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Workplace Homicides Up 50 Percent In The Last Year
Dan Fastenberg Jan 28th 2013 9:43AM Updated Jan 28th 2013 11:00AM

The massacre at the Sandy Hook elementary school reinvigorated the dormant debate over gun control and how best to stop the gun violence in schools. Now, new research suggests that violence in the workplace also has jumped dramatically, with workplace killings up 50 percent in the past year alone.
That would make 2012 the "worst year in about 20 years" for workplace homicides, according to Dr. Larry Barton, president of the Bryn Mawr, Pa.-based American College, an expert in crisis management and violence in corporate America. In a previous interview with AOL Jobs, Barton said that his statistics are based on data he collects from his clients, which includes a roster of 40 Fortune 500 companies.

"Up until 2011, we had an average of two people killed at work every workday, so you could average it out to about 10 a week," Barton told the Houston-based Cypress Creek Mirror. The 50 percent increase in workplace homicides in 2012 is "stunning," Barton noted.

More: Sign Up For AOL Jobs' Newsletter

The most recent government statistics on workplace homicides are from 2011, but these statistics have shown an opposite trend from what Barton notes. According to data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, homicides in the workplace were on a steady decline from 2003 to 2011, from 632 to 458. (In 2011, the BLS changed how it measures workplace violence to adapt the metrics for the modern digital workplace, but that had little impact on homicide statistics.)

But Barton believes the recent uptick is due to the economic crisis, which has dragged on for too long.
In speaking to AOL Jobs earlier this year, Barton said, "Many of us who thought the [economic downturn] was going to be a short-term hiccup, and so that gave us temporary comfort," he says. "But it has become an ulcer, and with a lot more anxiety about cutbacks, people wondering, 'Am I next?"

And so while "you would think people would lie low and do their work," Barton says "that's not the case, it seems people become more provocative."
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Filed under: Employment News
Tags: economic crisis, gun control, gun violence, guns in america, Larry Barton, workplace homicide, workplace violence
Workplace homicides are up 50%. Hey, how about everybody brings a gun to work? That would make things MUCH safer!
January 28 2013 at 7:49 PM Report abuse Permalink rate up rate down Reply
People are expected to work more hours and do more jobs and make less money. Average workers are being exploited by employers who are always looking to cut their bottom line and increase their own salaries simultaneously. This is only going to get worse as American workers will be competing with the illegal aliens that will be allowed to stay and work here under the immigration plan proposed by our elected officials.
January 28 2013 at 7:24 PM Report abuse Permalink +1 rate up rate down Reply
The spread of the big stores box allowed consentrations of these trouble makers. Now you never know when the trouble will start. The older workers and immigrants fear reporting the incidences because the fear reprisals or that they may lose their jobs for compaling especially since the Labor Department is turning a blind eye.
January 28 2013 at 5:31 PM Report abuse Permalink +1 rate up rate down Reply
If you haven't been assaulted by youths on the job your probably just lucky.
January 28 2013 at 5:19 PM Report abuse Permalink +1 rate up rate down Reply
There were less incidences in manufacturing as opposed to retail because retail is replacing manufacturing where mature skilled older workers once dominated. Today scores of wild youth from the ghetto run hog wild mismanaging others, abusing older workers, and disrespecting their elders.
January 28 2013 at 5:17 PM Report abuse Permalink +2 rate up rate down Reply supermolar killing is seemingly becoming an acceptable part of US culture.
January 28 2013 at 4:48 PM Report abuse Permalink +2 rate up rate down Reply
Violence is usually carried out by the young disturbed youth or iniatiated by the same. Get the trash out of management an the numbers will drop.
January 28 2013 at 4:42 PM Report abuse Permalink +2 rate up rate down Reply toosmart4u Dr Barton is just trying to get his name in the papers. Republicans will do anything or say anything to make the news. Ego problem.
January 28 2013 at 4:01 PM Report abuse Permalink rate up rate down Reply jcscott33 Work is getting too dangerous. The president should ban it immediately. Mobile * * RSS Feeds * Login * Register
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Annals of Epidemiology
Volume 22, Issue 4, Pages 277–284, April 2012
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Workplace Homicides Among U.S. Women: The Role of Intimate Partner Violence
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Figure 1
Rates of workplace homicides among U.S. women by selected occupation and typology: CFOI, 2003–2008. Only those occupations with 20 or more homicides in the 6-year period are included.
