A study of risk factors for employee injury during convenience store robberies in metropolitan areas was conducted. Police reports for 1,835 convenience store robberies that occurred during 1992 and 1993 in selected metropolitan areas of Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia were abstracted from the State Statistical Analysis Centers database. The reports were analyzed to identify risk factors for employee injury including number of employees and customers in the store at the time, type of weapon used, amount of money stolen, time of day, and previous robbery history of the store. The analysis was repeated for a subset of 758 convenience store robberies in Florida, Maryland, Michigan, and Virginia. A total of 229 robberies in the seven states analysis and 84 of those in the subset of four states resulted in an employee injury. Twenty one employees in the seven state sample and 21 in the four state sample sustained a severe injury or death. Only one employee was present in 79% of the robberies, no customers were present in 80% of the robberies, and an employee was alone with no customers in 60% of the robberies. Approximately 59% of the robberies occurred at night, 47% occurred in stores previously robbed during the study period, and 63% involved use of a firearm. The risk of any employee injury did not differ significantly between single and multiple employee stores. In the four state sample, the risk of any employee injury was significantly lower when a firearm compared to a blunt instrument or no weapon was used, when the robbery occurred in stores that had been robbed more than once, when 1 to 999 dollars were stolen versus no money stolen, and having customers present. The authors conclude several risk factors for employee injury during convenience store robberies were identified, some of which can be ameliorated by appropriate interventions.
Scott A. Hendricks, MS, Injury Intervention, Analysis and Field Evaluations Branch, Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888