About two million people in the U.S. are victims of violent crime in the workplace every year, according to a US Department of Justice and Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Study taken between 1992-1996. The occupations examined included those that prior studies have deemed to be more vulnerable to criminal victimization.

The rate of violence per 1,000 workers during the five-year period studied was as follows:

Occupation Rate Victims
Law Enforcement Officers 306 234,000
Prison or Jail Corrections Officers 218 58,300
Taxi Drivers 184 16,100
Private Security Guards 117 71,100
Bartenders 91 26,400
Mental Health Professionals 80 50,300
Gas Station Attendants 79 15,500
Convenience or Liquor Store Clerks 68 61,500
Mental Health Custodial Workers 63 8,700
Junior High/Middle School Teachers 57 47,300
Bus Drivers 45 17,200
Special Education Teachers 41 9,000
High School Teachers 29 33,300
Elementary School Teachers 16 35,400
College or University Instructors 3 6,600

Workplace Homicide

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, homicide was the second leading cause of death in the workplace following highway fatalities. Workplace murders accounted for 1 of every 6 fatal occupational injuries. Firearms were used to commit more than 80% of all workplace homicides. By far, white males between the ages of 25 and 44 were the victims of workplace homicides occurring as a result of an armed robbery in a late-night retail setting.

During the same period an average of 330,000 retail employees were victimized annually. Late-night retail establishments by far had the highest rate of violence. Of the 107,854 annual business robberies, 67,144 occurred in commercial houses, 28,090 in convenience stores, and 12,621 in gas stations. More than one offender (43%) committed commercial robberies in contrast with other forms of workplace violence that only involved one offender (84.7%).

Strangers committed the majority of the workplace violence (59.6%) and most victims were men (66%). Most of the violent offenders were male (82.9%), white (58.4%), and over 21 years of age (76.4%).

Public law enforcement and private security guards experienced the most workplace assaults each year with an estimate of 327,000 simple assaults and 100,000 aggravated assaults.

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Workplace Violence Dangerous Occupation