Monday, September 24, 2012

Good News From The BLS CFOI

Workplace homicide continues to decline...

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published its preliminary Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) numbers for 2011. Good news; last year the workplace was slightly less lethal overall.  There were 4690 fatal injuries at work in 2010 and 4609 in 2011.  Violent deaths at work declined from 832 to 780.

The BLS has changed its coding for 2011; “Assaults and violent acts” is now Violence and other injuries by persons or animals.”

  • Violence and other injuries by persons or animals – 780
  • Homicides – 458
  • Suicide – 242
  • Animal and insect related – 37

There is another new category in the preliminary data this year. Injury by person – unintentional or intent unknown,” currently accounts for 43 deaths.  Of those 17 deaths were the result of unintentional shootings, presumably negligent discharges.

Of perennial interest to me and my peers in the security trade, workplace homicides continue to decline; 458 murders is the lowest in the series started in 1992.  There were also fewer suicides this year than last – down from 270 to 242, reversing a troubling upward trend over the past couple years.

"Animal and insect related" deaths are divided between stings and venomous bites and being gored, kicked, or trampled by cattle and horses.  Ouch.

These numbers are subject to revision - and usually increase - before the final statistics are published in a few months.

A question to be resolved is whether these lower numbers are driven by our current Great Recession or by effective crime prevention and incident management efforts.  One would hope to demonstrate it's the latter while we fear we are enjoying only a temporary respite brought on by the former.  Only time will tell.

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