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Workplace Violence Has Killed 18,000 Over 27 Years

Between 1992 and 2019, nearly 18,000 persons were killed at work, on duty, or in violence that was work-related, says a new report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, Bureau of Labor Statistics and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Homicides at work peaked at 1,080 in 1994 and dropped to 454 in 2019, a decline of 58 percent. During a more recent period from 2014 to 2019, workplace homicides increased 11 percent.


An annual average of 1.3 million nonfatal workplace violent victimizations occurred during the five years from 2015 to 2019. Violent victimizations include rape or sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault and simple assault. This was a rate of 8.0 nonfatal violent crimes per 1,000 workers 16 or older. Persons in corrections occupations had the highest average annual rate of nonfatal workplace violence at 149.1 per 1,000 workers. Strangers committed about half of nonfatal workplace violence during 2015-19, with male victims less likely than female victims to know the offender. The offender was unarmed in 78 percent of nonfatal workplace violence, and the victim sustained an injury in 12 percent. Fifteen percent of victims of nonfatal workplace violence reported severe emotional distress due to the crime.