Landscaper Safety Tips
Some occupations are more dangerous than others, with landscaping ranking near the top of the list of the most dangerous. Given the machinery, chemicals, and exposure to the elements involved with the job, it’s very easy for landscaping professionals to get injured on the job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, landscaping and groundskeeping workers had one of the highest rates of fatal work-related accidents in 2015.
Even though some jobs are riskier than others, there’s no excuse for workers to be forced to work in conditions that are unreasonably dangerous. Despite all of the occupational hazards landscaping professionals face, there are plenty of ways to help prevent injuries before they occur.
Machinery Maintenance & Training
Tools are a vital part of a landscaper’s job and it’s essential that they be well maintained and that workers are trained on how to use them safely. Some of the most commonly used tools by landscapers, like mowers, chippers, and blowers, can potentially be very dangerous if they aren’t used appropriately. Performing routine maintenance on tools not only helps prevent equipment malfunctions, it can also help prevent injuries by making it easier for people to do their jobs. For example, a dull blade can force a person to work harder than they would otherwise have to, which can lead to repetitive stress injuries.
Dressing for Safety
When it comes to dressing for the job, there are two key things landscapers need to keep in mind: visibility and safety. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, transportation incidents were the most common type of fatal workplace accident for landscapers in 2015. If landscapers will be working near the road or otherwise near motorized vehicles, brightly colored reflective gear will help make it easier for drivers to see them. It may also be recommended to place signage near the road or use a flagger to help draw more attention to the workers.
In addition to high-visibility gear, don’t forget about protective gear like ear and eye protection. Many of the tools used by landscapers generate high levels of noise, which can result in hearing damage over time. Eye protection can also prevent serious eye injuries from debris that gets kicked up by tools in the course of working.
It’s also important to think about how clothing fits. While it’s recommended to wear loose-fitting clothing with long sleeves to protect landscapers from the sun, be careful that clothing isn’t so loose that it would get caught in machinery.
Landscaping and groundskeeping professionals don’t have the benefit of working in an indoor, climate-controlled setting, which creates its own set of hazards to deal with. It’s crucial that weather forecasts be closely monitored so that any potential weather-related hazards can be anticipated and appropriate safety measures are taken. For example, workers will need access to things like cold water and a cool, shaded area when the weather is hot to prevent illnesses like heatstroke. Or during certain times of year, there’s a good chance that thunderstorms could roll through and require workers to take shelter.
Very often, landscapers need to use products like pesticides, which can be very dangerous if proper precautions aren’t taken. Workers should be trained on how to safely work with chemicals, but keep in mind that the exact precautions that need to be taken can vary from product to product.
Contact a Michigan Workplace Injury Lawyer
If you’ve been injured on the job, one of the most important things you can do is contact a workplace injury lawyer to make sure you are receiving all the compensation you’ll need. Even if your employer seems like they are being cooperative and helping you get worker’s compensation benefits, there’s a chance you might not be getting all of the benefits you’re entitled to. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to a Michigan-based lawyer experienced in helping the victims of workplace accidents. Contact us today to get started.
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