Workplace violence decreasing for the most part: U.S. Labour Department

But New York City saw a spike in the number of workplace homicides in 2002

Workplace violence is a shrinking problem in most of the U.S., but the New York metropolitan area is a notable exception, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Labour Department.

The department recorded a total of 242 fatal work injuries in 2002 in the New York-Northern New Jersey metropolitan area, up from 212 in 2001. (The department did not include victims from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in totals for 2001.)

Most of the rise between 2001 and 2002 was because of an increase in assaults and attacks, including homicides. There were 50 work-related homicides in the metro area in 2002, 20 more than in 2001.

Elizabeth Carll, a psychologist specializing in conflict and violence issues, told Knight-Ridder that economic pressures are often the cause of workplace violence.

“If unemployment is going up, companies have cutbacks and that causes a lot of stress to workers that are left,” said Carll. “The workplace becomes more tense and stressful.”

According to the Labour Department, the typical worker killed on the job in the New York City area is a male, blue-collar employee aged 25 to 44.

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