National News

Workplace homicides up in recent years

Posted January 12, 2018 1:23 p.m. EST

— According to Metro police, 62-year-old Ronald Kirby opened fire inside the business where he used to work, Resolution Inc., shooting the owner in the face. A ricochet hit a coworker.

"One person had told us that Kirby has been laid off some years ago," said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.

No one died in the workplace shooting, but workplace violence claims lives every year in Tennessee.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is the federal agency that tracks workplace violence.

Homicides at work had been going down, but murders at work are up again over the last four years.

Workplace homicides have also increased over the last four years in Tennessee.

In 2013, there were nine workplace homicides in Tennessee. That number jumped to 11 in 2014, 13 in 2015, then to 21 killings in 2016.

That increase mirrors the rise all across America.

The workers who were most often killed, according to government safety officials, are retail workers – especially cashiers. The most common assailants are robbers.

Murders by coworkers are less common; further down the list are domestic violence killings at work.

OSHA says companies can install features like security cameras and extra lighting to protect workers. But they say everyone should report threats of violence because there are often early warning signs, such as verbal abuse or rage.