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Workplace homicides at lowest level since 1992

February 17, 2001

Workplace homicides at lowest level since 1992



In the mid-1990s, homicide was the second-leading cause of death in the workplace. Last year, it dropped to third, behind highway fatalities and falls.

The number of homicides in the workplace is at its lowest level since the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics began its Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 1992.

In 1999, there were 645 reported workplace homicides in the United States.

That number is down about 40 percent from 1994, when there were 1,080 workplace homicides.

The retail trade has seen a 51 percent drop in workplace homicides from 1994 to 1999.

Figures for 2000 are not available yet.

According to a Department of Justice National Crime Victimization Survey, between 1992 and 1996 an average of 327 sales workers were homicide victims on the job. During the same period, 74 taxi drivers and chauffeurs and about 70 police officers were intentionally killed each year.

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When nonfatal attacks were included, police officers were the most frequent victims, facing 306 assaults per 1,000 employees. That's about 40 percent higher than the rate of attacks against prison guards, the second-most dangerous job.

Taxi drivers were third, private security guards were fourth and bartenders were fifth.

Robbery and other crimes remain the primary motives in on-the-job homicides, accounting for more than three-fourths of the incidents.

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