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important public health issue with serious consequences for the workplace. Workplace homicides occurring to U.S. women over a 6-year period, including those perpetrated by an intimate partner, are described.
Workplace homicides among U.S. women from 2003 to 2008 were categorized into type I (criminal intent), type II (customer/client), type III (co-worker), or type IV (personal relations) events using the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries. Fatality rates were calculated and compared among workplace violence (WPV) types, occupations, and characteristics including location of homicide, type of workplace, time of day, and weapon used.
Between 2003 and 2008, 648 women were feloniously killed on the job. The leading cause of workplace homicide for U.S. women was criminal intent, such as robbing a store (n = 212; 39%), followed by homicides perpetrated by a personal relation (n = 181; 33%). The majority of these personal relations were intimate partners (n = 142; 78%). Over half of workplace homicides perpetrated by intimate partners occurred in parking lots and public buildings (n = 91; 51%).
A large percentage of homicides occurring to women at work are perpetrated by intimate partners. WPV prevention programs should incorporate strategies to prevent and respond to IPV.
Key Words:
Homicide, Workplace, Women, Domestic violence
Selected Abbreviations and Acronyms:
BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), CFOI (Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries), CI (confidence interval), EAP (Employee Assistance Program), IPV (intimate partner violence), RR (rate ratios), WPV (workplace violence)
Annals of Epidemiology
Volume 22, Issue 4, Pages 277–284, April 2012
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NIOSH HomeThe National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
Preventing Homicide in the Workplace
May 1995
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 93-109

WARNING! Workers in certain industries and occupations are at increased risk of homicide.
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) requests assistance in preventing homicide in the workplace. From 1980 to 1989, homicide was the third leading cause of death from injury in the workplace, according to data from the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities (NTOF) Surveillance System [NIOSH 1993]. Occupational homicides accounted for approximately 7,600 deaths during this period--or 12% of all deaths from injury in the workplace. Only motor vehicles and machines accounted for more occupational deaths from injury.
On this Page * Number and Characteristics of Victims * High-Risk Workplaces and Occupations * Circumstances of Homicide in the Workplace * Current OSHA Regulations * Possible Risk Factors and Preventive Measures * Conclusions * Recommendations * Acknowledgements * References
The purposes of this Alert are to: * identify high-risk occupations and workplaces, * inform employers and workers about their risk, * encourage employers and workers to evaluate risk factors in their workplaces and implement protective measures, and * encourage researchers to gather more detailed information about occupational homicide and to develop and evaluate protective measures.
NIOSH requests that the information in this Alert be brought to the attention of workers and employers by the following: editors of appropriate trade journals, safety and health officials, labor organizations, members of the academic and public health communities, law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups, and insurance companies.
Number and Characteristics of Victims
Number of Victims
During the period 1980-89, nearly 7,600 U.S. workers were victims of homicide in the workplace. Homicide was the leading cause of occupational death from injury for women, and the third leading cause for all workers. The actual number of occupational homicides is higher than reported in this Alert because methods for collecting and reporting death certificate data tend to underestimate the total number of deaths [NIOSH 1993]. NTOF data indicate that for the period 1980-89, the average annual rate of occupational homicide was 0.7/100,000 workers [Castillo and Jenkins 1993]. (See Jenkins et al. [1992] for an overview of work-related homicides based on NTOF data for the years 1980-88.)
Although data are not available to quantify nonfatal assaults in the United States, such intentional injuries to workers occur much more frequently than occupational homicides. Efforts to prevent occupational homicide may also reduce the number of nonfatal assaults.
Sex of Victims
Of the 7,600 homicide victims during the period 1980-89, 80% were male. The homicide rate for male workers was three times that for female workers (1.0/100,000 compared with 0.3/100,000). Nonetheless, homicide was the leading cause of death from occupational injury among women, causing 41% of all such deaths among women compared with 10% among men. (See Bell [1991] for an analysis of NTOF data on occupational homicides among women.)
Age of Victims
Nearly half of the occupational homicides occurred among workers aged 25 to 44, but workers aged 65 and older had the highest rate of occupational homicide (2.0/100,000).
Race of Victims
During the period 1980-89, 75% of occupational homicide victims were white, 19% were black, and 6% were other races. However, the rate of occupational homicide among black workers (1.4/100,000) and other races (1.6/100,000) was more than twice the rate for white workers (0.6/100,000).
Weapons Used
Guns were used in 75% of all occupational homicides from 1980 to 1989. Knives and other types of cutting and piercing instruments accounted for only 14% of these deaths during this period.
