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June 12, 2013
NIOSH Update:

The Role of Taxicab Security Equipment in Preventing Driver Homicides Examined in New Study

Contact: Christina Spring (202) 245-0633

A new study from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) examines the effectiveness of specific safety equipment in reducing murder rates among taxi cab drivers, who face a high risk of being the victim of workplace homicide. While many cities and companies have made efforts to improve taxicab driver safety through the use of security equipment, such as in-vehicle cameras and partitions, the research into the effectiveness of these efforts has been limited. This study, newly published by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that the installation of in-vehicle security cameras resulted in a significant drop in the rate of driver homicides.

The study was conducted by NIOSH researchers in the Division of Safety Research and looked at the effectiveness of security cameras and partitions installed in taxicabs. Examining newspaper clippings from a 15 year period in 26 cities, the researchers sorted the cities by 1) use of security cameras, 2) use of partitions, and 3) cities without either security intervention, as a control.  The results showed that cities that installed the cameras experienced a significant decrease in their homicide rate, 7 times lower from pre-installation of the cameras. They also found that camera cities had a homicide rate 3 times lower than cities without cameras or security partitions.

“We have data that can show us who is at risk for workplace violence, but for taxi drivers there was a gap in knowledge on how effective the security equipment was at keeping them safe,” said  Dawn Castillo, Director of NIOSH’s Division of Safety Research. “This study provides an important piece of that puzzle, helping to increase our understanding of what works in preventing these types of tragic incidents. We hope that this will help cities and taxicab companies in their effort to make the workplace safer for these drivers.”

This study only examined news clippings and further research is still needed to better understand the issue and how to best prevent workplace homicides. Future research is planned to interview taxicab drivers to further compare the effect of security equipment in preventing more common types of workplace violence faced by taxi drivers, such as threats and assaults.  To access the complete study, visit the American Journal of Preventive Medicine site at: http://www.ajpmonline.org/webfiles/images/journals/amepre/3793-stamped-061113.pdf

For additional information on NIOSH’s workplace violence research go to http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/violence/ NIOSH is the federal agency that conducts research and makes recommendations for preventing work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths. More information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/.

 
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