The phrase "it's murder at the office" has taken on new meaning in New York City, where homicide is the leading cause of death at work, according to a federal study.
The research, by the regional office of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, found that of 177 workers who died at work in 1991, 69% were victims of homicide, most by handguns.
Nationally, the main cause of death is transportation accidents, but those accounted for just 7% of the New York City deaths. The other leading causes were falls and being struck by objects, which accounted for 18%.
"We're sending the signal that (homicide) is now a significant workplace hazard and must be looked at," said Samuel Ehrenhalt, New York regional commissioner for the bureau.
Of the homicide deaths in the New York workplace, 41% came in retailing and 21% were in transportation and utilities.
New York City was the only municipality in the study, which also included 32 states. Overall, the study found 37% of deaths were due to transportation accidents, 20% were from homicide and 16% were from equipment.
But the figures varied widely by industry. Nationwide, 75% of retailing deaths were due to homicide.
There are an average of more than five homicides a day in New York City, most of which barely rate a mention in the daily news.