OSHA Launches Regional Emphasis Program Targeting Safety in Landscaping Industry

OSHA Launches Regional Emphasis Program Targeting Safety in Landscaping Industry

This program follows news of high death rates for workers in landscaping and horticulture.

OSHA just kicked off a new Regional Emphasis Program aimed at reducing the disproportionately high fatality rates within the landscaping and horticultural industries.

According to a release dated Dec. 7, OSHA’s new program pertains specifically to Arizona, California, Hawaii and Nevada as well as Pacific territories American Samoa, Guam and the North Mariana Islands. Notably, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 234 work-related fatalities in the sector in 2021, surpassing the national average.

“By instituting a new regional emphasis program for landscaping industry employers in areas of federal jurisdiction, tribal lands, military bases and particular waterfront areas, OSHA aims to reduce the high fatality and injury rates we’ve seen in this industry while enhancing workplace safety,” OSHA Regional Administrator James Wulff in San Francisco said in a statement. “By intensifying our focus on the landscaping industry, we can show employers how they can protect their workers better and avoid needless tragedies.” 

Workers in these industries frequently face hazards such as amputations, falls, electrocution, excessive noise, heat illness and ergonomic injuries; dangers associated with motor vehicle and machinery operations; and harm caused by animals, insects, pesticide and other chemical exposures.

The program focuses on enhancing safety for those employed on federal jurisdiction lands, tribal lands, military bases and specific waterfront areas. It will involve safety and health inspections targeting tree care and related services, which include activities like planting, pruning and spraying as well as commercial lawn and landscape maintenance.

About the Author

Robert Yaniz Jr. is the Content Editor of Occupational Health & Safety.

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