Since 2013 there have been six fatalities in the landscaping industry in the state of Georgia. The Department of Labor reports that since 2012, 64 people employed in the landscaping industry have been killed in Georgia, Florida, Alabama and Mississippi. The numbers in Florida have tripled since 2012. These numbers have caused alarm with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Because of the increase of deaths in the landscaping industry, OSHA organized a stand-down day that was held in the middle of April. During the stand-down, landscapers were encouraged to voluntarily stop working and to focus on safety on the job site. The stand-down events lasted for one hour at all of the locations that held them. The hourlong stand-down events took place from 7 -8 a.m. so workers would have the information fresh in their minds as they began their day.
In a press release, the regional administrator for OSHA’s southeast region said, “We are confident that, with the proper knowledge, workers can avoid unnecessary injuries or worse, and return home at the end of each work day. Failing to develop, implement and maintain an effective safety and health program puts workers at risk of being injured on the job.”
Some of the most common cause of injuries and deaths in the landscaping industry include falling, being hit by falling objects, being electrocuted, being crushed by equipment and being cut or hurt by equipment.
The stand-down events were organized by OSHA in conjunction with employers from all four states mentioned earlier. In Georgia, the events were organized in conjunction with OSHA and the Associated General Contractors of Georgia, Inc.
OSHA operates a program called Alliance Program. This program was created by OSHA in an effort to reduce the number of workplace injuries, workplace illnesses and workplace fatalities. All of the program’s training materials are offered in both English and Spanish.
An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can answer all of your questions about OSHA and job safety in Atlanta, Georgia.
Source: Total Landscape Care, “OSHA working to ensure safe working conditions in Southeast,” Beth Hyatt, April 13, 2017