Believe it or not, landscaping is one of the most hazardous industries in the service sector. With a fatality rate eight times higher than other industries, all landscaping workers and employers need to know how to stay safe on-the-job. Read more
Landscaping Safety Tips
Landscaping contractors face different duties not only during different seasons, but for different jobs. Each job, however, likely carries dangers related to such things as insects, hand and power tools and the elements. It’s vital to engage in best practices to guard yourself against these dangers, not only to reduce your own liability claims, but to avoid costly injury and illness. Here are some tips for keeping safe while landscaping to guard against animals, amputations and other instruments of destruction.
Puncture wounds, cuts, burns and even amputations are very common amongst landscapers. When you handle tools like lawn mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, tillers, trenching tools and blowers on a daily basis, these risks are part and parcel of what you do. Even hand tools can be dangerous. Make sure that you carefully inspect all tools and equipment before using them. Be certain that hand tools are sturdy and sharp and always use the right tool for the right job. Never take shortcuts.
When it comes to cleaning and clearing power tools, be sure that you are well-versed in the operation and maintenance of the equipment and be sure that the equipment is turned off and the power source secured.
Personal Protective Equipment
Personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital to your safety on the job. Make sure you wear the right clothing, including sturdy boots, heavy work gloves and safety goggles. Avoid loose clothing that can get caught in tools or equipment. Ear plugs protect you from loud noises. Wear brightly colored clothing so you are easily visible to passers-by. This can not only help prevent issues like traffic accidents, but visibility should you suffer an accident.
Risks from bug, rodent, snake and other animal bites are a reality for landscapers. Make sure you know the dangerous critters that are common in your area and take precautions against them. Use a good bug spray with DEET. You may have to re-apply several times throughout the day. Know first aid procedures, how to avoid infection and when you need to seek medical care.
Protection from the Elements
Be sure that when you work outdoors you cover up and wear a good sunscreen. Dress in layers so you can easily add or remove clothing based on the temperature outside. Know the signs of conditions like hypothermia and heat exhaustion and monitor yourself carefully. Never be afraid to stop and take a rest if you are feeling overly exerted. Stay rested, eat well and always stay hydrated. The healthier your lifestyle off the job, the better performing you’ll be on the job!
Many landscapers don’t consider driving when thinking about job risks, but be sure you are operating your vehicle safely. Wear seatbelts, make sure your car or truck is in good repair and obey all traffic laws. Make sure your equipment is well secured in your vehicle and your passengers also follow safe practices. Finally, make sure that you have adequate insurance!