Safety Hazards Associated with Landscaping and Groundskeeping WorkMarch 20, 2020
Landscapers and groundskeepers are responsible for everything from fertilizing and mowing lawns, planting flowers, and trimming overgrown shrubs to watering the plants, laying fresh mulch, and digging holes for new shrubs. It is hard work and can be physically exhausting. Although landscapers and groundskeepers do not experience the number of occupational injuries as construction or warehouse workers, there are hazards associated with this type of work. By understanding these safety risks, these workers can take steps to avoid work-related injuries.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2017, there was a fatality rate of 16.9 per 100,000 landscape workers, compared to 3.5 for all other industries. The following are the top safety hazards that affect landscapers and groundskeepers in this country:
- Car accidents: When traffic is not effectively controlled in an area where landscaping work is being done, a worker can get hit by a car. This is a leading cause of fatal accidents among landscapers. Workers are strongly encouraged to wear high-visibility clothing so that motorists can easily see them.
- Equipment accidents: Landscapers and groundskeepers use tools and equipment that have very sharp blades. Accidents involving these tools can cause serious cuts and amputations. When working with these tools, workers should keep the following in mind:
– Stay focused on the job and what is going on around you. Avoid distractions.
– Make sure that the tools are maintained and that blades are sharp. Dull blades increase the risk of repetitive stress injuries, cuts, and amputations.
– Understand how the equipment works, and make sure that you are using it correctly.
– Before putting a tool away, make sure it is de-energized and the blades have stopped moving.
- Health Hazards: Landscapers and groundskeepers are exposed to a range of chemicals, including different types of fertilizers and pesticides. These can cause a range of health issues from headache, dizziness, and skin irritation to chemical burns, rapid heart rate, and even death. Noise exposure can also impact hearing if the appropriate hearing protection is not used. Workers should always wear the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE).
- Heat Exposure: Working long hours in the hot sun can cause heat stress, heat stroke, sunburn, and skin cancer. These can be avoided by drinking plenty of water, taking regular breaks to cool off, and wearing sunscreen, hats, and moisture-wicking clothing that covers the arms and legs.
- Infectious Diseases: Certain insects carry diseases that can cause a worker to become sick. For example, if a worker gets bit by a deer tick, they should be checked for Lyme disease.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Landscapers and Groundskeepers
If you are a landscaper or a groundskeeper, and you were injured on the job, you are urged to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton as soon as possible. We will work closely with you to determine the nature of your injury and ensure that you receive the maximum financial benefits you deserve. We will continue to fight for you until you are completely satisfied. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.