Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Workplace Statistics: Deadly. in Five States, Murder Is No. 1 On-Job Killer

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Workplace Statistics: Deadly. in Five States, Murder Is No. 1 On-Job Killer

Article excerpt

Murder was the leading cause of workplace death in five states and the District of Columbia during the 1980s, according to the first federal study to pinpoint workplace fatalities by state.

Of the 7,603 Americans slain on the job in the last decade, 985 workers were murdered in Alabama, Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, South Carolina and Washington, D.C.

New York doesn't tabulate on-the-job homicide, but the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health estimated its toll at 867. If accurate, that would make New York the capital of workplace murder.

A full state-by state list of workplace homicides was not available.

"We need to realize that these fatal injuries are not acts of God," said Lynn Jenkins, author of the study. "They are preventable, and we must take steps to find out what the risks are and how to prevent them."

The study noted, however, that some progress has been made. Workplace deaths overall declined by more than 1,600 between 1980 and 1989.

The institute first warned about workplace homicide last month, when an early analysis of this study showed that murder was the biggest killer of working women.

The full study, being released today, offers the first state-by-state look at the problem. The institute wants state governments to find ways to prevent the biggest killers of their workers, Jenkins said.

Nationwide, 62,289 civilians died on the job from 1980 through 1989 - about 17 workers a day. Another 1,300 soldiers perished.

In Missouri, 1,052 people died on the job in that period. In Illinois, the number was 2,853.

Overall, murder was the third-leading killer of civilians, following motor vehicle crashes and machine injuries.

Texas, California, Florida, Illinois and Pennsylvania had the highest number of workplace fatalities.

But a better measure of risk is the rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers. …

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