Workplace safety for security guards

March 09, 2012

In 2009, security guards suffered 63 fatal work injuries and an estimated 8,920 nonfatal workplace injuries or illnesses that required at least one day away from work. The rate of fatal workplace injuries to security guards was more than twice that of workers in general. Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses requiring time away from work occurred at roughly the same rate for security guards as for all other occupations. Security guard fatal injuries were often the result of assaults, while nonfatal injuries were frequently due to falls or assaults. Although safety incidents among security guards can occur at all hours, they frequently occurred in the evening and overnight.

Percent of fatal work injuries and nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving at least 1 day away from work by time of event for security guards and all workers
[Chart data]

Some facilities require guard service around the clock, including times when no other work is being performed. It follows that security guards may be subject to hazards at any hour. Information on the time of event for both fatal and nonfatal injuries confirms the presence of hazards 24 hours a day. For example, for nonfatal assaults where time of incident was recorded, about 40 percent occurred between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. Even more dramatically, two-thirds of fatal assaults where time was recorded took place between 8:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m., and nearly half the fatal assaults occurred between midnight and 4:00 a.m. The time of incident varies depending on the event, with assaults more often occurring at night.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see "On guard against workplace hazards," (PDF) by William J. Wiatrowski, Monthly Labor Review, February 2012.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Workplace safety for security guards on the Internet at (visited September 25, 2016).


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