Killed on the clock: a population-based study of workplace homicide, 1977-1991

Am J Ind Med. 2000 Jun;37(6):629-36. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(200006)37:6<629::aid-ajim7>;2-7.


Background: This paper describes the epidemiology of workplace homicides in North Carolina, with emphasis on the circumstances.

Methods: Workplace homicide victims were identified by and data were abstracted from the North Carolina medical examiner system.

Results: Workplace homicide rates are highest for men, older and self-employed workers, minorities and specific occupations, especially taxi drivers. Robberies, mostly in retail settings, accounted for half of the cases, while 20% were known to involve disputes, the contexts of which differed by sex. Women were most likely to be killed by estranged partners.

Conclusions: Preventive strategies need to address the specific contexts in which workplace homicide occurs, such as retail and taxi robberies, and law enforcement officers interacting with suspects. A workplace response to domestic violence is also needed. Other areas for future research and intervention include environmental modifications, employee screening and training, and identifying more inclusive occupational data sources.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Homicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • North Carolina
  • Theft / statistics & numerical data
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data*