Preventing Winter Jobsite Injuries In Landscapers
Winter can be a hazardous time of year for anyone. The weather can make a variety of simple tasks hazardous such as walking, driving, and staying outdoors for extended periods. Landscapers are especially prone to winter jobsite injuries.
Everyday winter landscaping duties can be dangerous if your crew does not know how to take the proper precautions to avoid injury.
Preventing winter jobsite injuries in landscapers can be easy with the tips listed below.
One of the most common winter landscape injuries are ones sustained while shoveling. The use of a proper lifting technique is necessary to avoid back and other injuries when shoveling snow: keep the back straight, lift with the legs and do not turn or twist the body. To prevent exhaustion, try pushing the snow instead of lifting it. Remember to take breaks to get warm and hydrate.
Snow blowers also pose a hazard. They can cause lacerations and electrical shocks if not handled properly. Make sure the blower is completely turned off when working on parts inside of it. Always refuel the snow blower before starting it. If the snow blower is powered by an electrical cord, be sure to unplug before performing any maintenance on it.
If your crew’s duties include removing snow from roofs, make sure they are outfitted with the proper safety equipment. This may include but is not limited to a roof harness or spiked shoes. Emphasize that these employees must be extremely cautious while working on the roofs.
Landscape crews doing storm clean up must also exercise caution. Chainsaws can be extremely dangerous pieces of equipment. Chippers are also dangerous. Only employees trained on how to properly use this equipment should do so. Anyone operating equipment should wear eye, ear, and head protection.
Anyone walking on ice should wear spiked shoes. If you are spreading ice melt, wear protective gloves and a mask. Slips and falls can be prevented if employees wear the proper equipment and exercise caution. Employees must also remember to stay hydrated despite the cold weather. Have a steady supply of decaffeinated hot tea on hand for a warm hydrating drink.