Landscaping Worker Injuries
According to the most recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are more than 900,000 landscaping workers in the United States. Of course, this figure fluctuates monthly because many landscaping workers are seasonal employees. And unfortunately, the seasonal nature of this employment can lead employers to believe that landscapers are “expendable,” which may lead an employer not to take common workplace safety issues as seriously as they should. Indeed, more than 12,900 landscaping workers injuries occur each year. Each of these incidents resulted in the worker missing at least one day of work—and many workers missed significantly more time.
If you’ve been injured as a landscaper, the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC, is here to help you understand your rights and pursue the workers’ compensation benefits you are entitled to. Our Charlotte workers’ compensation attorneys have extensive experience preparing claims on behalf of injured workers and know what it takes to effectively prepare your application and connect you with the benefits you need to heal from your injuries and get back to work.Common Landscaping Worker Injuries
Landscaping is one of the more dangerous occupations and workers are exposed to a variety of potential hazards that can lead to serious—and sometimes debilitating—injuries. Common injuries among landscaping workers include the following:
Cuts, Scrapes, and Punctures: These can be caused by using hand tools, power tools, or by handling plants with thorns and sharp edges. Improper use or malfunction of machinery like chainsaws or trimmers can lead to more severe cuts.
Strains and Sprains: These can result from lifting heavy objects, repetitive motions, or working in awkward postures. Overexertion can also lead to back injuries.
Falls: Landscaping workers might fall from ladders, trees, or other elevated areas. They can also trip over tools, garden materials, or uneven ground.
Eye Injuries: These can be caused by flying debris when mowing, cutting, or trimming or by exposure to chemicals or UV rays when working outdoors without protective eyewear.
Hearing Loss: Prolonged exposure to loud machinery, such as lawnmowers or chainsaws, without using ear protection can lead to noise-induced hearing loss.
Chemical Exposure: Handling pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, and other chemicals without proper protective equipment can cause skin irritations, respiratory issues, or poisoning.
Heat Stress: Working outdoors, especially in the hot sun, can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke if proper precautions aren't taken.
Allergic Reactions: Some landscaping workers may experience allergic reactions to certain plants, pollens, or chemicals they are exposed to.
Insect and Animal Bites: Working outdoors increases the risk of bites or stings from insects (like bees, wasps, spiders, and mosquitoes) or encounters with animals.
Vibration White Finger (VWF): Also known as Hand-Arm Vibration Syndrome (HAVS), this is caused by the regular and frequent use of hand-held vibrating tools.
Respiratory Issues: Inhalation of dust, mold, and other airborne particles, especially when working in confined or poorly ventilated areas, can lead to respiratory problems.
Motor Vehicle and Machinery Accidents: Operating trucks, mowers, or other heavy machinery poses a risk if not done with care or if equipment is not properly maintained.
Electrocution: This can occur when operating electrical equipment in wet conditions, when using tools near overhead power lines, or when digging and accidentally hitting underground electrical lines.The North Carolina Workers’ Compensation System
The North Carolina Workers' Compensation system is designed to provide benefits to workers who suffer work-related injuries or occupational illnesses [link to Occupational Diseases page], ensuring they receive appropriate medical care and compensation for lost wages. By participating in this system, employers in North Carolina are generally protected from civil lawsuits by injured employees, as workers' compensation serves as an injured employee’s exclusive remedy, meaning they cannot usually sue their employer under a personal injury theory. Workers’ compensation insurance is mandatory for most employers in the state.
The North Carolina Industrial Commission oversees the workers’ compensation system, ensuring that the rights of employees are upheld. While the system aims for fairness, workers’ compensation disputes [link to The Insurance Company Denied my Claim page] can arise, leading to appeals and, in some cases, extended legal proceedings. To ensure that the process is as smooth as possible, it is important to work with an experienced Charlotte workers’ compensation lawyer who has specific experience handling claims involving landscaping worker injuries.Have You Been Injured While Working as a Landscaper?
If you’re in the landscaping industry and recently suffered serious injuries as a result of a workplace accident, you shouldn’t count on your employer or their insurance company to do the right thing. Instead, reach out to a dedicated workers’ compensation attorney at the Olsinski Law Firm, PLLC. At our workers’ compensation law firm, we take pride in meticulously preparing our clients' applications to avoid any unnecessary delay and maximize their benefits. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation with one of our Charlotte work injury lawyers, give us a call at 704-405-2580. You can also reach our Cabarrus County workers’ compensation attorneys at 704-918-4747. We proudly represent clients in Charlotte, Concord and Kannapolis, as well as throughout Mecklenburg, Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, and Union Counties.