High-Risk Workplaces and Occupations
Among workplaces, retail trades had the highest number of occupational homicides (2,787) during the period 1980-89, and services had the second highest number (1,275). These two workplaces accounted for 54% of all occupational homicides during this period. Three workplaces had homicide rates that were at least double the average annual rate (0.7/100,000) for the United States: retail trades, public administration, and transportation/communication/public utilities.
Workplaces with the highest rates of occupational homicide were taxicab establishments, liquor stores, gas stations, detective/protective services, justice/public order establishments (including courts, police protection establishments, legal counsel and prosecution establishments, correctional institutions, and fire protection establishments), grocery stores, jewelry stores, hotels/motels, and eating/drinking places (see Table 1). Taxicab establishments had the highest rate of occupational homicide--nearly 40 times the national average and more than three times the rate of liquor stores, which had the next highest rate.
Table 1. Workplaces with the highest rates of occupational homicide, 1980-89 Workplaces and SIC* codes | Number of Homicides | Rate† | Taxicab establishments (412) | 287 | 26.9 | Liquor stores (592) | 115 | 8.0 | Gas stations (554) | 304 | 5.6 | Detective/protective services (7381, 7382) | 152 | 5.0 | Justice/public order establishments (92) | 640 | 3.4 | Grocery stores (541) | 806 | 3.2 | Jewelry stores (5944) | 56 | 3.2 | Hotels/motels (701) | 153 | 1.5 | Eating/drinking places (58) | 734 | 1.5 |
*Standard Industrial Classification. Workplaces were classified according to the Standard Industrial Classification Manual, 1987 [OMB 1987]. †Number per 100,000 workers per year.
The occupation with the highest rate of occupational homicide was taxicab driver/chauffeur, with a rate 21 times the national average. Other high-risk occupations were law enforcement officers (police officers/sheriffs), hotel clerks, gas station workers, security guards, stock handlers/baggers, store owners/managers, and bartenders (see Table 2).
Table 2. Occupations with the highest rates of occupational homicide, 1980-89 Occupations and BOC* codes | Number of Homicides | Rate† | Taxicab drivers/chauffers (809) | 289 | 15.1 | Law enforcment officers (police officers/sheriffs) (418, 423) | 520 | 9.3 | Hotel clerks (317) | 40 | 5.1 | Gas station workers (885) | 164 | 4.5 | Security guards (426) | 253 | 3.6 | Stock handlers/baggers (877) | 260 | 3.1 | Store owners/managers (243) | 1065 | 2.8 | Bartenders (434) | 84 | 2.1 |
*Bureau of Census. Occupations were classified according to the 1980 Census of the Population: Alphabetic Index of Industries and Occupations [U.S. Department of Commerce 1982]. †Number per 100,000 workers per year.
Circumstances of Homicide in the Workplace
Information on death certificates does not allow identification of the circumstances of homicide in the workplace. However, the types of high-risk workplaces and occupations identified suggest that robbery is a predominant motive. In addition, some homicides are caused by disgruntled workers and clients or by domestic violence that spills into the workplace.
Current OSHA Regulations
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has no specific regulations for preventing occupational homicide. However, the OSHA General Duty Clause [29 USC 1900 5(a)(1)] requires employers to provide a safe and healthful working environment for all workers covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
Possible Risk Factors and Preventive Measures
Risk Factors
Researchers have suggested a number of factors that may increase the risk of homicide in the workplace [Kraus 1987; Davis 1987; Davis et al. 1987; Castillo and Jenkins 1993]. The following are examples of these factors: * Exchange of money with the public * Working alone or in small numbers * Working late night or early morning hours * Working in high-crime areas * Guarding valuable property or possessions * Working in community settings (e.g., taxicab drivers and police)
Preventive Measures
Immediate preventive measures are needed to reduce the large number of occupational homicides each year. Although the preventive measures presented in this Alert have not been widely tested, they may provide some protection to workers until research studies can be conducted to evaluate their effectiveness.
A number of environmental and behavioral measures have been proposed for reducing occupational homicides in high-risk establishments and occupations [Chapman 1986; Crow and Erickson 1989; NYCPD 1990; State of Florida 1991]. These measures include the following: * Make high-risk areas visible to more people. * Install good external lighting. * Use drop safes to minimize cash on hand. * Carry small amounts of cash. * Post signs stating that limited cash is on hand. * Install silent alarms. * Install surveillance cameras. * Increase the number of staff on duty. * Provide training in conflict resolution and nonviolent response. * Avoid resistance during a robbery. * Provide bullet-proof barriers or en closures. * Have police check on workers routinely. * Close establishments during high-risk hours (late at night and early in the morning).
