Workplace Violence

Workplace violence is violence or the threat of violence against workers. It can occur at or outside the workplace and can range from threats and verbal abuse to physical assaults and homicide, one of the leading causes of job-related deaths. However it manifests itself, workplace violence is a growing concern for employers and employees nationwide.

Workplace Violence

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What are the hazards associated with workplace violence?

Workplace violence, whether from an inside or outside source, can result in serious physical injury and death to employees in a variety of work settings.

What can I do to protect myself?

Protection of employees against workplace violence is the responsibility of employers. The best protection employers can offer is to establish a zero-tolerance policy toward workplace violence against or by their employees. The employer should establish a workplace violence prevention program or incorporate the information into an existing accident prevention program, employee handbook or manual of standard operating procedures. It is critical to ensure that all employees know the policy and understand that all claims of workplace violence will be investigated and remedied promptly.

What resources are available to assist employers?

Safety and Health Programs

Federal OSHA has example workplace violence prevention programs that can be used as a resource.

Training and Outreach Services

The education, training and technical assistance bureau provides free online safety and health training and outreach services (i.e., speaker's bureau requests, safety booths) upon request. Further, Oregon OSHA has a free online course for workplace violence prevention. 

In addition, the NCDOL Library offers free safety and health videos (including streaming video services) and related research assistance on consensus standards (i.e., ANSI, NFPA, NEC).

Consultation Services

The consultative services bureau provides free and confidential onsite consultation regarding worksite safety and health hazards.


Which standards apply?

OSH has adopted the following standards which are applicable to workplace violence in North Carolina. Note: Please also check the standards information and activity webpage to see if there has been any recent or upcoming regulatory activity on this topic. 

State-specific Rules and Laws

  • There are no OSHA or N.C. occupational safety and health standards for workplace violence. In certain circumstances, workplace violence hazards may be cited using N.C. General Statute 95-129(1), commonly referred to as the “General Duty Clause.”

  • NCGS Chapter 95 Article 23 (Workplace Violence Prevention Act).

    • This labor law allows a North Carolina employer to file an action for a civil no contact order as a civil action in district court by an employer on behalf of an employee who has suffered unlawful conduct from any individual that can reasonably be construed to be carried out, or to have been carried out, at the employee's workplace.

    • Only section NCGS 95-270 is enforceable by the N.C. Department of Labor Retaliatory Employment Discrimination Bureau.

Other Applicable Standards

Additionally, the Which OSHA Standards Apply webpage can also help identify other standards that may be applicable to your worksite.

Where can I learn more?

Compliance Documents

Technical Assistance

If you would like to receive interpretive guidance on this or any other OSH standard or topic, you can submit your questions using the Ask OSH web form, by e-mail to or by calling 919-707-7876.