Although information on the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida is still being developed, at least two of those killed were working at Pulse nightclub at the time of the incident.

The National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (National COSH) identified them as 37-year-old Kimberly Morris, a bouncer who had recently moved to Orlando to help her mother and grandmother; and Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32, who was  at work when she was killed, according to a Facebook post by her aunt.

Gunman Omar Mateen opened fire with an automatic weapon and a handgun at Pulse early Sunday morning, killing 49 people and wounding dozens of others before being killed by police.

"An American epidemic"

“Our hearts are breaking today for the victims, family members, and survivors of the tragic, senseless mass shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida,” said National COSH acting executive director Jessica Martinez.

“In workplaces and in other settings, gun violence is an American epidemic,” said Martinez. “These tragedies are preventable. Anything less than urgent and immediate action is an ongoing insult to victims and their families.”

Research needed

National COSH, said Martinez, supports the call by 141 medical organizations for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to undertake “rigorous scientific research” on gun violence. President Obama included specific funding for research on gun violence in his proposed federal budget in 2012 and 2013, but a Republican-led majority in Congress rejected both requests.

National COSH links the efforts of local worker health and safety coalitions in communities across the United States, advocating for elimination of preventable hazards in the workplace.