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Study participants wanted: NIOSH to explore hazards in landscaping and groundskeeping

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Washington — NIOSH is seeking participants for a study on hazards stemming from outdoor power tools used in the landscaping and grounds management industries.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2017 the landscaping industry had a fatality rate of 16.9 per 100,000 workers, compared with 3.5 for all industries.

According to a notice published in the Jan. 10 Federal Register, NIOSH intends to use the study’s findings to design effective solutions, such as engineering controls for power tools.

During the first part of the study, researchers will visit worksites and gather data using “small sampling devices that workers will wear while conducting normal working activities.” For the second part, the researchers will test for noise, carbon monoxide, dust and silica while participants use equipment designed to reduce exposure to these hazards.

 

“The reduced-exposure tools will be provided by NIOSH through the employer, and training in their correct use will be provided,” the notice states. “The study is a unique opportunity to try new equipment on the market with low-emission and low-noise properties.”

The findings and controls data will be shared with participating workers and companies, NIOSH states. However, names of organizations or individuals participating in the study will not be included in the research report.

Anyone interested in participating must submit letters of interest by Oct. 16. Letters should include information about work activities and location.

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