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Metro workplace homicide rate highest in U.S.

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

Ninety-three people were killed on the job last year in the Philadelphia region, with crime and accidents the leading causes, according to new federal data.


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In 2007, like most years, many workers were killed in work-related falls and highway crashes.

Business psychologist Rex Gatto says workplace anxiety can cloud emotions causing workers to overlook safety precautions.

Gatto: It could be because of anxiety and or stress which leads to anger, which leads to sometimes not having the patience to do very detailed work, or it can be that we are striking out at people.

Homicide was the most frequent cause of the 93 work-related deaths in the Philadelphia region. In fact, Philadelphia had the highest percentage of work-related killings last year among the largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. That’s according to new data from the U.S. Department of Labor. The national average for workplace killings linked to assault or violence was 11 percent. In the metro Philadelphia area, 29 percent of job-related deaths were homicides.

That may dredge up images of disgruntled, gun-wielding employees. But according to the 2007 data, most of this area’s workplace killings were linked to robbery.

The number of killings attributed to a co-worker or former co-worker was less than five, so small that the government does not publish the exact figure.

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