The landscape industry can be inherently risky. Your team is working outside, utilizing machinery, and sometimes lifting heavy objects.
But you already know this. The fact is that as businesses grow presenting bigger and better projects, many business owners forget to adjust their liability insurance to cover new risks.
Here’s a reminder of 4 of the most common injuries that have resulted in lawsuits for landscape contractors. Moreover, without adequate contractor insurance, these common injuries can result in serious financial trouble.
Falling from a height
Accidents and injuries associated with falling from heights can be serious. This is often a result of unsecured and unstable ladders or sometimes mistakes during tree climbing work.
Depending on the height off of the ground, these accidents may result in death, paralysis, and bone fracture, among other injuries.
However, your employees are not covered by your contractor insurance for these injuries.
If you're involved in any sort of hardscaping or tree work, falling objects can be another risk. Injuries resulting from falling objects may result in head and brain injuries, paralysis, or death despite wearing hard hats. Moreover, the extent of the injury all depends on the size and weight of the falling object, as well as the height from which it falls.
When these accidents harm a third party, your contractor insurance policy will provide coverage for bodily injury.
Deep excavation pits and trenches pose a major risk to contractors on sites. Falls are one potential risk.
You must also prepare against trench collapse. If the weak walls of a deep excavation pit are not sloped, or supported by planking and strutting, they risk collapsing and burying workers inside the pit.
Deep excavation trenches and pits are dangerous. Accidents related to deep excavation falls and collapses may lead to bone fractures, spinal cord injuries, dislocation of joints, or even death.
Your workers do not have coverage from your contractor insurance for these injuries. However, contractor general liability insurance will provide cover.
Equipment related accidents
Many accidents can happen during the use of equipment on site. As such, these may be caused by mishandling, negligence, lack of expertise, lack of training on the use of new equipment, using mechanical equipment without protection or safety guards, or simply an equipment malfunction.
These accidents may lead to cuts and grazes, paralysis, lacerations, amputations, or even death, depending on the equipment.
You may believe that general liability insurance is sufficient risk management for these injuries to your employees. This is incorrect. General liability insurance does not cover employee injuries.
Contractor insurance alone does not protect your employees
General liability insurance covers contractors against claims made by third parties for any damage that they or their employees may have caused. It usually covers bodily injury, property damage, and medical payments for the third party. Worker's Compensation is the insurance you need to protect your employees when they are hurt on the job.