With summer here, the number of landscaping jobs is as high as ever in Michigan. With that in mind, it is crucial to remember that landscaping work can be physically demanding and dangerous.
Summertime risks to landscapers, other outdoor workers
If you work outside as a landscaper, horticulturalist or similar occupation, you can run into various dangerous scenarios. Some of the more common risks, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, include:
- Hearing loss
- Falls from ladders
- Slips or trips
- Back injuries from lifting heavy objects
- Accidents with machines and vehicles
- Exposure to pesticides
Further, summer-related injuries and illnesses can also occur more frequently. Working outside can cause:
- Heat stress
- Heat exhaustion
In the coming months, awareness of these common workplace hazards people can face in this occupation can help prevent an accident.
Protecting yourself on the job
Thankfully, there are several ways to prevent these accidents and protect yourself if you work in the landscaping or horticultural industries.
When using powerful equipment or sharp tools, you can:
- Wear protective gear, such as glasses and gloves
- Check the machine before starting to ensure it is intact
- Take equipment in for repairs if it is not working properly
If you are worried about exposure to pollutants or harmful chemicals, you can:
- Use respiratory equipment
- Wear boots and clothing that covers your skin
- Wash hands and clothing thoroughly after coming into contact with a substance
Other ways to protect yourself as a landscaper can include:
- Wearing hearing protection
- Taking frequent breaks
- Drinking plenty of water
- Ensuring you and others know how to operate equipment safely
- Refraining from working during bad weather
These measures can provide crucial protection and keep workers safe.
But what if an accident still occurs?
If you do still suffer an injury or illness on the job, you can explore your options for workers’ compensation. In general, even seasonal workers can be eligible for these benefits.
Workers’ compensation benefits can cover medical expenses and lost wages. After a landscaping accident, these costs can be substantial, so pursuing benefits can be crucial.