Florida Landscaping Injuries

workers compensation floridaAccording to the BLS Census Of Fatal Occupational Injuries, there were nearly 800 deaths amongst landscape service workers and their immediate supervisors from 2003 to 2006 due to traumatic injury. The landscape service industry employed over 680,000 people directly in 2006, and over 300,000 others through golf courses, resorts, public parks, and schools.

Nearly 80 percent of the near 800 fatalities reported from 2003 to 2006 occurred in the landscape service industry directly, mostly due to transportation related incidents. To be exact, more that 30 percent of all landscape service worker fatalities were due to transportation related incidents, while over 300 of the total deaths recorded were due to poor use of machinery or operating of tools.

Additional statistics show that over 100 fatalities were due to constructing, repairing, or cleaning and over 40 of them were due to physical activity. Further reports show that landscape services workers were more likely to die due to falls to lower levels, being struck by falling objects, and electronics, than the overall U.S. workforce in general.

Additional statistics reported through the Bureau Of Labor Statistics U.S. Department Of Labor listed below:

  • estimated over 924,000 landscaping and groundskeeping workers throughout the United States in 2006
  • estimated an additional 110,000 first-line and immediate supervisors for those workers
  • out of the near 800 estimated landscaping fatalities reported from 2003 to 2006, roughly 30 percent of the workers were identified as self-employed
  • more than 50 percent of the fatalities occurred among white workers
  • almost 30 percent of the fatalities occurred among hispanic and latino workers
  • over 10 percent of the fatalities occurred among black or african american workers

The vast majority of landscape services worker fatalities are preventable. Through hazard recognition, hazard control, thorough and proper employee training, and quality selection of personal protective equipment, many deaths can be prevented.

The website cdc.gov stated that some of the basic prevention strategies suggested for landscape service workers include:

  • understanding and complying with all of the OSHA regulations that apply to landscaping services and all landscaping operations
  • developing, implementing, and enforcing a comprehensive safety program which includes written rules, safe work procedures, and a joint health and safety committee with employees and supervisors
  • conducting daily joint surveys before beginning any landscaping work in order to specifically identify any hazards and realize the appropriate controls for all machinery
  • providing thorough and proper training for any possible hazards identified such as power lines or electrical hazards, tree trimming hazards, height and falling hazards, roadway vehicle hazards, power tool hazards, etc.
  • making sure that any individual using power tools or landscaping machinery is properly trained on on this machinery specifically while also following manufacturers recommended instructions to ensure safe operations and maintenance

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