10% of All Workplace Fatalities Due to Homicides

April 9, 2018

Homicides accounted for 10 percent of all fatal occupational injuries in the United States in 2016, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

There were 500 workplace homicides in 2016, an increase of 83 cases from 2015. The 2016 total was the highest since 2010. Of the workplace homicide victims in 2016, 409 (82 percent) were men and 91 (18 percent) were women. Homicides represented 24 percent of fatal occupational injuries to women in 2016 compared with 9 percent of fatal occupational injuries to men.

Relatives or domestic partners were the most frequent assailant in work-related homicides of women (40 percent) but accounted for 2 percent of assailants in homicides of men. Robbers were the most common assailant in work-related homicides of men (33 percent, compared with 16 percent in homicides of women).

Cashiers incurred the largest number of workplace homicides in 2016 (54 homicides, up from 35 in 2015). Other occupations with high numbers of homicides were first-line supervisors of retail sales workers (50 homicides, up from 40 in 2015) and police and sheriff’s patrol officers (50 homicides, up from 34 in 2015).

Shootings accounted for 394 workplace homicides in 2016 (79 percent of the total). Stabbing, cutting, slashing, and piercing incidents accounted for another 38 homicides (8 percent of the total). Hitting, kicking, beating, shoving accounted for 35 workplace homicides in 2016 (7 percent of the total).

The Associated Press identified recent workplace shootings in the U.S.:

  • April 3, 2018: A woman opened fire at YouTube’s headquarters in the San Francisco Bay Area, wounding four people before she shot and killed herself.
  • Feb 1, 2018: A former trucking company employee, Vernest Griffin, faced first-degree murder charges after two fatal shootings at separate Detroit-area businesses. Griffin was wounded and arrested following a shootout with police.
  • June 14, 2017: UPS employee Jimmy Lam, who had recently filed a grievance, opened fire inside one of the company’s San Francisco packing facilities, killing three co-workers before fatally shooting himself as employees fled frantically into the streets.
  • June 5, 2017: John Robert Neumann Jr. fatally shot five former colleagues and then himself at a manufacturer of awnings in Orlando, Florida. Neumann had been fired from the Fiamma factory in April.
  • Oct. 25, 2016: One worker was fatally shot and three others were wounded after a former co-worker opened fire in the paint shop at the FreightCar America facility in Roanoke, Virginia. The shooter, Getachew Fekede, then killed himself.
  • Feb 2016: Fifteen people at a Kansas factory were shot and three of them killed by a co-worker whom police said had also shot two other people as he drove toward the facility. The shooting occurred at Excel Industries in Hesston, Kansas.
  • Dec 2, 2015: A husband and wife carried out an attack on his co-workers with high-powered rifles at a health department training event and holiday party at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik killed 14 people and wounded 22 others. Both fled the scene but then died in a shootout with police.

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