If you like working outdoors, employment as a groundskeeper or landscaper sounds like the perfect job for you. Many hotels, hospitals and office buildings hire such personnel as regular, salaried employees. You can work outdoors cutting lawns, trimming shrubs and generally caring for the company’s property.
You probably understand that such work can result in minor injuries like scrapes and cuts, but there are also more severe injury risks. It is wise to learn about these risks to avoid harm when you accept a groundskeeping job.
Groundskeeping requires you to work in all types of weather. Fairfax is known for hot and humid summers, but the winter season brings snow and cold temperatures. Both weather patterns pose illness and injury risks such as heat stress, heatstroke, frostbite and hypothermia.
Lifting and body hazards
Caring for a landscape is physical in nature. Employees must often lift and relocate heavy or awkward items. They also use heavy equipment like lawnmowers. Back injuries and muscle strains are common and can lead to long-term problems without treatment. Slips, trips and falls also occur frequently in landscaping jobs.
Some groundskeepers care for the trees located on the property. Often, this means trimming branches from atop the questionable safety of a ladder or scaffold. Tree trimming accidents can lead to severe impact injuries (from falling) and limb amputations (from contact with cutting equipment). In many situations, these accidents result in death.
If you are a salaried groundskeeper rather than an outside contractor, you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits following a landscaping accident. To get the most out of your claim, we recommend familiarizing yourself with the laws that govern workers’ compensation in Virginia.