attended either college sponsored or other events, may attend training on methods to prevent, avoid, or, if unavoidable, to respond to potentially violent situations while in the field.

Follow-up To Reinforce Training

  1. This policy and supporting training materials shall be available for all staff via hard copy and /or computer for periodic, individual review.
  2. Tacoma Community College will update its training program whenever circumstances or changes in policies and procedures require.
  3. Managers and team leaders are encouraged to review the Workplace Violence Policy and Procedures periodically during a regularly scheduled staff meeting.
  4. Any employee wanting to review the safety procedures may attend any session of the workplace violence awareness training with supervisors approval.

Documentation of Training

The Human Resources department shall maintain records of training and ensure skill assessment and evaluation is incorporated into training sessions.


Employees who violate this policy may be subject to corrective action or discipline up to and including termination.  Employees that threaten, engage in, or exacerbate violence may also be subject to prosecution.


RCW Title 9                           Crimes and Punishment

WAC 132V-120-010            Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities

WAC 296-800                       Safety and health core rules


Violence - abusive speech, offensive physical contact, damage to property, and palpable threats of offensive physical contact or damage to property including disruptive behavior intended to disturb, interfere with or prevent normal work activities.

Abusive speech - speech that a reasonable recipient in the context in which it was heard would find threatening in delivery or content. Abusive speech can be non verbal such as waving arms, fists or display of threatening hand gestures.

Offensive physical contact - unwanted, forceful touching by one person of another that a reasonable recipient would find threatening, unwelcomed, or otherwise unreasonable in the context in which it occurs.

Damage to property – defined as damage to property belonging to or in the possession of Tacoma Community College, including staff, students, visitors and members of the public while on the premises of the College. College premises also include off-campus locations where official College business is conducted.

Tacoma Community College premises - include any vehicle, parking lot, or building that Tacoma Community College has a right to occupy wholly or in part including any location where the College conducts business.