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What Are the Dangers of Groundskeeping and Landscaping?

Contact a West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC for Legal Assistance

Groundskeeping and landscaping maintain the beauty and functionality of outdoor spaces in residential yards, commercial properties, or public parks. However, the workers who accomplish these tasks face hazards every day. They operate dangerous machinery, are exposed to harmful chemicals, and face other risks that can cause serious injuries or illnesses that negatively impact their lives.

Landscaping often involves using heavy machinery and power tools to mow lawns, trim hedges, and remove debris. Common safety hazards associated with landscaping equipment include:

  • Machine entanglement: Working with machinery like lawnmowers and trimmers poses a risk of entanglement, where loose clothing, jewelry, or body parts can get caught in moving parts, leading to severe injuries or amputations.
  • Noise exposure: Many landscaping tools produce elevated noise levels, which can lead to hearing loss over time if proper hearing protection is not worn consistently.
  • Fall hazards: Working at heights, such as pruning trees or trimming hedges, is associated with falls. Failure to use appropriate fall protection equipment or secure footing can result in injuries.
  • Flying debris: Equipment like leaf blowers and chainsaws can generate flying debris, including rocks, branches, and wood chips. When workers are not adequately protected, any of those can cause eye injuries or lacerations.

To promote safety when operating tools and machinery, employers should provide comprehensive training on equipment use and maintenance and enforce strict safety protocols and procedures. Regular equipment inspections and maintenance checks are also critical for addressing potential hazards before they cause harm.

What Are the Health Risks Associated With Pesticides and Herbicides?

Pesticides and herbicides are commonly used in groundskeeping and landscaping to control pests, weeds, and vegetation diseases. While these chemicals are effective in their intended purposes, they pose significant health risks to workers who handle them regularly:

  • Respiratory problems: Inhaling pesticide or herbicide particles can irritate the respiratory system, leading to coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Skin irritation: Direct contact with these chemicals can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, and dermatitis. Prolonged exposure may result in more severe skin problems.
  • Eye damage: Accidental splashes or contact with pesticides or herbicides can lead to eye irritation, burning sensations, and, in severe cases, permanent eye damage.
  • Neurological effects: Some pesticides contain neurotoxic compounds that affect the central nervous system, leading to headaches, dizziness, confusion, and long-term neurological disorders.

To reduce these health risks, groundskeepers and landscapers should use personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, goggles, masks, and coveralls when handling pesticides and herbicides. Proper training in handling and application techniques and adhering to safety guidelines and regulations can minimize the potential for exposure.

How Can Workers Protect Themselves From Heat-Related Illnesses?

Groundskeeping and landscaping often require outdoor work, exposing workers to challenging weather conditions. Working in high temperatures can increase the risk of heat-related illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke, with symptoms like high body temperature, profuse sweating, and loss of consciousness.

To prevent heat-related illnesses, workers should take proactive measures to stay hydrated, take frequent breaks in shaded or air-conditioned areas, and wear lightweight, breathable clothing. Employers should implement heat illness prevention programs that include acclimatization protocols, regular breaks, access to cool water, and training on recognizing and responding to heat-related symptoms.

Contact a West Chester Workers’ Compensation Lawyer at Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC for Legal Assistance

At Wusinich, Sweeney & Ryan, LLC, our skilled West Chester workers’ compensation lawyers have represented groundskeeping and landscaping employees with work-related injuries and can offer you trusted legal guidance. For information and a free consultation, complete our online form or call 610-594-1600. Located in Exton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Downingtown, West Chester, Exton, Coatesville, Phoenixville, Malvern, Lyndell, Wagontown, Uwchlan Township, Parkesburg, Chester Springs, Lancaster County, Reading, and Morgantown.