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Section V:

Human Resources


Safety and Benefits


Workplace Violence Prevention

Current Effective Date:


Revision History:


Original Effective Date:




The purpose is to coordinate and communicate the implementation of a workplace violence policy and guidelines for the department’s employees and management.


It is the policy of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to provide a safe workplace for employees that is free from violence. Types of violent acts that are prohibited include, but are not limited to, threats, intimidation, physical attack or property damage by or against employees. Such actions, including the use of weapons, will subject the perpetrator to serious disciplinary action and possible criminal charges. Employees acting in good faith who report real or implied violent behavior will not be subject to retaliation or harassment based upon their report. All incident reports shall be confidential and released only as permitted by applicable law.


  1. Communication
    1. Each agency shall ensure that all employees are aware of the department's workplace violence policy.

    2. New employees shall receive a review of the department's workplace violence policy during orientation.

    3. Continuing awareness of the department's workplace violence policy shall be the responsibility of each division/facility/school director.
  2. Crisis Management Team
    1. Crisis Management Teams are to be Established as Follows:
      1. The Office of the Secretary shall have one (1) team designated by the DHHS Secretary.

      2. Each division central office shall have one (1) or more teams designated by the division director.

      3. Each campus shall have one (1) or more teams designated by the division/facility/school director.
    2. Composition of Crisis Management Teams Shall Consist of:
      1. Crisis Management Coordinator - agency head or designee/

      2. Human Resources (HR) manager or designee.

      3. Agency police and/or safety director.

      4. Regional Employee Assistance Program consultant.

      5. Others at the discretion of the division/facility/school director, e.g. attorney, engineer or physician.
    3. Crisis Management Team Responsibilities are to:
      1. Evaluate reports of potential for violence and determine planned interventions.

      2. Establish coordination with local law enforcement or campus police and emergency services personnel.

      3. Plan delivery of post incident debriefing with the Employee Assistance Program consultant.

      4. Provide post-incident analysis and recommendation of preventive measures.

      5. Establish internal communication needs of the agency.

      6. Establish communication process with media, Office of the Secretary and family members.

      7. Provide coordination of program training/awareness for staff.

      8. Establish direction for on-going agency operations.

      9. Identify high risk areas for potential of violence within the facility and recommend corrective action.
  3. Training
    1. Training was developed by the department to cover four (4) employee groups: Management, Crisis Management Team, Supervisor, and Employee. Training content for each group follows:
      1. Management: Awareness of department policy, legal liability, what constitutes violence, state direction, and management's role.

      2. Crisis Management Team: Define various team roles, strategies and techniques for preventing workplace violence, implementing violence interventions, follow up and debriefings.

      3. Supervisor: Communicating effectively, documentation, recognizing signs and symptoms affecting workplace behavior, and dispute/conflict resolution.

      4. Employee: Awareness training on department policy and reporting requirements.
    2. Follow-up training shall be used to ensure current employee awareness. Training shall be coordinated for each division/institution by the Crisis Management Coordinator and the Training Coordinator.
  4. Notification
    1. Employees shall report any acts or threats of violence to their immediate supervisor and/or agency HR manager immediately upon occurrence or knowledge thereof.

    2. Supervisors shall immediately assess any reports of violence, gather factual data and report findings to their supervisor or designated person. A determination will be made as follows:
      1. No further action is warranted, or
      2. Action is warranted and notification is made to the Crisis Management Coordinator for further direction.
  5. Reports
    1. Each division/facility/school shall document all incident reports on the form provided by the department. These records are to be maintained by the agency Crisis Management Coordinator.

    2. Site incident report records shall be maintained for a period of two (2) years.

    3. Each division/facility/school Crisis Management Coordinator shall send a copy of each documented incidence report on a monthly basis to the DHHS Employee Safety and Health Manager, by the 10th day of the following month.

For questions or clarification on any of the information contained in this policy, please contact Human Resources. For general questions about department-wide policies and procedures, contact the DHHS Policy Coordinator.

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