SPOT THE SAFETY VIOLATION: Landscaping Hazards

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There are several safety hazards in this picture of a landscaping crew at work. How many can you spot? Look carefully…

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At this time of year, landscaping crews are a frequent sight as they tend to lawns, gardens and foliage surrounding homes, commercial buildings and the like. As pleasant as it may be to work outdoors in the fresh air, such work still has its hazards.

This staged photo from WorkSafeBC illustrates just a handful of the safety hazards that landscaping crews and grounds maintenance workers may encounter on the job.

For example, the worker on the left isn’t using that ladder correctly. Instead of using this extension ladder, he’d be better off using a step ladder for this task. (See, Ladders: 6 Key Facts about Complying with Portable Ladder Requirements.)

The worker in the middle could be at risk of developing a possible musculoskeletal injury (MSI) due to the awkward position in which he’s working. (See, Ergonomics Compliance Centre.)

The worker on the right looks like he’s wearing headphones and is focused on some kind of electronic device, such as an MP3 player or cell phone. Such devices are distractions not only behind the wheel of a vehicle but also on the job in general. (See, Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices Compliance Centre.)

It doesn’t help matters that this same worker is wearing flip flops, appropriate for the beach but not this worksite—especially when working around power tools such as chainsaws and lawn mowers. It’s important that workers always wear appropriate footwear, including safety footwear, while working.

There are various tools strewn about the ground, posing trip-and-fall hazards to the workers and anyone passing by the site.

Use this slips, trips and falls inspection checklist to inspect your workplace or worksite for such hazards. And go to SafetyPoster.com to buy a S.A.F.E. System Kit for your workplace on slips, trips and falls.

And it doesn’t look like any of the workers are wearing gloves, which would be wise given that the work they’re doing could expose their hands to cuts and scrapes. At Safety Smart, there’s a safety talk for workers on protecting their hands. Not a Safety Smart member? Sign up for a free trial.

They should probably also be wearing eye protection as well as hearing protection.