Landscapers provide a vital service by keeping our environment lush, green, and beautifully maintained. However, the job is not without dangerous hazards that can lead to work injuries. Landscapers use power tools for cutting grass and shrubs and sometimes must work at heights on ladders to reach the tops of hedges and trees. They work in all types of weather including blistering heat, brutal cold temperatures and wet weather that can make surfaces slick and slippery. The following are some of the most common work injuries seen in the landscaping industry:
- Sprains and strains: these types of injuries arise from overexertion or excess stress put on the body from all the heavy lifting, carrying, and digging that landscapers do in a day’s work. Twisting, turning, and working in awkward positions also contribute to sprains and strains as does repeating the same tasks day and day out.
- Cuts and lacerations: landscapers use bladed tools for trimming shrubs, chipping wood, and of course cutting grass. These sharp tools can cause cuts, lacerations, abrasions, contusions, and even injuries that require amputation in serious accidents.
- Broken bones: working in wet conditions while carrying heavy loads can lead to broken bones from slip and fall accidents. Falls from a ladder can also result in broken bones.
- Hearing damage: the annoying loud sound of leaf blowers is familiar to many and for the landscapers who use them all day the threat of hearing damage is a real problem. Use of ear plugs or over the ear protection is a must to prevent hearing loss.
- Heat stress illnesses: extreme heat is dangerous for outdoor workers like landscapers. Heat rash, heat cramps, and heatstroke are all work-related illnesses resulting heat exposure that can strike landscapers. Heat stroke can be fatal if not caught in time and treated.
- Electrocution and electrical burns: landscape workers can encounter overhead electrical wires while on ladders or underground while digging. Burns from electrical sources are painful and do more internal damage than topical heat related burns.
- Exposure to toxic chemicals: landscapers regularly work with fertilizers, gasoline, cleaning agents, and other hazardous chemicals that can cause skin conditions, burns, illnesses, and cancer.
- Injuries from motor vehicle accidents: while driving their equipment from job to job, landscapers can suffer injuries in motor vehicle accidents. Workers can also get pinned between a vehicle and a stationary object like a wall or struck by a moving vehicle on a job site. Serious injuries can prevent workers from being able to earn a living.
Workers’ Compensation for Injured Landscapers
Employers in Pennsylvania are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance to cover their employees’ injuries from work-related accidents. If you get hurt at your landscaping job, you should report your injury to your supervisor or employer as soon as possible. Even if you think your injury is minor it is better to report it as some minor injuries develop into more serious ones. Keep a record of who you spoke to and the date and time you reported your injury.
Document the circumstances of your work injury by writing down the names and contact details of anyone who witnessed what happened. Take pictures of your work injury and any equipment that was involved. If a defective tool caused your injury, ask to have it stored separately somewhere safe.
See a medical professional for treatment of your injury. You may have to go to a doctor that your employer chooses. Be sure to tell the doctor that your injury stems from a work accident. Keep a folder of any paperwork and medical bills related to your doctor visit. If the doctor prescribes treatment or follow up visits it is important to keep all your appointments, or the insurance company may question your claim for workers’ compensation benefits.
West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC Fight for the Rights of Injured Landscapers
For help getting workers’ compensation benefits for your landscaping injury, contact an experienced West Chester workers’ compensation at lawyer Wusinich, Sweeny & Ryan, LLC. Call us today at 610-594-1600 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation about your case. From our offices in Exton, Pennsylvania we represent injured workers in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchland, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.