Violence in a BC Public Service workplace

Last updated: January 5, 2023

Information and resources on how to assess and respond to threats of violence and violent behaviour in a BC Public Service workplace.

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WorkSafeBC defines violence as "the attempted or actual exercise by a person, other than a worker, of any physical force so as to cause injury to a worker, and includes any threatening statement or behaviour which gives a worker reasonable cause to believe that he or she is at risk of injury."

Violence or conflict between co-workers is covered under the Workplace Conduct regulation and the BC Public Service Standards of Conduct. It's the supervisor's responsibility to manage.

Violence isn't just a physical assault. It also includes:

  • Threats
  • Verbal abuse
  • Intimidation
  • The spillover of domestic violence into the workplace


All staff play a vital role in preventing violence by following safe work procedures, reporting incidents and helping with risk assessments or investigations.

When there is a risk of violence, employees need training in:

  • How to recognize potential violence
  • Workplace-specific violence prevention procedures, such as de-escalation
  • Response to violent incidents
  • Reporting violent incidents
  • Accessing counselling and support

All violent or potentially violent incidents require an investigation and follow up.

Supervisors should review the violence prevention program regularly.

Review Managing violence in the workplace to learn about supervisor responsibilities.

Learn more about safety training or enrol in violence in the workplace (IDIR restricted) training courses.

Targeted threat of violence and threat assessment

There may be times that you or your workplace face a possible targeted threat of violence, either internal or external.

This threat may come to your attention through:

  • A call from a co-worker, client or other party
  • A discipline/termination process
  • Directly by another person

If you're faced with a possible targeted threat of violence, talk to your supervisor immediately.

The BC Public Service Agency and the Government Security Office, Risk Management Branch has a comprehensive program to manage internal or external threats of violence targeting employees and public service workplaces. 

Together, we offer a confidential assessment to determine the level and nature of a threat posed by an individual or group, and provide strategies to help manage the risk.


If you're not employed by the B.C. provincial government please call WorkSafe BC at 1-888-621-SAFE (7233).

Call 911 for assistance if necessary.

For all other situations requiring immediate assistance, call the BC Public Service workplace health and safety 24-hour line (IDIR restricted).

This number is for employees of the B.C. government and their managers only. 

Can’t find what you need?

Submit an AskMyHR (IDIR restricted) service request.

Use the categories Myself (or) My Team/Organization > Workplace Safety > Urgent Health & Safety Support

If you're a B.C. government employee without an IDIR, call the BC Public Service Agency to submit your service request.