A survey of work related homicides in the United States between 1980 and 1988 was conducted. Data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatality Surveillance System were analyzed for age, gender, occupation, industry, geographic region, and method of homicide. A total of 6956 cases of occupational homicides were reported from 1980 to 1988; 80% of the victims were males. The age range was from 16 to 93 and the highest rate of work related deaths occurred in the 65 years and older age group. Sales workers accounted for 22% of all work related homicides, followed by service occupations (18%), and executives/administrators/managers (14%). In industry, most homicidal deaths occurred in the retail trade industry (36%), followed by the services industry (11%), and public administration (11%). Firearms were used in 75% of occupational deaths reported; cutting and piercing instruments accounted for 14%. Females were more likely than males to have died from strangulation or wounds inflicted by piercing and cutting instruments. The Southern region of the United States accounted for the majority of deaths (49%), followed by the West (24%), North Central (19%), and Northeast (8%) regions. Overall, homicide was the third leading cause of occupational injury death in the United States from 1980 to 1988. The authors conclude that a multidisciplinary approach involving public health and safety professionals is required in occupational homicide prevention programs.