You rely on your commercial landscaping company to help make your property not only more beautiful and functional, but also more safe. You should expect your property to be better looking when your landscaper leaves, but you also want to know that they addressed any pending safety risks also. That all adds up to peace of mind.
And that’s why it’s so frustrating when you have to worry about landscape related accidents. You’re counting on your landscape professional to enhance your property—not create new problems that you have to deal with.
Unfortunately, when landscapers are careless they may miss an opportunity to fix potential issues that can later become landscape hazards. Or, even worse they might create a new problem themselves.
That’s why we’re talking about how to reduce accidents on your property. Because it’s important that your commercial landscape professional is being proactive and looking out for your best interest.
Landscape Related Accident: Slips, Trips and Falls
Of all the potential types of landscape related accidents, slip, trip and fall incidents are among the most prevalent and worrisome. There are a number of ways that slips, trips, and falls can happen on a commercial property. Let’s look at some of the most common and how they can be addressed and prevented.
Debris on walkways and parking areas is one of the most common potential accident hazards.
If your commercial mowing crew is getting grass debris on the hardscaping and failing to thoroughly blow it off in a timely manner, this can quickly become a problem. Walkways should be cleared of all debris, such as fallen branches, acorns, or even leaves. Wet leaves, in particular, can become incredibly slick. It’s important that your landscaping crew is being diligent about debris clean-up during their visit so that walking paths are kept clear.
Another common way that the landscaping can contribute to slip and fall hazards is if a tree is planted too close to the sidewalk and begins to push up a part of the concrete. Since we can’t go back and time and plant the tree in the proper location (taking full root growth into account), it will likely mean going in and removing the root or even the tree itself. Going forward, smart planting choices should be made so that roots don’t have a negative impact on hardscaping down the road.
Though not as commonly thought about, employees or tenants making a choice to “cut through grass” on the way to the parking lot can also be a slip hazard. Grass can get slick after a rainfall or early in the morning dew.
If people are frequently not utilizing the sidewalks on your commercial property and cutting through the grass, you might want to discuss alternative solutions with your commercial landscape provider. This could mean making a mulch bed larger so that they aren’t walking on the grass. It could also mean adding a new path or extending shrub plantings to cut off access to the pathway.
Landscape Related Accident: Line of Sight Issues
Another common landscape related accident has to do with line of sight. In this context, we’re most often talking about keeping tree limbs away from signage such as crosswalk signs, stop signs, or other traffic signs. It’s incredibly important that your commercial landscaping crew is taking line of sight into account when performing their regular pruning services.
Of course, line of sight not only includes blocking signage, but also visibility.
For instance, if your commercial property has an intersection and the driver cannot see around the corner because of some overgrown shrubs, then you could be at risk for a serious motor vehicle accident.
It’s important that when pruning services are performed, your commercial landscapers are putting themselves “in the shoes of the driver.” At Yellowstone Landscape, that’s what we tell our crews. As they’re performing these vital services, we want them to be thinking about how it will impact drivers on and around your property, especially at intersections.
Landscape Related Accident: Property Destruction
While we all know accidents happen, accidents that are the result of carelessness are some of the most frustrating. These are accidents that absolutely should have been prevented simply by the landscaping crews paying more attention (and frankly, caring more about their actions).
Property destruction caused by a landscape related accident occurs when the landscape crews aren’t being careful. For instance, they fail to take the time to pick up any debris in the lawn before mowing. That debris then gets thrown by the mower and breaks a window.
The same can occur during blowing. As the landscapers are blowing grass clippings off a sidewalk, they should be cognizant of any larger debris in their path that could get thrown into a structure, a nearby parked vehicle, or a window.
These are mistakes that could have been prevented with simply more attention being paid to the work being completed.
It ultimately goes back to the hiring process of the commercial landscaper provider that you’ve chosen. You want to be able to feel confident that they have a rigorous hiring process and are incredibly selective about the people that they choose to work for them.
