No matter how safe you are over the course of a business day, accidents happen. As yards and trees begin to bloom your landscaping business begins to pick up. While this is great for your bottom line, it also means the chances for something to go wrong also increase.
It’s a common misunderstanding that because landscapers are out in the wide-open their risk level is low. The truth is as a landscaping contractor the chances of injuring a client or employee are higher than most other contractors. Let’s take a look at some common claims you could potentially face.
Common Claims Among Landscapers
You may not be in a customer’s home or have clients come to your office, but there are still opportunities for injury or damage to property. For example, imagine a rock flying up while mowing and breaking a car window. Or a client walks out of their home and trips over equipment left on the pathway. These are the types of injuries where you carry a general liability policy for landscapers.
Liability insurance addresses costs associated with bodily injury, medical payments and property damage resulting from on-site mishaps, and other injuries and damages incurred in the course of running a landscaping business.
Protecting Your Employees
While client claims happen, what we see most commonly 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. Oftentimes, your job sites will have several different locations throughout the day. As a landscaping professional, 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 tractors and mowers rolling over or coming in contact with workers.
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 accidents arise when someone hits a ditch while mowing. The point is, you never know what might happen while working in the outdoors and it’s best to be protected both by the right insurance policies and following all safety procedures.
Follow All Safety Procedures
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 chainsaws 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 before 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.
- For a full list of safety and health topics, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s site here.
We’re Here for You
Give us a call, send us an email or use the free request form to get in touch. We look forward to putting together a great landscaping contractors insurance program that not only protects your business and your employees, but one that gets your people healthy and back to work as soon as possible.