Landscape Contractor / Design Build Maintain

OCT 2018

LC/DBM provides landscape contractors with Educational, Imaginative and Practical information about their business, their employees, their machines and their projects.

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Page 35 of 103

Left The safety of landscape workers should be held in the highest regard, as the industry can be incredibly dangerous when standards are lax and equipment is not up to the chal- lenges presented on worksites. Finding and correctly using the proper safety equipment and clothing can save lives. W While the landscape industry consists of several rewarding and purposeful ca- reer paths, it can be a field littered with potential safety hazards, especially for those working on the labor side of busi - ness. It is vital for companies to provide workers with proper safety equipment when working on jobs such as installa - tion, not only for the purpose of maintain- ing a morally upright business model, but also for insurance and financial reasons. OSHA lists the top six most common injuries in the landscape industry as sprains and strains, manual handling of landscaping tools and equipment, noise, heat stress, falls and struck-by incidents. The most prevalent citation that members of OSHA find when performing standard safety inspections is the lack or misuse of personal protection equipment (PPE). Investing in PPE is incredibly important and can save lives in the landscape indus - try. In fact, in June of 2018, OSHA signed an alliance with the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) to raise awareness for safety protocol and PPE as well as promote outreach and communi- cation about the proper use of PPE. Current Trends in Protection There have been several innova- tions in the realm of safety equip- ment over the years. According to a 2018 article released by the Na- tional Safety Council, trends in head and face protection have seen particular growth in recent years. Workers and employers are no longer satisfied with head gear that simply covers the face and head area; they are looking for helmets fitted with other safety attachments, such as ear - muffs, face shields and respi- rators, making the preparation for safe landscaping practices several steps easier. Protective covering equipment such as chaps has seen innovations as well. Husqvarna, for instance, offers several different kinds of chaps that are fitted to a variety of tasks. It is important to find suitable protective clothing and equip - ment for the type of work that is being done by landscape workers. However, education is always vital when introducing new equipment into a work force, regardless of how well the equipment matches the task at hand. Just because a worker is wearing protective gear does not mean that he or she is pro - tected. The gear has to be used properly, and it has to fit. Separate Gear for Women Improperly fitting gear can cost work- ers their safety and, in some cases, their lives. The dangers of improper fit are more prevalent for women in the landscape in- dustry. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women working in nontraditional careers, such as landscaping, is growing. Unfortunately, according to a 2017 report from that same bureau, about 150 women per year lose their lives to work incidents that could be prevented by properly fitting personal protective clothing and equipment. SeeHerWork is an equipment and ap - parel company exclusively marketed to female workers that officially launched in September of this year. Founder Jane 36 LCDBM Left Husqvarna's Technical Apron Wrap Chainsaw Chaps buckle around the legs to ensure that the protec- tive layer covers the entire lower leg. When completing tasks that may cause sharp debris to fly in all directions, it is vital to protect all body parts that may be vulnerable to injury. Safety First By Allie Lapporte, LC/DBM

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