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Safety Tips | Workplace violence

Lower the risk of occupational homicide

November 1, 2011

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Although OSHA has no standard regarding occupational homicide, it can be a significant risk, especially for workers in what NIOSH deems “high-risk workplaces.” These workplaces include liquor stores, taxicabs, motels, gas stations and jewelry stores.

NIOSH identifies the following risk factors for occupational homicide:

  • Exchanging money with the public
  • Working alone or in small groups
  • Working overnight shifts
  • Working in high-crime areas
  • Having responsibility for guarding valuables
  • Working in community settings (taxicab drivers, police officers, etc.)

NIOSH offers the following precautions to help limit the risk of homicide:

  • Make high-risk areas more highly visible.
  • Install adequate external lighting.
  • Use drop safes to minimize the amount of cash on hand and post signs to that effect.
  • Install silent alarms and surveillance cameras.
  • Protect workers with bulletproof glass or enclosures.
  • Increase the number of staff on duty.
  • Close establishments during overnight, high-risk hours.
  • Train employees in conflict resolution and non-violent response.
  • Train employees not to resist a robbery.
  • Have local law enforcement check on establishments regularly.

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