Incidents of on-the-job suicide have increased since 2003, according to research by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). Between 2003 and 2010, 1,719 suicides occurred at work.
In 2003, the workplace suicide rate stood at 1.5 per million workers. By 2010, it had grown to 1.8 per million. Firearms played a role in 84% of those cases. Occupations at highest risk of at-work suicide include police officers, firefighters, security guards, agricultural workers, employees of car repair shops and medical doctors.
NIOSH researchers speculate that many people take their own lives at work to spare family and friends from discovering their bodies.
The findings were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.