After an amazingly snowy, bitterly cold winter comes the green grass and budding trees of spring. That can only mean one thing: The advent of potential hazards among landscapers.
Here are a number of potential hazards in the landscape and horticultural services industry and possible solutions.
Cuts and amputations – The Professional Landcare Network and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests these tips to reduce cut and amputation danger:
- Don’t put your hand or foot under the deck of a mower
- Keep a safe distance away from brush-cutting blades, tiller blades, saws and moving, sharp parts of other equipment
- Make sure all safety guards are in place before operating any machine
- Wear appropriate clothing like work boots, long sleeves and long pants
- Don’t wear loose clothing, tie back long hair and remove jewelry and anything that could become entangled
Electrocution – The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends tree trimmers stay a safe distance away from all electrical lines when trimming trees, use fall protection equipment, be with co-workers who are proficient in CPR, and inspect trees and tree limbs for weakness before cutting.
Lifting and awkward posture – The National Ag Safety Database (NASD) says as well as common knowledge about how to lift heavy objects to avoid back injuries, workers need to assess their physical, physiological and emotional limits. They suggest that if you exceed the physical limits specific to your body, you may be hurt. If you are ill, fatigued, or in poor physical shape, you may become injured. If you are distracted by emotion such as anger or preoccupied by problems, you may be hurt.
Slips, trips and falls – The NASD offers sage advice on how to avoid slips, trips and falls. To avoid slips, wear shoes that provide a high coefficient of friction (also known as traction) such as shoes with soft rubber, cleated soles and heels. Ladders should be set as near to a 4:1 angle as possible – for each 4 feet of rise, the ladder should move 1 foot out from a vertical line. When exiting a vehicle, use the three-point system: Three of your four limbs should stay in contact with the vehicle at all times and only one limb should be in motion.
Unfortunately, accidents happen and when they do, you could find yourself out of work with mounting medical bills. That’s when you need the advice of a qualified, experienced attorney to help you file your worker’s compensation claim.