Occupational homicide is a serious public health problem, but many employers and workers may be unaware of the risk. No current OSHA regulations apply specifically to occupational homicide, but a great need exists for worker protection from intentional injury in the workplace.
High-risk workplaces include taxicab establishments, liquor stores, gas stations, detective/protective services, justice/public order establishments, grocery stores, jewelry stores, hotels/motels, and eating/drinking places. High-risk occupations are taxicab drivers/chauffeurs, law enforcement officers (police officers/sheriffs), hotel clerks, gas station workers, security guards, stock handlers/baggers, store owners/managers, and bartenders. Employers in these high-risk establishments and occupations need to be aware of the risk for homicide and take steps to ensure a safe workplace.
NIOSH recommends that the following steps be taken to prevent occupational homicides:
1. Employers and workers should immediately develop and implement prevention strategies on the basis of available information. They should * evaluate the factors or situations in the workplace that might place workers at risk, and * carefully consider intervention efforts that might minimize or remove the risk.
Employers and workers may be able to apply some of the preventive measures described in this Alert; they may also identify other preventive measures specific to their workplaces.
2. Researchers should thoroughly evaluate existing or proposed prevention strategies. Few in-depth studies have been conducted to evaluate preventive measures, but such evaluation is critical to homicide prevention efforts [NIOSH 1992].
3. Researchers should further investigate occupational homicide. Research should be conducted on the specific factors associated with occupational homicides. Such research is essential for the development of prevention strategies.
4. Researchers should address the role of guns in occupational homicides. Because of the frequent use of guns in occupational homicides, research should be conducted to: * investigate the circumstances surrounding the use of guns in homicides, * evaluate the effectiveness of methods for protecting workers from assaults involving guns, and * evaluate the impact that existing and proposed gun-control regulations might have on protecting workers from occupational homicide.
The principal contributor to this Alert was Dawn N. Castillo, Division of Safety Research, NIOSH. Comments, questions, or requests for additional information should be directed to Dr. Thomas R. Bender, Director, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 944 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, WV 26505-2888; telephone, (304) 284-5700.
We greatly appreciate your assistance in protecting the lives of U.S. workers.
Richard A. Lemen, Ph.D.
Acting Director, National Institute for
Occupational Safety and Health
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Bell CA [1991]. Female homicides in United States workplaces, 1980-1985. Am J Public Health 81(6):729-732.
Castillo DN, Jenkins EL [1993]. Industries and occupations at high risk for work-related homicides. J Occup Med (in press).
Chapman SG [1986]. Cops, killers and staying alive: the murder of police officers in America. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.
Crow WJ, Erickson R [1989]. The store safety issue: facts for the future. Alexandria, VA: National Association of Convenience Stores.
Davis H [1987]. Workplace homicides of Texas males. Am J Public Health 77(10):1290-1293.
Davis H, Honchar PA, Suarez L [1987]. Fatal occupational injuries of women, Texas 1975-84. Am J Public Health 77(12):1524-1527.
Jenkins EL, Layne LA, Kisner SM [1992]. Homicide in the workplace: the U.S. experience, 1980-1988. Am Assoc Occup Health Nurses J 40(5):215-218.
Kraus JF [1987]. Homicide while at work: persons, industries, and occupations at high risk. Am J Public Health 77(10):1285-1289.
NYCPD [1990]. Safety tips for the taxi driver and the for-hire vehicle driver. New York, NY: New York City Police Department.
NIOSH [1992]. Homicide in U.S. workplaces: a strategy for prevention and research. Morgantown, WV: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 92-103.
NIOSH [1993]. Fatal Injuries to workers in the United States, 1980-1989: a decade of surveillance; national profile. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 93-108.
OMB [1987]. Standard industrial classification manual, 1987. Washington, DC: Executive Office of the President, Office of Management and Budget, NTIS No. PB 87-100012.
State of Florida [1991]. Study of safety and security requirements for "at-risk businesses." Tallahassee, FL: Office of the Attorney General.
U.S. Department of Commerce [1982]. 1980 Census of population: alphabetical index of industries and occupations. Final ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census, PHC80-R3.
