Landscaping And Horticultural Work Injuries In Florida
Landscapers, gardeners, and horticultural workers are employed across the country, but these occupations are particularly popular in Florida where residents must attend to lawns and gardens year-round. Indeed, according to the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Florida has more landscaping businesses than any other state in the country, with nearly 8,800 landscaping companies as of 2021. The landscaping industry has grown significantly in recent years, and data suggests that it will continue to expand. As the number of landscaping businesses grows and the size of the landscaping service industry increases, more landscaping workers suffer injuries on the job. What do you need to know about seeking compensation after a landscaping work injury?
Understanding the Landscaping Service Industry
In order to understand the types of injuries that are common in the landscaping service industry and the ways in which they occur, it is important to learn more about this industry more broadly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the industry includes general landscaping services, lawn service, groundskeeping workers, tree trimmers, and pruners.
These workers “landscape or maintain grounds of property using hand or power tools or equipment,” and they “typically perform a variety of tasks, which may include any combination of the following: sod laying, mowing, trimming, planting, watering, fertilizing, digging, raking, sprinkler installation, and installation of mortarless segmental concrete masonry wall units.”
Getting the Facts About Landscaping Injuries
What kinds of injuries are most common in the landscaping industry, and how do they occur? In 2019 alone, the private landscaping services industry reported a total of 12,380 nonfatal injuries. The most common type of injuries include, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA):
- Sprains, strains, and tears;
- Soreness or pain from ergonomics issues;
- Cuts and lacerations;
- Bone fractures;
- Heat and cold stress, with heat exhaustion being a particularly serious issue in South Florida;
- Lifting injuries;
- Motor vehicle accidents;
- Lawn mower accidents;
- Burns and diseases caused by exposure to chemicals or pesticides;
- Hearing loss caused by excessive noise from landscaping tools and machinery; and
- Burns and electrocutions caused by dangerous electrical tools.
In more serious landscaping accidents, amputations are especially common, particularly when landscaping workers are using power tools associated with trimming and cutting. Indeed, hand tools and machinery are cited by the BLS as two of the most common sources of injury. Landscapers can also sustain injuries related to animals and insects, especially in Florida. While nonfatal injury rates are relatively high in the landscaping industry, this industry does not have the same high death rates as industries like construction or fishing.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Landscaping Injuries
As long as a landscaping injury arose in the course of employment, it should be compensable through the Florida workers’ compensation system. It is important to know that both part-time workers and seasonal workers—who make up a portion of many landscaping teams—are also eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer injuries on the job.
Contact Our Fort Lauderdale Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
If you were injured in a landscaping accident at work, one of our South Florida workers’ compensation lawyers can assist you with your claim. Contact the Law Offices of David M. Benenfeld, P.A. today for more information.