There is a dark side to working in the landscaping industry: people get hurt. And they get hurt, often very seriously, in a variety of ways.
A summary of a single fatal workplace accident provides insights into how a lax attitude toward safety could endanger California workers. The incident involved a 33-year-old male warehouse employee riding a pallet lifted by a forklift to access inventory on high steel shelves. According to the report prepared by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, employees at the warehouse routinely put one or both feet on a raised pallet to store or retrieve inventory. When the victim slipped and fell off the pallet, his injuries resulted in his death a few days later.
After a natural disaster, California employers have an obligation to keep their employees safe. If employees are asked to prepare for or clean up after a disaster, employers must keep them safe from anticipated hazards. Ideally, only those who are trained to handle disaster cleanup should be allowed to participate in such an activity. This is because those who aren't properly trained may not understand how to assess the dangers that they may face.
Falls both from heights and from the same level are among the leading causes of workplace deaths and serious injuries. According to OSHA, 20 percent of deaths and injuries resulting in lost work days occur because of falls. This translates to 345 deaths and 202,066 injuries to workers throughout the country. Warehouse and distribution center employers can take a variety of steps to keep their workers safe from falls.
The Chemical Safety Board and the National Fire Protection Association recommend that California employees and employers alike look for alternatives and ask whether the job is necessary before beginning any work that produces heat, sparks or flames. Collectively, this category of work is referred to as hot work. It includes jobs like brazing, soldering, cutting and grinding, welding and pipe thawing. Even drilling is categorized as hot work because it can generate heat from friction.
People in California who are employed in the construction industry face many risks while they are on the job. The construction industry has one of the highest rates of work-related accidents and injuries, making it important for workers to be aware of the dangers and for employers to implement preventative safety measures.