Worker/Employer Summary Sheet Only [PDF - 214 KB] Page last reviewed: June 6, 2014 * Page last updated: June 6, 2014

Examining Workplace Homicide
BY Rachael Bell
Workplace Violence on the Rise
Violence in the workplace is an increasing problem in the United States. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are approximately two million workers victimized each year, of which roughly 700 result in homicide. An article released by the Violence Prevention Coalition of Greater Los Angeles stated that in the year 2000, homicide was the third leading cause of occupational deaths in the United States and the leading cause of death for women in the workplace.
A study conducted by the Injury Prevention Research Center (IPRC) has divided workplace violence into four types: 1. Criminal Intent 2. Customer/Client 3. Worker-on-Worker 4. Personal Relationship
The IPRC stated that Criminal Intent is the most common form of occupational violence and accounts for 85% of all workplace homicides and is usually committed by perpetrators who have "no legitimate relationship to the business or its employers." Many of these homicides have resulted from robbery, trespassing or similar crimes in the workplace and more recently terrorist attacks (as in the 2001 World Trade Center catastrophe in New York and the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City in 1995).
Worker-on-worker is the next most common form of occupational violence, which accounts for 7% of all workplace homicides. The remaining 8% of homicides are a result of customer/client (customer/client vs. worker/employee) or domestic violence at work. However, according to an article by Jonathan Dube entitled Office Wars, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) claimed that as much as 30% of occupational homicides resulted from customer versus employee violence at work, a substantially larger figure than that claimed by the IPRC.
The majority of the workplace homicides are not evenly dispersed across workplaces but "clustered in particular occupational settings" such as in the retail trade and service industries. According to OSHA, those most at risk for work-related death are workers who exchange money with the public, have close contact with the community and work alone or in small groups during the late evening or morning hours. Such workers include fast food restaurant employees, convenience store and gas station clerks, taxicab drivers, police officers and security guards to name a few. In fact, according to a paper written by Sygnatur and Toscano titled Work-related Homicides: The Facts, taxi cab drivers and police officers have the highest rate of work-related homicide of any occupation.
Dan Thompson in his article, "On The Edge," writes that employees who commit violence against other employees are likely to share similar characteristics. The most common profile of a violent worker is a white male 25 to 50 years old, a loner with a history of violence and who has demonstrated a fascination with weapons. Moreover, the violent worker is likely to exhibit signs of depression; self-destructive behavior, paranoia and/or other behaviors generally associated with specific personality disorders. Interestingly, Thompson also suggests that Antisocial Personality Disorder and Borderline Personality Disorder appear to be directly linked with workplace homicide and violence.
The profile described by Thompson lends some insight into worker-on-worker violent behavior, however it is not entirely reflective of "Criminal Intent" offenders. This type of workplace homicide often times varies significantly in terms of the type of offender and the motive behind the crime. For example, homicidal robberies are motivated by financial gain and usually not revenge, jealousy or workplace stress, which is often the case in worker-on-worker slayings.
On-the-job and external forms of stress are the " major contributors to workplace violence." Robert F. White stated in his paper Workplace Violence: A Case Study, that a study conducted by Kelleher (1996) listed nine critical elements that could aggravate stress and lead to increased incidence of worker-on-worker occupational violence. The nine elements included, * excessive workload * inadequate time to complete the assigned task * poor supervision * uncertain organizational climate * insufficient authority to meet job responsibilities * unclear responsibilities or job functions * philosophical differences between the organization and employee * unexpected or significant change at work or at home * unanswered or unresolved frustrations."
Other causes of workplace homicide often include: * mental illness * revenge * insecurity * jealousy * aggression towards other co-workers
In actuality, the subject of why people commit occupational homicide deserves a great deal more study than it has been afforded. After all, the more we know why someone commits such a crime the more likely we are of preventing it in the future.
Currently, many businesses are increasingly adding stress workshops and workplace violence prevention courses in an effort to curb the growing problem of occupational violence. Another effective preventative technique is intensely screening employees prior to being hired, especially since many of the cases involve people who have previously offended or have a history of mental illness. However, there are frequently many ethical boundaries and privacy issues that actually prevent such screening from occurring. Examining Workplace Homicide
BY Rachael Bell share Comments
"Going Postal"
From the mid 1980s to the mid 1990s, there was a rash of workplace homicides at various U.S. Post Offices, which resulted in coining the term "going postal." One of the cases was the Edmond Post Office massacre, which turned out to be one of the third largest mass murder incidents of its kind in the United States. The crime also brought into the spotlight homicide at the workplace, as well as the idea of the "disgruntled worker."

