Suicide in the workplace: incidence, victim characteristics, and external cause of death

J Occup Med. 1989 Oct;31(10):847-51. doi: 10.1097/00043764-198910000-00011.


Although there is considerable information on suicide in the general population, little is known about those who kill themselves at work. This research uses data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatality data base to describe suicide in the workplace. During 1980 to 1985, 3% of deaths in the NTOF data base were suicides, and the average annual rate was 2.3 per million workers. Risk of workplace suicide increases with increasing age. Men have more than seven times the risk of women; whites have a risk ratio of 1.6 compared with blacks. Women use the same methods but in different proportions than men at work or suicide victims in general. Men in military service and in the agriculture/forestry/fishery industry appear at highest risk of killing themselves at work based on these data.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Cause of Death
  • Employment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Suicide* / psychology
  • Suicide* / statistics & numerical data
  • United States