A National Parks Service maintenance employee died in May 2012 when his mower went over an embankment. The parks service suspended mowing operations until mowing procedures and safety can be reviewed.
According to a Center for Disease Control (CDC) study, “an average of 13.3 per 100,000 employed Ground Maintenance Workers died each year as a result of injuries on the job, compared with an overall rate of 4.0 fatalities per 100,000 U.S. workers during 2003–2007.” Those are pretty astounding numbers.
- 15% were struck by a falling tree or limb and died.
- 13% were killed after falling from or falling because of a tree (e.g., knocked off a ladder by a falling branch),
- 11% died in highway transportation incidents
- 9% died from nonhighway vehicle overturns, usually involving riding lawnmowers or tractors.
- 8% died from contact with overhead power lines
- 3% of the workers drowned.
If you have workers mowing, trimming trees or performing other grounds maintenance work, be sure to review safety policies and procedures frequently.