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Homicides in the Workplace Increase in 2000

Fewer workers died on the job in 2000 than in 1999, continuing a downward trend in work-related fatalities in most categories, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistic's (BLS) latest Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

The exceptions were falls resulting in fatal injuries and workplace homicides - which increased for the first time in six years.

The total number of workplace homicides in 2000 was still 37% lower than the high of 1,080 homicides reported in 1994. For those workplace homicides in which the motive could be ascertained, homicides in which robbery was the initial motive increased from 255 cases in 1999 to 291 cases in 2000. Although some service industries showed decreases in work-related deaths, the retail industry had higher fatalities, largely due to an increase in workplace homicide.

Overall, assaults and other forms of workplace violence in 2000 resulted in 929 deaths, or 16% of the 5,915 fatal workplace injuries reported for the year.

Although transportation deaths dropped to the lowest point since 1992, transportation-related fatalities remained the leading cause of death for American workers, accounting for 2,571 deaths (43%) in 2000. Likewise, construction industry fatalities fell 3% in 2000, but construction remained the deadliest industry with 1,154 reported deaths. In descending order, services reported 768 deaths; agriculture 720; manufacturing 668; retail 594 and government 571.

Fatal work injuries to men were down nearly 3%, although fatalities to women increased slightly in 2000. On average, about 16 workers were fatally injured each day during 2000. There were 214 multiple-fatality incidents resulting in 5,915 deaths. The multiple-fatality count for 2000 represents a substantial decrease over the 1999 count when 235 multiple-fatality incidents were reported involving 617 job-related deaths.

The Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, part of the BLS occupational safety and health statistics program, provides the most complete count of fatal work injuries available. The program uses diverse state and federal data sources to identify, verify, and profile fatal work injuries. This is the ninth year that the fatality census has been conducted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

To request a copy of the 2000 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (BLS Report 954), email your address to CFOIstaff@bls.gov or write to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Room 3180, Washington, DC 20212. The report is also accessible at the BLS Web site at www.bls.gov.

To learn more, you may contact us by telephone (203.264.6802) or via email.

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