Patrick Henry Sherrill
Thompson wrote that Patrick Henry Sherrill, who lived and worked in Edmond, Oklahoma, was nicknamed "Crazy Pat" due to his unusual behavior. The article stated that Pat was often seen, "sneaking around at night in combat fatigues, tying up dogs with baling wire, peering into neighbor's windows, (and) mowing his lawn at midnight." His bizarre behavior was also observed at the many jobs he held throughout his life and by his neighbors.
The web site reports that Pat's strange conduct was first noticeable during his youth, where he exhibited "odd and reclusive behavior" and showed no interest in his studies. Pat's primary interests were in sports, in which he excelled at school. He actually earned several school letters in discus and football.
In 1960 at the age of 19, Pat won a wrestling scholarship from Oklahoma University. However, he performed poorly and dropped out during his first year. Several years later he joined the Marine Corps and was stationed in North Carolina. While there he exhibited a talent with firearms but failed to succeed in other activities. After two years, Pat was discharged under honorable conditions and set out to look for work in the civilian world.
Pat moved in with his mother in Oklahoma and re-enrolled in school, this time at Edmond Central State University. Once again his grades were low and he dropped out of school for good. He worked at a series of odd jobs, which were for the most part unsuccessful. One of the primary causes for his lack of success was his uncooperative and rude behavior, which made him unpopular with his employers. He was a man who did not take direction well and preferred to work alone without any hindrance or supervision.
In 1985, Pat landed a job at the postal service where he worked as a full-time substitute letter carrier. It was his second time working as a postal worker. The first time was unsuccessful because he proved to be incompetent and unqualified. However, he was in need of money in order to sustain himself. Pat's mother, who spent years supporting him had died and left him a house to manage.
While working for the postal service, Pat once again had problems. Although he was initially a hard worker, his behavior offended both co-workers and customers. Then his work also began to slide and he was suspended.
Pat believed that the post office supervisors were bent on firing him because they deemed him an unfit worker. An angry Pat decided he would teach them all a lesson.
On the morning of August 20, 1986, Pat substituted two .45 Colt semi-automatic guns and a .22 caliber pistol with ammunition for the mail in his satchel. He was armed and ready for war.
Moments after stepping through the rear entrance of the Edmond Post Office, Pat approached two of his supervisors. Thompson stated that he held a gun in each hand and proceeded to shoot the men at point-blank range. Pat then walked through the building, shooting anything and everything in sight. The sounds of gunfire, screams and moaning filled the air as victims fell in the very place they were working in moments earlier. Other employees were scrambling over one another to escape the bullets that sprayed from Pat's guns.
As Pat walked through the building, he closed and locked doors behind him, ensuring that no one would escape his deadly mission. He only stopped temporarily to reload his weapons before resuming the shooting. It took approximately fifteen minutes and fifty rounds of ammunition for Pat to purge himself of his anger. He then turned the gun on himself.
Pat died from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. By the time the police arrived at the scene, he had killed a total of fourteen male and female co-workers and wounded a further seven other employees. According to Thompson, the massacre was, "one of the worst mass murders committed by a single gunman in American history".
Over the last few decades, the United States Postal Services (USPS) has suffered a poor reputation from incidents of workplace violence and homicide. A national study was ordered by the Postal Service in the hopes of dispelling occupational fears and directly challenging the purported misconception that postal workers are under greater threat than those who work at other occupations. According to an article by Bob Dart titled Study Calls "Go Postal" Stereotype Mere Myth, research showed that the USPS employees are no more likely to "go postal" or commit homicide than other American workers.
Washington Post staff writer Cathy Newman writes in Going Postal? that only 16 of 6,719 workplace homicides were attributed to postal employees between 1992 to 1998. The article quoted Jerry Rubenstein, a psychologist at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, who stated that the "public nature of the job" led to postal worker homicides being more highly publicized, thus creating a "distorted picture of postal worker's propensity to commit violence." Intriguingly, a large number of postal employees have embraced this myth, believing that they are at higher risk of dying on the job than others.
In fact, Dart claims that homicide rates in the postal service were considerably lower than in other workplaces, with the retail trade having the highest incidence of occupational homicide. However, although the homicide rates were substantially lower when compared with other occupations, Newman stated that there was a higher risk of stress amongst postal employees, likely due to the drudging daily routine associated with the work. This fact only is a critical variable that could lead to an increase in disgruntled workers and possibly violent consequences. definition of workplace homicide OSHA workplace violence 2011

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