If you are an employee of any of the landscaping companies in Oklahoma City, you would want to be sure you are part of a work crew that is protected by a comprehensive safety plan. If your employer complies with the safety regulations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, you can be sure of management's commitment to prioritize workplace safety. This will increase your chances of going home safely after every workday.
You will need assurance that your employer has safety protocols in place to identify workplace hazards and address them before illnesses or injuries occur. The company's safety plan should include adequate training to equip you and your co-workers with the ability to recognize potential hazards and know what steps to take to protect yourselves.
Common risks landscapers face
While the list of hazards that can threaten your safety is almost endless, addressing the following most common ones will be a step in the right direction:
- Skin cancer: Your job as a landscaper will have you working in the blistering sun and if you do not wear long sleeves, long pants and a wide-brimmed hat, you may be a perfect candidate for skin cancer. Furthermore, frequent application of an SPF 30 sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection against UVC, UBA and UVA sunrays is essential.
- Dehydration: Kidney damage and even death can follow severe dehydration, and working outdoors requires frequent cups of water throughout the day to maintain your body's 60 to 70 percent water content. The average man needs about 12 cups per day and nine cups for the average woman.
- Thunderstorms and lightning: The National Weather Service reports that lightning strikes injure over 1,000 people nationwide every year — some strikes are fatal and others cause permanent neurological damage. To be safe, go indoors at the first sound of thunder and stay there for at least half an hour after it subsides.
- Hearing loss: Your occupation and the equipment you use expose you to excessive noise on a daily basis. Make sure you use ear protection because extended or repeated exposure to sounds that exceed 85 decibels will cause long-term damage that will not only threaten your safety at work but also adversely affect your personal life.
Along with these hazards, toxic chemicals and insecticides may threaten your safety, and you should take specific care when you work with equipment such as chainsaws and wood chippers. Unfortunately, despite all the precautions you take, accidents might happen and you could find yourself spending time in a hospital rather than at work.
With mounting medical bills and the unanticipated lack of income, stress and anxiety can take over, but help is available. An experienced workers' compensation attorney in Oklahoma can support and guide you through the complicated process of claiming benefits that will provide financial relief until you are ready to go back to work.