Our insurance agency is always looking to help our clients in whatever way we can. Here at Paradiso Insurance, not only do we want to provide your Connecticut business with an insurance policy that can meet the specific needs of your business, but we want to help out by giving you advice on how you can avoid claims. We’ve already spoken to gym owners and plumbers about how they can avoid claims, but today, we wanted to address how landscapers can avoid claims. After all, the weather is beautiful now, and we imagine our landscaping professionals are staying very busy! Let’s talk about how you can avoid claims as a Connecticut landscaping business to ensure that you have an affordable premium on your landscaper’s insurance policy.
Common Claims Among Landscapers
Let’s take a look at some of the most common claims in the landscaping industry so that we can learn from other’s mistakes. The majority of claims that we see within the landscaping industry revolve around workers’ comp claims, because it is, of course, a bit of a risky business. Most occupations that take place outdoors involve a bit of risk, and although the risk isn’t as great with landscaping, it still deserves some recognition.
The first type of injury we see often is injuries related to transportation. Often times, your job sites will have several different locations throughout the day as a landscaping professional, and you’ll need to transport yourself, your team, and any equipment and tools necessary to get the job done. Besides getting into an automotive accident, there’s the risk of a tractors and mowers rolling over or coming in contact with workers, and there could be other risks as well depending on the job. You may also face environmental risks while working outdoors. Sometimes, there have been unfortunate claims where a worker gets hit by a falling tree or branch, or you could see a claim if you were to hit a ditch while mowing, or even have an object fall and strike you while you are digging; overall, the risks outdoors are not to be taken lightly.
Sometimes, workplace falls can result in a claim too. A worker could stumble over equipment in your garage if the area is not properly maintained or if there is a spill. Not to mention, if you are suspended up in the air on a job, and a safety line is cut or broken, it could be detrimental. Falls could even happen if a worker simply trips or stumbles, just like in any other industry.
Another place we frequently see claims is when a worker is exposed to extremes of various sorts. The first, and most common, extreme that we see is temperature, because the majority of your work takes place outdoors during the hotter seasons, and at its worst that could mean heatstroke. We also see electrocution claims from time to time, especially if a worker is digging or even handling machinery/tools that make contact with a power line.
Let’s Play it Safe
So now that we’ve taken a moment to go over some of the most common claims we see in the landscaping space, let’s discuss how your team can be sure to avoid these claims as much as possible. After all, if you have to file a claim, the price of your insurance premium may go up, and we’d hate to see that happen to any of our clients. Here’s our checklist of what you can do with your employees to make sure that you are practicing ongoing safety while on the job:
- Follow any and all directions that come with your tools, equipment, and machinery.
- Encourage your team to ask questions in case they are unsure of how to handle a situation.
- Assess potential danger on any jobs involving risk, and address any dangers accordingly before you start the job.
- Don’t rush the job; you can always reverse a poor customer experience if a customer is complaining about how timely the job was, but you can never reverse a claim.
- Always stretch your muscles that will be used on the job.
- Always wear the appropriate attire for the job you’re on, whether it’s ear protection (earplugs for loud machinery), safety glasses, work boots, tight-fitted clothing, a helmet, or a nylon vest so you can be seen by oncoming traffic.
- While operating chain saws and hedgers, never make cuts on ladders, always plant both feet firmly on the ground to stabilize your center of gravity, and shut off the engine prior to removing any branches that get stuck in your machine’s teeth.
- ALWAYS stay hydrated; the heat will affect you and your team very quickly if you don’t drink water.
- Require crew members to work as a team when lifting heavy loads or awkward loads.
- Have ongoing safety meetings regularly to maintain these fundamentals and keep your team sharp.
Remember, if you do have to file a claim, any of our professional agents will be glad to give you advice and walk you through the steps, and help out in whatever way they can. To discuss an insurance policy tailored to meet the specific needs of your landscaping business, give us a call today at 860-684-5270!