Today's blog article comes from Carmen Dexter at LawnStarter.com. They "bring you the best lawn services, all at the click of button." Whether you are a lawn care professional or simply looking to become more informed on common safety issues faced by those in lawn care services, please enjoy this article.
Thank you again LawnStarter for providing this information!
Common Safety Issues for Lawn Care Companies
By Carmen Dexter
Landscaping is dirty work! It’s also dangerous. More than 6,000 people are injured while mowing their lawn each year, and a number of those accidents involve children. Many of those kids end up losing a limb or worse. That’s why so many homeowners hire a professional for lawn care. But even the seasoned landscaper isn’t immune from the hazards of the industry.
About 13,000 injury or illness cases in the landscaping industry are reported to the government each year. Some are preventable … if you know what to do to keep disaster at bay.
Landscaping is one of the country’s most dangerous jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and traffic is a major hazard. Accidents happen while transporting equipment to a job site or working near traffic. Lawn care workers have died after falling out of the back of the truck they were riding in. Equipment not properly secured in a vehicle has fallen on a crew member. A car struck a landscaper, and the driver said he didn’t see him.
Take steps to avoid these accidents:
● Never transport workers in a truck’s cargo area.
● Make sure equipment is secure before moving.
● Encourage all workers to practice safe driving.
● While working near the street, landscapers should wear bright clothing and safety vests.
● Know the address of your work site. If there’s an accident, emergency crews need to know where to go, as quickly as possible.
Contact with machinery or equipment is high on the list of accidents for lawn care workers. Operating mowers, trimmers, shredders, chippers, rotating blades, and chainsaws requires concentration. A few extra steps beforehand can help prevent injury. Dress in close-fitting clothing and leave the jewelry at home. Wear nothing that could get caught in the equipment. Keep clear of blades when working and maintain tools regularly to keep them in good working condition. Put on sturdy boots, gloves, safety goggles, and earplugs. Also, remove debris from the lawn before you start mowing. Pick up rocks, bottles, and anything that could get caught in the mower and thrown around.
The long hours landscapers spend in the sun can lead to heat stress or even skin cancer. Heat sickens thousands of outdoor workers each year by causing excessive sweating. That can bring about cramps, exhaustion, or heat stroke. Lawn care companies can help prevent these illnesses by providing plenty of fresh water for employees, allowing breaks as needed, and offering shade if possible. Workers can help themselves by frequently drinking small amounts of water and wearing a hat. It's also important to avoid caffeine and large amounts of sugar, as they can lead to dehydration.
One danger endemic to the landscaping industry is exposure to pesticides. These chemicals can enter the body by mouth, through the skin and eyes, or as vapors inhaled into the lungs.
Pesticides can cause a variety of health problems, depending on the person and the level of exposure.
Take these steps to protect yourself:
● Wear protective clothing.
● Don’t spray above your head, where the drops might fall back on you.
● Stay out of areas that have just been sprayed.
● Close container lids tightly.
● Use caution when handling pesticide containers.
● Bathe and put on clean clothes as soon as you get home.
These are some of the main safety issues facing lawn care companies and their employees. Accidents happen, and the best way for a company to avoid problems and reduce their severity is to train workers, provide a safety manual, and insure themselves so that everyone is covered.