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Latino Daily News

Thursday May 5, 2011

Foreign Born Hispanic Grounds Workers Suffering Fatalities at High Rates

A new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, shows that fatal injuries among grounds maintenance workers is disproportionately higher for Latinos born outside of U.S. but equal for U.S. born Hispanics and the general work force.

The study found that overall grounds maintenance workers in the U.S. are at excess risk for occupational fatalities. Between 2003 and 2008, 1,142 grounds maintenance workers died from job-related injuries, accounting for one in every 30 occupational fatalities from traumatic injuries during that time.

While fatalities among Hispanics or Latinos were not disproportionately higher than deaths among non-Hispanics or Latinos, most of the deaths among Hispanics or Latinos (five out of every six) had been born outside the U.S., and Hispanic or Latino workers who died were nine years younger, on average, than non-Hispanic or Latino workers who died.

Transportation incidents and tree work were leading causes for the fatalities yet many deaths resulted from falls, electrocutions and drowning. Enforcement of regulations, outreach, and training are vital for preventing such deaths, including culturally meaningful safety training for Hispanic or Latino workers who comprise much of the grounds maintenance workforce.