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.