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Occupational Homicides on the Rise in Kentucky

By Jill Holder

 

The study, “Large Increase in the Number of Occupational Homicides,” conducted by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), was published in the October 2002 Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) newsletter. KIPRC is a partnership between the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

 

Jan. 9, 2003 (Lexington, Ky.) -- The number of occupational homicides in Kentucky increased from eight in 2001 to 12 for the first 10 months of 2002.

The study, “Large Increase in the Number of Occupational Homicides,” conducted by the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center (KIPRC), was published in the October 2002 Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) newsletter. KIPRC is a partnership between the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

Terry Bunn, Ph.D., project manager of the FACE program and author of the report, also examined the relationships between the victim and the perpetrator for each of the deaths.

“A personal relationship, and not a work relationship, was known to be involved in at least five of the twelve deaths,” Bunn said. A worker-on-worker relationship was established in only one case.

Workplace violent acts count among the three leading causes of worker deaths in the United States. In the late 1990s, there was a downward trend in the number of work-related homicides. That trend may now be reversing.

“These data support the need for both workplace-based and community-based violence programs here in Kentucky,” Bunn said.

While workplace violence awareness is increasing, Bunn said it is important to have safety information for employers and employees. Local workplace safety training may be available through local police departments.

The majority of the work-related homicides this year involved the use of firearms. Last year, firearms were linked with all occupational homicides.

Service workers were most likely to be involved in work-related murder, while retail trade was the most dangerous industry. Approximately one-third of the study victims were women.

For information about how to respond to or prevent domestic violence/sexual assault in the workplace, contact the Kentucky Domestic Violence Association at (502) 695-2444, Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs at (502) 226-2704, or your regional spouse abuse or rape crisis center for more information. Information on workplace violence also is available on the KIPRC Web site.


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