The industries and occupations at high risk of workplace homicide were discussed. Information was obtained on workplace homicides for the years 1980 to 1992 from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities surveillance system. Over the study period, the average workplace homicide rate was 0.70 per 100,000 workers. About 80% of the workplace homicides involved males. However, 11% of all workplace deaths among males and 42% of all workplace deaths among females were homicides. Of the female homicide victims, 46% worked in retail and 22% in service industries. Of the male homicide victims, 36% worked in retail and 16% in services. The risk of workplace homicide increased with age, with the highest rates for workers over the age of 65. Work related homicide rates were 1.39 per 100,000 workers for blacks, 1.87 per 100,000 workers for other nonwhite races and 0.59 per 100,000 workers for whites. The southern region had the most workplace homicides and the highest homicide rate of all the geographical regions examined. Homicide was the leading cause of occupational fatality in Alabama, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Michigan, South Carolina, and probably New York. Of the total workplace homicides, 76% were perpetrated with a firearm and 12% with a knife like instrument. Retail trade and services accounted for 38% and 17% of workplace homicides, respectively. For the years 1990 to 1992, taxicab service had the highest homicide rate of 41.4 per 100,000 workers. Taxicab drivers and chauffeurs had the highest occupational homicide rate, equaling 22.7 per 100,000 workers. Gas station attendants, police officers, sheriffs, and security guards also had elevated homicide rates, relative to the national average. The author concludes that efforts to reduce workplace homicide should be taken immediately.
Humans; Mortality-rates; Transportation-workers; Retail-workers; Law-enforcement-workers; Sex-factors; Age-factors; Traumatic-injuries; Occupational-hazards; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Work-environment; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Safety-research; Demographic-characteristics; Racial-factors
E. Lynn Jenkins, MA Senior Scientist, Office of the Director, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, HHH Building, Room 317-B, 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20201