Fatalities in the landscape and horticultural services industry, 1992-2001

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University, Washington, District of Columbia, USA.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.74). 09/2008; 51(9):701-13. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.20604
Source: PubMed


Although landscape and horticultural services workers have high injury and illness rates, little is known about fatalities in this industry.
Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Current Population Survey data were analyzed to determine fatality rates and causes of landscaping deaths from 1992 to 2001.
There were 1,101 fatalities during the 10-year period and the average fatality rate was 13.50 deaths per 100,000 full-time employees. In 2001, the landscaping fatality rate was 3.33 (95% CI 2.84-3.91) times the all industry rate. The leading causes of death were transportation incidents (27%), contact with objects or equipment (27%), falls (24%), exposure to harmful substances and environments (18%), and assaults and violent acts (4%). The fatality rate for African American landscapers was 1.51 (95% CI 1.25-1.83) times the rate for white workers. Fatalities were also common among self-employed, small business, and young landscapers.
Landscaping workers are at increased risk of fatal injury. Further research is needed to characterize industry hazards.

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    • "In addition to oil and gas, this has been shown to be the case in construction (Buskin 1987; Derr, Forst et al. 2001), mining (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health 2008), landscape and horticultural services (Buckley, Sestito et al. 2008), and logging (Scott 2004). Research shows that the type of extraction company also plays a factor in fatality rates. "
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