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Workplace Violence

Workplace Violence Icon

All campus occupants are responsible for their own behavior and are expected to interact professionally with fellow occupants when on campus. Any perceived or actual act of violence toward campus occupants will not be tolerated. 


Any staff member who is concerned for their immediate safety or the safety of others due to potential, perceived, or actual threat of violence on campus should immediately contact the campus police at: 

  • Gaithersburg Campus x2222 from a campus phone or call 301-975-2222 from a cellular phone. When calling 911 from a cellular or off-site phone inform the 911 dispatcher that the emergency is on the NIST campus.
  • Boulder Campus x7777 from a campus phone or call 303-497-7777 from a cellular phone. When calling 911 from a cellular or off-site phone inform the 911 dispatcher that the emergency is on the NIST campus.
  1. Advise the police of the situation and request assistance.
  2. Following notification to the campus police, please contact a supervisor.
  3. Other reports of non-professional behavior that raise concerns about immediate safety should be reported promptly to a supervisor.


If you feel threatened and can safely do so, leave. When safe to do so, notify campus police and request a response. If you are unable to leave and need to deal with the subject:

  • Be courteous.
  • Do not escalate the situation.
  • Maintain eye contact.
  • Listen attentively.
  • Do not make physical contact.
  • Do not block exit routes.
  • Stall to allow time for police response.
  • Follow the directions of first responders.

Based on the nature of the threat, and circumstances of the incident, response to workplace violence may result in the need to:

  • Immediately evacuate from the area where the incident is occurring.
  • If evacuation isn’t possible, seek shelter or refuge within an interior space, ideally one that can be secured, as far away from the incident as possible.
  • "Lockdown" is a code word used to notify occupants (via loudspeaker) that the building or buildings are being secured against outside access in order to mitigate the threat. 

*If the workplace violence incident evolves into an active shooter situation, refer to the *ACTIVE SHOOTER SECTION*

Additional Resources

OSHA-Workplace Violence Overview

CDC- Occupational Violence

DOL-Workplace Violence

Created February 13, 2023, Updated September 26, 2023