According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries for 2007, assaults and violent acts claimed 864 lives in 2007and represented over 15% of the total 5,657 workplace fatalities in the United States.
Homicides represented the majority of these violent acts in the United States, claiming 628 lives in 2007, or 11% of fatalities. Over 26% of those homicides, a total of 167, occurred the retail trades, 39 occurred at convenience stores, 32 occurred at gasoline stations, and seven occurred at liquor stores.
While homicides have shown a marked overall decline since 1994 when they peaked at 1,080, they were the third leading cause of work-related deaths in 2007, and remain a serious risk for late-night retail workers.
Tips for reducing work place violence:
- Maintain good visibility into and outside of the business. Avoid using window posters.
- Keep a minimum amount of cash in the registers and use drop safes at the register.
- Post minimum cash stickers on doors
- Maintain good interior and exterior lighting
- Control access into and within the business
- Position well maintained, recorded, surveillance cameras for facial views
- Avoid staffing only one employee especially during the night shifts
- Advise employees to report ANY suspicious activity to the police ASAP
- Quality employee background checks can reduce work place violence
- Provide de-escalation training techniques to employees
- Comply completely with a robber’s demands; focus on being a good witness
- Contact the police department for a security consult
If you own a business, especially a high-risk business as identified above, and would like an investigator to work with you on a security consultation, please call the Arvada Police Department’s Investigations Bureau at 720-898-6700.