Landscape Related Accident: Dangerous Pests
Though this is not an example of an accident caused by landscapers, in some way it’s an important one to mention as your commercial landscaper is really your first line of defense against potential threats within your landscape. The existence of a wasp’s nest or a poisonous snake on your property can be a significant problem for your tenants and it’s highly likely that your landscaper will be the first to come into contact with these issues.
This is obviously a danger to your landscaper, as well, but with the right landscaping company it should be one that they are trained to handle. While they might not be the one to tackle the problem, they should know to promptly alert you (the property manager).
At the end of the day, your commercial landscaper should be your eyes and ears of your property. You should be able to count on them to alert you of potential problems even if they can’t immediately fix them. This will instill peace of mind that threats are being handled before they can become a serious issue to your tenants.
Landscape Related Accident: Traffic Accidents
Finally, the last thing that you want is for your landscape company to cause traffic hazards on the days that they are servicing your property. Unfortunately, you’ve probably seen poor practices in action such as failing to “cone off” the parked vehicle or construction crews that crew dangerous situations by parking in a poor location too close to traffic in the right of way of a major roadway.
At Yellowstone Landscape, this is something we take incredibly seriously as we would never want to be responsible for causing an unsafe situation for our crews or passing drivers.
Our crews are trained to park defensively, off of major roadways so that they are not causing traffic disruptions or creating line of sight obstructions. They are also trained to cone the vehicles off and make them highly visible, going beyond DOT minimums to make sure they are visible to drivers.
Plus, all of our crews are in bright safety vests. They are also well-trained and highly experienced with loading and unloading equipment while always taking safety into account.
Choosing the Right Commercial Landscape is How to Reduce Accidents on Your Property
When it comes to how to reduce accidents on your property, the key is hiring a landscaping company that truly takes safety seriously. It cannot be an afterthought. After all, the decisions made and actions taken by your landscaping crew can have a direct impact on your tenants, employees, or residents.
Too often, landscaping companies don’t think about safety until there is a problem. They might muddle through an annual safety talk at the beginning of the season, but then it’s not talked about again until an issue comes up.
But we believe that being safe is all about being proactive. It’s about preventing problems in the first place.
While we understand there’s a lot to take into consideration when making a hiring decision, be sure that you’re bringing safety into the conversation. Ask specific questions about training and safety so that you can get a better idea of how seriously the company takes it.
- Ask: Does your landscaping company provide safety gear and PPE to all of their employees?
- Ask: What types of safety training do you put your landscaping crews through?
- Ask: How often do you cover safety training?
The more questions that you ask up front, the better. The last thing that you want is to be surprised in a bad way later on. Landscaping companies that make safety a priority are best set up to prevent you from hassles and headaches later on.
A Landscaping Partner that Puts Safety First
At Yellowstone Landscape, we take safety incredibly seriously. We believe it’s not just about getting our clients the best results (although we certainly do that, too), but it’s also about making sure nobody gets hurt and that there is no property damage as a result of our visit.
Some of the training that we participate in 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.
In addition, any time that we acquire new equipment, we bring in the manufacturer to come in and do a training session on that new equipment. We want to make sure that everyone knows how to operate it properly and safely so that they’re producing the best possible results in a safe way.
We’re also constantly talking about best practices.
That means teaching our landscape crews to think about line of sight by putting themselves in the shoes of the driver when performing pruning. It also means teaching them to perform a thorough sweep of the area and seek out debris that needs to be removed before mowing or blowing. We believe there are no “small details” when it comes to safety. Something seemingly small can become a big deal if it causes an accident.
As you might imagine, this takes time.
Primarily, it takes time away from the field and that’s a direct expense. For that reason, a lot of companies might cut corners or fail to participate in these types of training events. But we believe it’s too important to overlook, regardless of the cost.
All of this translates to an overall better experience, which we know you’ll appreciate. Instead of having to worry about potential landscape related accidents, you can feel confident that your landscaping partner is looking out for you and your property.
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.