The Most Common Types of Injuries Suffered by Landscapers, and Why They Happen
Overburdened equipment often injures those who try to prevent accidents
Fatalities from landscaping? Absolutely. There are actually many situations that contribute to dangerous situations in this profession. Most may only require a bit of first aid, but some are extremely serious.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) divides landscaping injury risks into several categories, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) adds insights into each of them. We’ll explore them below.
1. Transportation-related injuries
Your landscaping team travels with their equipment. Some of the most common injuries occur when heavy equipment such as tractors or mowers aren’t properly secured during transportation to the job site. Take a sharp corner and these heavy pieces of equipment can roll over onto workers.
2. Contact with equipment
Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) information shows that nearly 60% of serious injuries and fatalities suffered by landscape workers result from being hit by falling objects such as tree branches, or because they’ve been struck by or caught up against the equipment they’re using.
3. Workplace falls
Out of a tree or off of a ladder, a fall can take out a member of your landscaping team for an extended period of time. These tumbles often occur when a worker has exceeded the safety capacity of equipment.
4. Exposure to temperature extremes and dangerous substances
The BLS reports that about 20% of fatalities and serious injuries suffered by professionals in the landscaping industry occur when they are exposed to harmful substances, or they ignore safety precautions indicated during extreme weather conditions.
BLS statistics indicate that a large proportion of non-fatal injuries experienced by landscapers are caused by excess stress on the body. Carrying and lifting heavy weights cause overexertion. Often, this is simply because of a disregard for the correct usage of tools. For example, a landscaping worker might overload a wheelbarrow with soil or sod. The excessive weight makes steering and balance difficult. Injuries occur when workers try but fail to retain control.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has broken down potential risks even further, into nine general categories of hazards, with six additional categories that are specific to landscaping activities.
Know your machines
The easiest way to prevent your landscaping team from many the injuries they can suffer on the job—those caused by excess stress and overexertion—is to make sure they know the limitations of the tools they’re using.
A standard wheelbarrow can hold only so much weight before it becomes unstable and dangerous. The answer is to stay within the margins of safety, or upgrade your equipment.
If your landscaping jobs often require moving heavy loads with wheelbarrow, you should consider equipping your team with tools that help them with this task. Battery-powered wheelbarrows can handle heavier loads and reduce injuries.
Not a deal-breaker
Landscaping isn’t a business known for wide margins. Even mentioning the idea of investing in new or upgraded equipment is enough to scare most business owners. That is, until they consider the drastic reduction in labor cost.
Consider the PowerPac ED120 battery-powered wheelbarrow offered by Triple E. It doesn’t look much different than the standard wheelbarrow, but it’s contractor-tough. The ED120 is capable of moving up to 265 pounds. It’s doubtful that the average landscaping professional could balance that much weight. In addition, this battery-powered workhorse can run for up to 5 hours on a single charge.
If your team moves even more material, you’ll want to take a look at the capabilities of the MCE400. It’ll move up to 880 pounds and run on a single battery charge for up to 10 hours. The MCE400 also offers a variety of attachments that make this piece of equipment an extremely valuable addition to your landscaping team. In minutes, you can transform it from a carrying platform into a rotary sweeper.
The right equipment prevents injuries because it prevents your workers from trying to do too much at one time. It’s truly a cost-saver, in terms of both fuel and labor costs. Find out how quickly a battery-powered wheelbarrow can pay for itself and start adding profit to your jobs by using this calculator.