Noting Array of Occupational Hazards Associated With Landscaping Beyond Nuisance Issues
To the Editor:
I greatly appreciate the Board of Health and Environmental Commission’s interest in worker health and safety [“Protecting Landscaping Workers and Our Air Quality: You Can Help,” Mailbox, August 5]. They bring attention to occupational hazards that landscapers may encounter, specifically noise and particulate exposures.
Landscaping presents many hazards to workers, including amputations; electrical shock; heat and cold stress; ergonomic; noise exposure; pesticide and other chemical exposure; vehicular accidents; and slips, trips, and falls. Deaths have occurred associated with vehicular and heavy-equipment accidents, falls, electrocution, and heat stroke (source: www.osha.gov/SLTC/landscaping/hazards.html#pesticideschemicals).
Commercial landscapers are obligated to comply with OSHA laws, and public entities in New Jersey fall under PEOSH laws ensuring a safe workplace, which includes training for workers on safe work practices.
Employers interested in understanding their legal obligations can obtain assistance thru OSHA’s Office of Small Business Assistance (www.osha.gov/contactus/byoffice/osba).
Evan Anderson, MPH, CIH