Employees in the landscaping industry of Florida might find that their work duties vary from one season to the next. However, the safety hazards they face remain the same. They work with dangerous equipment throughout the year, and cold weather hazards in winter are different than the heat-related risks of the summer. Injuries are common in landscaping and range from lacerations and contusions to amputations, traumatic brain injuries from falls and even death.
Hazards posed by power equipment
Landscapers work with blowers, mowers, cutting blades, trimmers, tillers, trenchers and chainsaws. Contact with the cutting and rotating parts of equipment could cause catastrophic injuries. It’s crucial to avoid wearing loose clothing or jewelry, and long hair must be tied to keep it from getting caught and pulled in by moving parts of the equipment.
In Florida and other states, employers are responsible for the safety and health of employees, including the necessary safety training to prevent injuries. The safety training addresses the procedures necessary to de-energize equipment before clearing jams or doing repairs or maintenance. Disregarding this hazard could result in amputations.
Choosing the right tool for each job is vital in the prevention of ergonomic injuries. Furthermore, workers must make sure they can see both hands before cutting plant material. Ensuring they are small enough for easy handling can prevent musculoskeletal injuries from carrying too heavy loads. Additionally, workers must learn safe lifting techniques to avoid back injuries. Repetitive stress injuries can also be avoided by rotating tasks and taking frequent rest breaks.
Workers in the Florida landscaping industry must always wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including bug repellent, sunglasses and hats to protect their faces and necks from UV damage. Long sleeves and pants are the best protection from insects and even snakes. Workers might find comfort in knowing that their workers’ compensation insurance program will cover their medical expenses and lost wages should they be victims of work-related injuries. However, they should not lose sight of the deadline for filing benefits claims to avoid declined claims.