Workplace Injury Hazards for Landscapers and Outdoor Workers in Philadelphia

June 23, 2016

Landscapers and groundskeepers perform vital tasks in that they keep our environment and surroundings verdant and thriving. Whether they are caring for residential trees, flower gardens and grounds, or the greenery and lawns on commercial properties, they perform difficult and often hazardous tasks that are most often noticed by their absence. Landscaping work is rigorous, and the tasks include mowing lawns, pulling weeds, trimming trees, laying sod, trimming trees and hedges and transplanting. They install sprinkler systems and install the pathways that allow people to enjoy the flowers, plants and trees. All of these tasks require bending, lifting, kneeling, dragging and other motions that can be strenuous.

If a landscaper should become injured during the course of performing their regular work tasks, if they are a regular employee rather than an independent contractor, they may be eligible to file a workers’ compensation claim. If their claim is successful, they may receive a disability payment to compensate them for a portion of their lost income when they must miss work to recover from their injuries. They will also receive coverage for the medical expenses that are directly related to the workplace injury or occupational illness.

Some of the other workplace hazards that Philadelphia landscapers and groundskeepers might face during a work day include:

  • Exposure to extreme weather. Given the fact that all of their work must be performed outside, landscapers are vulnerable to heat-related illnesses such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Those who work outdoors in the winter are also exposed to extreme cold, frostbite and hypothermia.
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals. Landscapers use many different types of harmful chemicals such as fertilizers and insecticides during the course of their work.
  • Injuries from tools. Landscaping is a profession where they use many different kinds of power tools including lawnmowers, chainsaws, tree trimmers and other tools with motors and blades. They can suffer burns, cuts and lacerations, broken bones, eye injuries and even amputations when something goes awry with a piece of heavy equipment.
  • Slip and falls. Whether they fall from a tree, a retaining wall, a ladder or a deck, falls on the same level and falls from height are one of the most common workplace accidents that lead to serious injuries.
  • Insect bites. Landscapers who work outside all day are exposed to all kinds of biting insects from bees and spiders to mosquitoes and wasps. This year, a serious hazard for outdoor workers in certain areas is the zika virus, which is spread by the bite of mosquitos.

Another hazard for groundskeepers and landscapers, who must drive around from property to property is the possibility of being involved in a traffic accident. Regardless of the type of workplace injury, Philadelphia employees are usually eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for a workplace injury. There are other options for recovering compensation for those who have been injured at work. If you were injured in a transportation accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you may be able to take legal action against the party at fault and recover damages that include things that workers’ compensation does not cover including non-economic damages for pain and suffering. An experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney can answer any questions you might have about filing a third-party personal injury lawsuit when your injuries were not caused by your employer or a coworker.

The Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers of Larry Pitt & Associates can help those who work as landscapers who have suffered an injury on the job. We hope you’ll contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney about your case. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. Please fill out our contact form or call 888.PITT.LAW to schedule your free consultation.