Fatalities in the Landscape and Horticultural Services Industry, 1992–2001

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BackgroundAlthough landscape and horticultural services workers have high injury and illness rates, little is known about fatalities in this industry.MethodsCensus of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Current Population Survey data were analyzed to determine fatality rates and causes of landscaping deaths from 1992 to 2001.ResultsThere 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.ConclusionsLandscaping workers are at increased risk of fatal injury. Further research is needed to characterize industry hazards. Am. J. Ind. Med. 51:701–713, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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