Workplace Violence Can Happen Anywhere: Stats and Figures


Over the past few years, deadly active shooter incidents have become a prevalent concern to employers and employees across the nation in wake of the frightening realization that workplace violence can happen anywhere, to anyone, and at any time.

According to the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), from 2006 to 2010, an average of 551 workers per year were killed as a result of work-related homicides.

While workplace homicides have gradually decreased, nearly a 51% reduction from 1993-2009, 397 fatal workplace homicides occurred in the United States during 2013.

Workplace violence not only results in the tragic loss of innocent life, but significantly impacts the livelihood of those who survive an incident.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that non-fatal workplace violence in 2011 cost the American workforce approximately $36 billion per year.

Important patterns within these statistics help us understand the severity and seriousness of fatal homicides and violence in our workplace today:

  1. Violent attacks accounted for 1 out of every 6 fatal work injuries in 2013.

  2. The Bureau of Labor Statistics states that from 2003-2013, 8,987 violent acts resulting in death at work places were attributed to the following: Shooting (51%), Suicides (28.3%), Stabbing (5.6%), Animal Attacks (4.5%), and Beating (4%).

  3. Homicide is the second-leading cause of death for women in the workplace.

  4. According to the BLS, from 2011-2013 homicides by gender were as follows: Women (18.1%) and Men (81.9%).

  5. Those responsible for nearly 80% of workplace homicides don’t have anything to do with the workplace at all.

  6. 66% of at-work deaths in retail sales are due to homicide. In comparison, 31% of at-work deaths for law enforcement workers are due to homicide.

  7. The Department of Labor notes that 27% of all violent events in the workplace are tied to some form of domestic violence.

The threat of workplace violence is real!

While workplace homicides are not as likely or quantifiably substantial as the 4,405 non-violent/non-homicidal fatal workplace injuries that occurred in 2013, these statistics validate the reality that workplace violence is often a deadly incident that can happen to any business for sometimes unrelated reasons and at other times highly connected motives.

The integration of workplace violence prevention and preparedness into businesses throughout the United States has never been more imperative.

Awareness of workplace violence and active shooter situations has increased, as has the implementation of workplace violence prevention programs within the public and private sector, due to the growing media coverage of these tragic incidents:

  • February 23, 2015 – 42-year-old Edgar Figueroa killed himself after shooting 31-year-old Melvin Nieves at Shields Business Solutions in Moorestown, New Jersey.
  • September 25, 2014 – 30-year-old Alton Nolen injured one woman and brutally killed another before being shot and injured by an off-duty Oklahoma County reserve deputy at Vaughan Foods, Inc. Read more at
  • September 23, 2014 – Two people were shot and killed at a UPS facility in Inglenook, Alabama by a recently-fired employee who took his own life shortly after committing the crime. Read more at
  • February 3, 2014 – 53-year-old David N. Reese shot and killed co-worker 33-year-old Aron J. Thomas at the New York City Department of Environmental Protection office. Read more at
  • September 27, 2012 – Andrew J. Engeldinger committed suicide after shooting and killing five co-workers at Accent Signage Systems. Considered the deadliest incident of workplace violence in Minnesota since 1992. Read more at

Awareness does not always translate into effective change. A 2005 survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that “over 70% of all establishments (surveyed) did not have a formal policy to address workplace violence.”

Progress is being made in the understanding and prevention of fatal workplace violence, but room for improvement always remains when striving to preserve human life.

With the mission of improving your chances of survival, ALICE provides you and your company with the knowledge and training to prepare for the uncertain; effectively respond to threats; and protect the lives of those in your workplace.

Call or contact ALICE Training to learn more or schedule a training class for your business.