Like many other jobs, landscaping involves serious health risks associated with high temperatures, dangerous pieces of equipment and other factors. In fact, there are nearly 200 landscapers who die yearly from an occupational injury. By following a few, simple safety precautions while they work, however, landscapers may be able to avoid a serious or life-threatening injury.
One of the most important ways landscapers can be safe is by wearing protective gear. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has outlined the type of mandated personal protection equipment landscapers are to wear. Safety gear includes protective footwear, safety glasses, hardhats and hearing protection. Hardhats can protect landscapers from falling tree limbs, tools and debris, which could result in traumatic brain injuries or death.
It is also important landscapers wear clothing that will keep them safe and provide visibility. On hot summer days, OSHA recommends employees protect themselves from ultraviolet radiation by wearing long sleeves and long pants. However, they should refrain from baggy clothing, which can get easily caught in wood chippers or other machinery. Some landscapers may benefit from hearing protection and safety goggles, and dependable footwear is vital to preventing slips. In regards to visibility, since vehicle accidents are a major cause for injuries to landscapers, orange or reflective-colored vests work to keep them noticeable to motorists.
Further landscaping safety tips include keeping machine blades sharp to avoid repetitive stress injuries and turning off the power prior to working on equipment. Whether they are maintaining a homeowner’s lawn or cutting down a tree, landscapers should follow all safety rules to keep from harm.
Whenever on-the-job accidents occur and employees are injured, they may apply for workers’ compensation benefits to help pay for their medical bills and wage losses. If they run into complications regarding their claims, they might consider pursuing legal assistance.
Source: Total Landscape, “Safety Tips: Simple ways to avoid workplace injuries as landscapers”, Dennis Kaminski, March 9, 2017