Thousands of landscapers are hard at work in Illinois on a daily basis, maintaining outdoor spaces in both residential and commercial settings. But there’s a downside to the job – landscaping is an occupation with more than an average share of injuries and even fatalities.
Injuries on the job while doing landscaping work can range from relatively minor to completely debilitating and can lead to worker’s compensation claims in many cases. Being aware of the most common risks while landscaping can lessen your chances of being injured.
Injuries due to equipment
Landscaping often requires heavy machinery – Anything from lawnmowers to tools for cutting foliage to digging tools. These tools frequently have sharp blades and put out significant power, which can lead to injury with one false move.
Weather/temperature related injuries
Illinois is a state that sees extremes at both ends of the weather spectrum. The summers can be sweltering, and the winters often see sub-zero temperatures and significant snowfall.
These weather extremes can lead to afflictions like heatstroke, hypothermia and frostbite.
Being exposed to chemicals
Landscaping work often involves chemicals like pesticides or other hazardous materials. In some cases, these chemicals are poisonous if accidentally ingested. In other cases, contact with the eyes can cause serious issues. And in the most extreme cases, even skin contact can cause injury.
Another frequent injury during landscaping duty is falling. A landscaper is often required to climb trees or ladders 10 feet or more off the ground, and a fall from that height can break bones and severely damage organs. And landscaping work can also involve large holes or embankments, and a fall into a pit can have similar consequences.
Electrocution or electrical burns
There are two major risks from electrical currents while landscaping. The first is from electricity-powered tools, and the second is from coming into contact with power lines while landscaping. With power lines, there’s a danger both in contacting above-ground lines and also buried cables. Injuries can range from burns to death by electrocution.
Landscaping carries significant risk, with common injuries including equipment accidents, temperature-related afflictions, chemicals, falling and electrical currents.