Fatal occupational injuries in retail trade, 2003–2008

December 13, 2011

Over the period from 2003 to 2008, more than half (51 percent) of the 2,129 fatal work injuries that occurred in private retail trade were the result of assaults and violent acts, most of which were homicides. By contrast, for all other industries in the private sector, assaults and violent acts accounted for 11 percent of the fatal workplace injuries.

Perecentage of fatal occupational injuries in private retail trade and in all other industries, by event, 2003-2008
[Chart data]

After assaults and violent acts, the next most frequent types of fatal events in retail trade were transportation incidents (28 percent), falls (9 percent), and contact with objects and equipment (7 percent). In all other industries, transportation incidents were the most frequent fatal injury event—accounting for 42 percent of the total—while assaults and violent acts represented only 11 percent of the workplace fatalities.

Workers in retail trade face several risk factors associated with their jobs, including contact with the public, the exchange of money, delivery of goods and services, working alone or in small numbers, and working late at night or during the early morning hours. Most retail salespersons and cashiers work at cash registers and take payments from customers.

These data are from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), which is part of the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. CFOI compiles a count of all fatal work injuries occurring in the United States during a given calendar year. To learn more, see "Assaults and Violent Acts in the Private Retail Trade Sector, 2003–2008" in the September issue of Compensation and Working Conditions Online.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Fatal occupational injuries in retail trade, 2003–2008 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2011/ted_20111213.htm (visited September 26, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.