Recent research from the USA named homicide as the third most common cause of death in the workplace, sitting below falls and roadway collisions with other vehicles.
The research into murder in the workplace, also know as “red collar crime”, found that approximately 800 employees are killed in brutal homicides in the American workplace each year and nearly 75% of them committed by single men in their forties.
The research also found that while certain personality traits, such as narcissism and psychopathy, are correlated with red collar crime, there’s context to each one and they’re not just caused by personal grievances, such as a failed office romance, but also by fraud and other illegal business activity.
Furthermore, 25% of the perpetrators attribute their violence as a response to being teased at work. Other circumstances to spark a violent outburst included: being fired, death of a partner, news confirming an incurable disease or a drug/alcohol problem.
While America’s circumstances are different than most – due to their gun laws, amongst other things – red collar crime also occurs in Australia.
A recent Australian example includes the founder of The Muesli Company stabbing his 49-year-old female business partner of 18 years to death.
If you have concerns about the well-being of any employee contact EAP Assist to discuss.