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Journal Article


MMWR Morb. Mortal. Wkly. Rep. 2011; 60(17): 542-546.


(Copyright © 2011, (in public domain), Publisher U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)






A total of 1,142 grounds maintenance workers (GMWs) were fatally injured at work during 2003--2008, an average of 190 each year. GMWs accounted for 3.4% of all occupational fatalities, and 31% of those GMWs were Hispanic or Latino. Approximately 83% of the Hispanic or Latino GMWs who died were born outside the United States. In 2008, approximately 1.52 million persons were employed as GMWs, constituting 1.0% of the U.S. workforce. During 2003--2007, an average of 13.3 per 100,000 employed GMWs died each year, compared with an overall rate of 4.0 fatalities per 100,000 U.S. workers. The rate of on-the-job fatal injuries among GMWs has remained elevated relative to other workers for >20 years. This report characterizes events leading to GMW fatalities and differences in fatality characteristics across demographic groups among GMWs, based on an evaluation of 2003--2008 data from the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) program. The report also identifies workplace interventions that might reduce the incidence of fatal injuries. Major events leading to GMW occupational fatalities included transportation incidents (31%), contact with objects and equipment (25%), falls (23%), and traumatic acute exposures to harmful substances or environments (e.g., electrocution and drowning) (16%). To reduce the incidence of such fatalities, employers, trade and worker associations, and policy makers should focus on effective, targeted workplace safety interventions such as frequent hazard identification and training for specific hazards. Diversity among the populations of workers requires use of culture- and language-appropriate training techniques as part of comprehensive injury and illness prevention programs.

Language: en


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