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A Study of the Effectiveness of a Workplace Violence Intervention for Small Retail and Service Establishments

Casteel, Carri PhD; Peek-Asa, Corinne PhD; Greenland, Sander DrPH; Chu, Lawrence D. PhD; Kraus, Jess F. PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: December 2008 - Volume 50 - Issue 12 - p 1365-1370
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181845fcf
Original Articles

Objective: Examine the effectiveness of a robbery and violence prevention program in small businesses in Los Angeles.

Methods: Gas/convenience, liquor and grocery stores, bars/restaurants, and motels were enrolled between 1997 and 2000. Intervention businesses (n = 305) were provided training, program implementation materials, and recommendations for a comprehensive security program. Control businesses (n = 96) received neither training nor program materials.

Results: Rate ratios comparing intervention to control businesses were 0.90 for violent crime (95% confidence limits [CL] = 0.53, 1.53) and 0.81 for robbery (95% CL = 0.38, 1.73). The reduction in violent crime was concentrated in high-compliance intervention businesses (risk ratio = 0.74, 95% CL = 0.40, 1.36). Low-compliance intervention businesses had practically the same postintervention crime as the control businesses.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that the workplace violence intervention may reduce violent crime among high-risk businesses, especially those with high program compliance.

From the Department of Epidemiology (Dr Casteel), University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC; Department of Occupational and Environmental Health (Dr Peek-Asa), University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa; Department of Epidemiology (Dr Greenland, Dr Kraus), University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, Calif.; and Department of Health Sciences (Dr Chu), California State University, Northridge, Northridge, Calif.

Address correspondence to: Carri Casteel, University of North Carolina, 137 East Franklin Street, Suite 500, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7505; E-mail:

Copyright © 2008 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine