Landscaping is a dangerous profession. Heat, power tools, sharp implements and repetitive work can all lead to painful and sometimes debilitating workplace injuries.
Landscapers who experience on-the-job injuries or occupational disease are entitled to coverage under Colorado workers’ compensation law. Workers’ comp pays for injured workers’ medical care and provides wage loss benefits to workers who must take time off to recover.
This is one of those situations, though, where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. It is always better to try and prevent an injury before it occurs. This summer, Colorado landscapers would be wise to keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Stay visible and dress for safety: Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of fatal accidents among landscapers. While at work, landscapers should always wear high-visibility colors. In addition, Long pants, sturdy shoes, gloves and ear and eye protection are a must for any landscaper. Dress for the weather and avoid any loose clothing or jewelry that could get caught in equipment.
- Keep tools sharp: A dull blade is far more dangerous than a sharp one, since the user has to use a lot more force to get the job done. Keeping hand tools in good working order can also help protect landscapers from repetitive-stress injuries.
- Know your machine: A lot of power tools — like tillers, blowers, mowers and trenchers — can cause severe injuries if they malfunction or are used incorrectly. Workers should always read the safety manual before using a new tool for the first time.
- Be careful with repairs: Before attempting to fix or clear a jam from a power tool or mower, make sure that the power supply is turned off and all the blades have stopped moving. Too many landscapers experience tragic amputationsfrom the spinning blades in lawnmowers and other tools.
Following these tips can help Colorado landscapers stay safe during the busy summer season. However, injuries do happen, and not all accidents can be prevented. Colorado landscapers who are injured on-the-job can seek workers’ compensation benefits, regardless of who was at fault for causing the injury.
If you have been injured at work, talk to a Denver workers’ compensation attorney who can help protect your rights.