WISHA: Workplace Violence Deaths Up Last Year

Thirteen on-the-job homicides and seven workplace suicides last year accounted for about one-third of the 62 total fatalities resulting from work-related injuries in 2009 in Washington State.

Six law enforcement officers were killed on the job in 2009 alone in Washington State, a grim statistic that contributed to an increase in workplace violence fatalities for the state, the Labor & Industries Department's Division of Occupational Safety and Health reported Jan. 29.

In all, there were 13 on-the-job homicides and seven workplace suicides last year, accounting for about one-third of the 62 total fatalities resulting from work-related injuries in 2009. "Although this is the highest number of workplace-violence-related deaths in more than a decade, it does not reflect an upward trend but, rather, a tragic year for law enforcement," the department's news release stated. Others who died in violent incidents on the job were clerks in retail businesses, a cabbie, a musician, and an armored car driver.

"While deaths involving criminal activity may seem particularly hard to avoid, certain measures can reduce the risk that employees will become victims of violence in the workplace," said Michael Silverstein, the division's assistant director. Employee training and improved lighting are among the steps employers should take, especially for jobs known to be high risk because they involve contact with the public, the exchange of money, working alone, and working late at night or very early in the morning, according to the department.

For help in developing a workplace violence prevention plan, visit www.Lni.wa.gov/Safety/Topics/AtoZ/WPV/.

Product Showcase

  • Kestrel 5400 Heat Stress Tracker WBGT Monitoring for Workplace Safety

    Ensure safety with the Kestrel® 5400 Heat Stress Tracker, the go-to choice for safety professionals and endorsed by the Heat Safety & Performance Coalition. This robust, waterless WBGT meter is ideal for both indoor and outdoor environments, offering advanced monitoring and data logging essential for OSHA compliance. It features pre-programmed ACGIH guidelines and alert settings to quickly signal critical conditions. Integrated with the cloud-based Ambient Weather Network, the 5400 allows managers to view, track, and log job site conditions remotely, ensuring constant awareness of potential hazards. Its capability for real-time mobile alerts and remote data access promotes proactive safety management and workplace protection, solidifying its role as a crucial tool in industrial hygiene. 3

  • Matrix's OmniPro Vision AI Collision Avoidance System

    OmniPro Vision AI is a state-of-the-art collision avoidance system that features NIOSH award-winning Visual Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology. This highly accurate, powerful system identifies and alerts on pedestrians, vehicles and specified objects, ensuring safer facilities, mining operations and industrial sites. With its web-based cloud application, OmniPro Vision AI also logs and analyzes a wide range of data related to zone breach notifications. Operating without needing personal wearable devices or tags, OmniPro has visual and audible zone breach alerts for both operators and pedestrians. 3

  • NoiseCHEK Personal Noise Dosimeter

    SKC NoiseCHEK is the easiest-to-use dosimeter available! Designed specifically for OEHS professionals, SKC NoiseCHEK offers the easiest operation and accurate noise measurements. Everything you need is right in your palm. Pair Bluetooth models to your mobile devices and monitor workers remotely with the SmartWave dB app without interrupting workflow. Careful design features like a locking windscreen, sturdy clip, large front-lit display, bright status LEDs, and more make NoiseCHEK the top choice in noise dosimeters. Demo NoiseCHEK at AIHA Connect Booth 1003. 3

Featured