Reduce These 3 Common Commercial Property Safety Issues With Landscaping

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Aug 11, 2021 10:22:06 AM

Few things are more important at your commercial property than safety. When tenants, guests, or residents spend time on your property, you shouldn’t have to worry that something could go wrong.

While accidents can’t always be prevented, you can make sure you’re doing everything in your power to mitigate risk where possible.

Fortunately, there are some landscaping related tasks that can help reduce some common commercial property safety issues. These are services that you should be able to count on your commercial landscaping provider to perform for you, so that you can have fewer worries and more peace of mind about the safety of your property’s landscape.

Most Common Commercial Property Safety Issues

Following are 3 of the most common commercial property safety issues that are asked to help solve by the property managers who we work with.

Landscaping can play a key role in reducing the risk of these issues.

1. Hanging Branches that Obstruct Views or Pose a Fall Risk

Trees are such a valuable addition to your commercial property - both for their beauty and functionality. But when limbs are hanging because of storm damage or some other tree health issue, they can pose some serious risks.

Any limb that has been damaged and is now hanging is at risk of falling and damaging property, or even worse, harming a person below it.
Tree limb pruning
Additionally, branches that are hanging, or even just ones that have become overgrown, can become a visual obstruction that can also open your commercial property up to other liability concerns. Especially if the branches or limbs are covering important signage or obstructing the line of sight while pulling out from the parking lot, this can also lead to accidents.

The good news is that these risks can all be mitigated with timely, proper tree pruning. It’s important that your commercial landscaping company is taking line of sight into account when performing their regular pruning services. If they aren’t, then they could be overlooking some important potential issues.

At Yellowstone Landscape, we ask our crews to put themselves in the “shoes of the driver.” That means if there are branches which are somehow blocking signage or obstructing a driver’s view (but that they otherwise wouldn’t have needed to cut), they need to make that decision to remove the hazard. This is incredibly important around parking lots and at intersections.Tree care team pruning and removing tree limbs

2. Landscaping that Interferes with Landscape Lighting

Another common commercial property safety issue is when overgrown or poorly located landscaping elements interfere with the landscape and pathway lighting. Landscape lighting helps people to safely navigate your commercial property in the dark, but only works when it isn’t obstructed by the plant material.

If your plants are blocking the lights, even partially, it can make the space difficult to traverse when the sun starts to set. Shrubs that have grown over path lights, for instance, can suddenly make that walkway dangerous.
Keep landscape lighting clear of obstructionsWhen plants start to interfere with landscape lighting it can also make your property less safe from vandalism or burglary. A well-lit property is naturally safer because criminals don't want to get caught in the act. In general, research has shown that crime is more likely on poorly lit properties where thieves or vandals can sneak in and out without being seen.

If your property is too dark because plants have grown over the lighting, then you could be at risk.

It’s also important to keep in mind that good lighting is important for surveillance cameras. Your cameras aren’t going to be able to capture what’s going on if it’s too dark, or they are obstructed by tree limbs or plants.

Keeping overgrowth in check is so important when it comes to getting the most out of these important security devices. If a branch has grown in front of your camera, you’re not going to be able to get the recordings you could end up needing. This goes back to keeping trees, shrubs, and plants properly pruned. It not only keeps everything looking great but it keeps your commercial property functioning safely.

3. Trip and Fall Hazards

Finally, when discussing common commercial property safety issues slips, trips, and falls have to be addressed.

Snow and ice are obvious risks that come to mind when navigating a commercial property and avoiding slips and falls. And without doubt, an effective snow and ice management plan is key to mitigating this risk.

But there are also year-round slip, trip, and fall risks that can cause accidents on your property. Debris on your walkways is a big risk. You want to make sure that your commercial landscaping crew is removing any fallen debris as soon as possible - especially acorns, branches, or leaves. Wet leaves can become quite slick when they are wet. Your landscaping crews should be diligent about keeping walkways and parking lots clear.

But slips, trips, and falls also sometimes happen on your property’s turf areas.

One issue that we often hear about is when guests, tenants, residents, or employees make the decision to “cut through the grass” on their way to their destination. This can become a slipping hazard if the grass is wet from rainfall or early morning dew.

But grass areas can also be bumpy.

If people are frequently not utilizing your sidewalks, you should ask your landscape provider to come up with a creative solution to keep people on paved and lighted pathways. This could mean adding a row of hedges so that people physically can’t cut through. It could also mean adding a new pathway that takes the shortcut everyone is commonly trying to make. If it reduces liability, it could be worth the investment in the end.Direct your residents, tenants, and guests with landscaping

Working with a Landscaping Company that Will Reduce Commercial Property Safety Issues

When it comes to reducing these risks, you need to work with a commercial landscaping company that will take them seriously—and also one that will have solutions that they are able to implement. That means hiring a landscaping company that is safety-minded. One that is thinking ahead about potential problems on your property and doing what they can to prevent them.

The last thing that you’d want is for your landscape company to somehow contribute to the problem. So choose a commercial landscape provider that will do everything in their power to reduce potential landscape-related accidents and problems. That means a company that is utilizing best practices and also taking extra steps to be safe while working on your property.

Too often, landscaping companies fail to think about safety until there’s a problem. But you deserve a landscape service partner that is proactive and focused on preventing problems in the first place.Landscape crew placing safety cones

How Yellowstone Landscape Reduces Commercial Property Safety Issues

At Yellowstone Landscape, we take safety seriously. That’s true from both an internal and external perspective. We’re doing everything that we can to perform your landscaping services in a safe manner. But we’re also thinking about potential safety issues that already exist on your property and how we can potentially fix them.

Some of the training that we offer our staff includes weekly safety training, quarterly equipment training, and best practices training. We also have quarterly safety rodeos where we focus on providing hands-on instruction targeted to common job-site hazards found in the industry.

As we’ve mentioned, we also talk continuously to our crews about being “safety-minded.” When pruning shrubs, cutting tree branches, or even clearing a walkway, we want them to be thinking about how their actions can reduce risk and make your property safer.

Along with that, they’re looking for potential problems you might not have even noticed yet (like a security camera that is covered by a branch), and implementing or recommending solutions.

All of this translates into a safer property and fewer things for you to worry about. And as a busy property manager, fewer worries is always a good thing.

Are you ready to hire a commercial landscaper that takes safety seriously? Request a quote and let us answer any additional questions that you may have.

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Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.