Saturday December 20, 2014
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As you know, I was casting about the net, looking at some stats from NPR that troubled me, when I came across some numbers that really said a lot!
I'll just put the numbers up and let you comment on them.
Law enforcement deaths 2012:
Total employed: 1.1 million
Deaths by homicide: 49
Percent homicides: 41%
Deaths per 100,000, any reason: 11*
Deaths per 100,000, homicide: 4.5
Fire fighting deaths 2012:
Total employed: 334,000
Deaths by homicide: 2
Percent homicides: 11%
Deaths per 100,000, any reason: 5*
Deaths per 100,000, homicide: 0.6
Food and beverage employee deaths 2012:***
Total employed: 2.9 million
Deaths by homicide: 105
Percent homicides: 62%
Deaths per 100,000, any reason: 6
Deaths per 100,000, homicide: 3.6
** Fully 29% of our law enforcement people are lost in roadway incidents of some kind, and another 3% die in slips or falls. Not surprisingly, both numbers are higher for firefighters; one third of all firefighter deaths occur on a roadway, and double the number of firefighters, or 6%, die in slips or falls as might be expected from the dangerous situations in which they perform their duties.
*** Includes general stores like WalMart, grocery stores, wine and liquor stores, and convenience stores.
What does that say to you?
After I finished writing the original post I went searching for more specific data, namely on convenience stores and liquor stores. What I found stunned me. I knew it was bad out there, but I had no idea it was THIS bad.
First of all, the general numbers: Nearly two-thirds of all homicides in the retail trade sector occurred in two types of retail establishments: food and beverage stores (41.4 percent) and gasoline stations (22.0 percent).
Then I went after even more specific data:
• Grocery stores accounted for 34.1% of all homicides in retail trade.
• Convenience stores accounted for 22.5% of all homicides in retail trade.
And here are some of the most horrendous number I have ever read:
• Homicides accounted for more than 75% of fatal occupational injuries at gasoline stations.
• Homicides accounted for more than 80% of fatal occupational injuries in beer, wine and liquor stores.
• Homicides accounted for more than 94% of fatal occupational injuries at convenience stores.
Here are the 5 major risk factors for becoming a homicide victim:
• Contact with the public.
• Delivery of goods or services.
• Exchange of money.
• Working alone or in small numbers.
• Working late at night or during the early morning hours.
Obviously, the first three can't be avoided.
And the other two virtually define a convenience store.
Retail sales employees, while they have an overall death rate about the same as firefighters, are six times as likely as firefighters to lose their lives through homicide than firefighters, and are almost as likely to die as homicide victims as law enforcement employees.
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