Michael Burgis & Associates, P.C.

Summer brings risks of workplace injuries for landscapers

Landscapers in California face multiple safety hazards throughout the year, but with the increased activities during the summer, the risks they face are exacerbated. Along with potential workplace injuries caused by repetitive hard labor, hazardous equipment and dangerous chemicals, summer months bring exposure to heat-related illnesses. Employers must protect the health and safety of workers by providing safety training and personal protective equipment.

Workplace injuries can also include slips and falls, amputations, lacerations and more. One of the essential items of a landscaper's personal protective equipment is the hard hat. With some workers in elevated positions, working high up in the trees and others moving about below, falling objects are major threats because even small pieces of debris can cause traumatic brain injuries or even fatalities. Other crucial PPE includes hearing protection, safety glasses, protective boots and gloves.

Wearing reflective clothing to make sure workers are visible is important, especially for those working along the busy California highways. Power tools also pose significant hazards, and employers must ensure that the appropriate tool is used for each job. Operators must be adequately trained for the use of any equipment. Too many amputations and deaths have followed inappropriate use of chainsaws, wood chippers and other equipment.

Victims of workplace injuries in California are typically eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Medical expenses and lost wages form part of the compensation, and workers whose injuries caused permanent disabilities might be awarded additional benefits. The claims process could be daunting, and many injured workers choose to seek the support and guidance of an experienced attorney.

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