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Grounds workers have higher fatality rate: report

May 11, 2011

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Atlanta – Grounds maintenance workers died at a rate more than 3 times higher than the overall workforce in a five-year period, according to a report released May 6 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

From 2003 to 2007, an average of 13.3 GMWs per 100,000 died on the job, compared with a rate of 4.0 for all U.S. workers, stated the report, which was based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries.

In 2008, GMWs accounted for 1 percent of the U.S. workforce. From 2003 to 2008, a total of 1,142 GMWs were fatally injured on the job – about 190 each year. The report said GMWs represented 3.4 percent of all occupational fatalities, and Latinos made up 31 percent of all GMW deaths.

Among major events leading to fatalities, transportation incidents accounted for one-third, followed by contact with equipment and falls at approximately one-quarter each, and exposures to harmful substances or environments (16 percent).

The report recommended using targeted workplace safety interventions such as hazard identification and cultural- and language-appropriate training techniques as part of a comprehensive injury and illness prevention program.

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