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Truck drivers, retail managers and the military top the list of people who killed themselves at work

COURTESY GRAPHIC: US BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS - Truck drivers, retail managers and the military top the list of people who killed themselves at work in 2019, according to the BLS. CEOs and police officers were low on the list with just four of each killing themselves at work.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people dying by suicide at work rose 1% in 2019, the latest year for which it has statistics, totaling 307 people.

2019 marked the highest level on record. Workplace suicides increased by 34.1 percent from the 10-year low in 2015.

Comparatively few suicides happen at work (0.65%), although this may change in future reports, since 2019 was before millions of Americans began working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Centers for Disease Control, in 2019, 47,511 Americans died by suicide in total, and there were an estimated 1.38 million suicide attempts.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US. Managers were really feeling it, especially in fast food and retail. The top 13 detailed occupations in which worker suicides were most prevalent accounted for 39.4 percent (121 cases) of all workplace suicides in 2019. Seven of these occupations, accounting for 19.2 percent (59 cases) of workplace suicides, included managerial or supervisory duties.

COURTESY LOGO: BREAKING THE SILENCE - Help to stay alive is available for those considering suicide.

Of these, two occupations involved supervising food service workers, and two occupations involved supervising sales workers. Two other nonsupervisory occupations - military-specific occupations and police and sheriff's patrol officers - involved protective service responsibilities.

COURTESY GRAPHIC: US BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS - People killing themselves at work hit a low in 2004 but has been rising steadily, and in 2019 was up 1% over 2018. Workplace suicides account for 0.65% of the 45,000-plus suicides that happen in the US every year.

Dark middle ages

Since 2004, the 45-to-54 age group has had the highest number of suicides each year. In 2019, this age group accounted for 25.7 percent (79 cases) of workplace suicides. CEOs and police officers were low on the list with just four of each dying by suicide at work.

COURTESY LOGO: BREAKING THE SILENCE - Help to stay alive is available for those considering suicide.

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT SHINES LIGHT ON SUICIDE 

Since 2019, newsrooms across the state have highlighted the public health crisis of death by suicide in Oregon each fall. The goal of this collaboration was not only to put a spotlight on a problem that claimed the lives of more than 800 people last year, but also to examine research into how prevention can and does work and offer our readers, listeners and viewers resources to help if they — or those they know — are in crisis:

www.breakingthesilenceor.com 


Joseph Gallivan
Reporter, The Business Tribune
971-204-7874
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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