BLS Report Pinpoints Security Guards' Greatest Hazards

Assaults between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. were the most common cause of death in 2009 among the estimated 1 million security guards nationwide. The most common cause of a non-fatal injury was a fall, however.

A new BLS report about summarizing the 2009 fatality and injury rates for security guards working in the United States concludes they were twice as likely to die on the job as all U.S. workers that year -– a fatality rate of 7.4 per 100,000 full-time workers vs. the 3.5 fatality rate for all workers, according to the report written by economist William J. Wiatrowski in the BLS Office of Compensation and Working Conditions.

Wiatrowski's report, featured in the February 2012 Monthly Labor Review, said there were 488 fatal work injuries among U.S. security guards in 2003-2009, a yearly average of 69.7. The comparable numbers for correctional officers and jailers were 71 and 10.1 and for police and sheriff’s patrol officers were 838 and 119.7, according to a table in the report.

About 1 million people worked as security guards in the United States in 2009, with 8,900 of them suffering a non-fatal injury or illness that caused them to miss at least one day away from work. Employment of security guards also is expected to grow more quickly, 18.8 percent between 2010 and 2020, than the 14.3 percent projected growth for all occupations during the same period.

Assaults between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. were the most common cause of death in 2009 among security guards. The most common cause of a non-fatal injury was a fall, however.

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