A Tennessee landscaping worker was killed and another was injured in an electrocution accident last week when they made contact with an electrical line. The Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA) is investigating the incident to make sure the landscaping company was following safety regulations.
Landscape workers operate in all sorts of environments and in extreme weather conditions. Additionally, they have to work with different machinery, and the work can very labor intensive. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 200 landscapers die in workplace accidents each year.
Landscaping Employers Must Help Protect Workers From Workplace Accidents
Unfortunately, the Bureau of Labor Statistics Estimates that roughly 20 percent of all landscape worker deaths are caused by exposure to harmful substances. Electrocution is also a common accident among landscapers while digging, working with power tools and coming into contact with power lines. Additionally, when the proper safety precautions are not taken, landscaping workers can also face the following types of hazards:
- Chemical exposure
- Harsh noise exposure
- Injuries caused by machinery
- Heavy lifting
- Construction site hazards
- Exposure to harsh weather elements
However, landscaping employers have a duty to protect workers from these safety hazards. This includes training and certifying all landscape workers to operate equipment as well as on the risks associated with each task. Additionally, workers must be provided with the proper safety gear, including boots with traction soles, ear protection, protective gloves, goggles or hard hats, depending on the task. If this is not the case, it is important you consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to assess your situation.
Stanley A. Davis is a Nashville workers’ compensation attorney who helps workers who have been injured in a workplace accident.
“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” Jeremiah 29:11