Landscaping is as important as construction when it comes to ensuring a property’s integrity. If you don’t do it right, you could compromise the structure you seek to beautify instead. However, even as low-risk as beautification might seem, it still can be risky from time to time. The professional landscapers who spend a lot of hours working on the site could all get hurt through a variety of seemingly-mundane items. As a result, there could be a workers’ compensation risk to your employees. Here’s why.
Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that every businessman needs. Should harm come to an employee, it might prove instrumental in helping them. Nevertheless, knowing what to look out for to reduce employee injury claims is also imperative to overall success. The better you protect your employees, the lower your workers’ compensation risks.
Workers’ Compensation Coverage for Contractors
As a contractor, you are a business owner. You must hire employees to complete work to the satisfaction of your clients. Nevertheless, you have to provide a safe working environment for your employees. Yes, contracting is dangerous work. However, it doesn’t have to be so to an extreme. Therefore, employees still have the entitlement to protection in case problems arise.
In such situations, workers’ compensation insurance becomes essential. Most businesses have to, by law, carry this protection. It comes into play in case an employee gets hurt or incapacitated on the job. The injured party will make a claim on the company’s workers’ compensation insurance. The policy will then pay the claimant a supplementary income. It might help cover their medical bills, rehabilitation costs and everyday bills.
In the case of a landscaper, manual labor will come with its fair share of injury risks. Therefore, it is always best to have workers’ compensation insurance on hand and ready to go in case an injury should arise. The employee in question will have to prove that they sustained the injury directly through their work. Still, a variety of potential risks might occur in the job site. The person in charge of the job need to remain aware of them at all times.
Common Workers’ Compensation Risks at Landscaping Sites
Think about some of the tasks you might do during landscaping. You might:
- Haul and lay brickwork
- Level, dam or raise the earth
- Plant trees or foliage
- Create drainage ditches or lay pipe
- Build small structures like arbors, sheds or fountains
- Spread mulch, seed or pesticides
In many ways, these might seem like straightforward tasks if you know what your are doing. However, there is always a chance that someone could get hurt in the normal course of duties. Therefore, you should keep a consistent eye out for some of the following risks.
- Slip-and-fall risks: The ground in and around landscaping sites is not yet in its prime state. Therefore, it is likely uneven, muddy, slippery and has more than a few rocks around. As a result, there is always a chance someone could slip, fall and hurt themselves, even while undertaking normal duties.
- Structure collapse risks: You might have the task of building a retaining wall for a property. Or, you might have to move earth to create dams, hills or other natural structures. Without doing so correctly, there is a risk of collapse from any of these structures. Should something fall, it could fall onto someone, or collapse under them. There are multiple risks, including burial, suffocation and head injuries.
- Head injury risks: Head injury risks might result from falling objects, collapsing structures and other hazards.
- Burn risks: If you use any source of heat on the property, there is a chance of burn risks arising. This might come from blow torches, controlled burns, electrical sources and even heaters used to dry materials or keep workers warm.
- Cut risks: Any multitude of items on a work site might cut employees, some severely. Shears, spades and hoes, and even thorns on roses could cause problems at any moment.
- Machinery risks: You might use backhoes, sod turners, plows and many other automated items on the work site. If used incorrectly, these items could harm your employees. Only those who have training in how to use these items should do so.
- Sun risks: Long days working in the heat could harm employees. They might sustain dehydration, sunstroke and sunburn. All of these items might lead to workers’ compensation claims.
These are just a few of the numerous workers’ compensation risks on landscaping sites. Even an employee who falls on their way to use the restroom might have grounds for a claim. Therefore, contractors need to do everything they can to prevent these injuries. You can generally do so by encouraging a safety-focused environment. Employers that enforce safety codes and require employees to look out for the rules generally have a much lower risk of ever having to file a claim.
In the event that someone does get hurt during the landscaping, provide them with the information for your workers’ compensation insurer. The insurer will then review the claim to see if the employee has grounds to receive a payout from a claim. If they do, the workers’ comp policy will provide the assistance.
Also Read: Everyone Wants Their Contractor to Be Bonded