Grounds Work More Deadly for Immigrant Latinos

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CHICAGO—Latino immigrants who work as grounds-maintenance workers are much more likely to die in work-related accidents than U.S.-born Hispanics and the general work force, a new study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concludes.

Grounds-maintenance workers in general are at greater risk for occupational fatalities, the study found. From 2003 to 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 in the U.S.

Five out of six deaths among Latinos occurred among immigrant-born workers. Hispanics who dies of work-realted injuries were an average of nine years younger than non-Hispanic or workers who died.

Transportation incidents and tree work were leading causes for fatalities, along with  falls, electrocutions and drowning. Enforcement of regulations, outreach, and training are vital for preventing such deaths, including culturally meaningful safety training for Latino workers who comprise much of the grounds-maintenance workforce, the CDC said.