Homicides Now Second Cause of US Job Deaths
ATLANTA (Reuters, April 1998) - Homicides have surpassed machine-related injuries in the United States to
become the second-leading cause of job-related deaths after motor vehicle accidents, health officials said
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said murders accounted for 13.5 percent of the
occupational-related deaths between 1980 and 1994. Motor vehicle crashes accounted for 23.1 percent of
job-related fatalities in the same period.
The CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health said on-the-job deaths from motor vehicle
accidents, machine-related injuries, falls and electrocutions have gradually declined since 1980, while deaths from
homicide have remained relatively constant.
The agency said homicides were the leading cause of work-related deaths in California, the District of Columbia,
Michigan and New York between 1980 and 1994. The institute said 88,622 workers died from job-related injuries
between 1980 and 1994. There were 5,406 workplace fatalities in 1994, down from the 7,405 deaths in 1980. The
institute said 3.3 million workers were treated in hospital emergency rooms for occupational injuries in 1996.
The CDC has estimated that the cost of work-related injuries and fatalities is more than $121 billion per year. An
institute report in 1996 found that workers were at greater risk of homicide or assault if they were involved in the
exchange of money, had routine contact with the public, worked alone or in small numbers, worked late or very early
hours, or worked in high crime areas.