A Killer Reason to Work in L.A.


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.

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