A landscaper workers comp injury, or groundskeeper injury, are very common due to the heavy and strenuous physical labor they must do. Landscaping injuries can happen from a single traumatic lifting incident or fall at work, resulting in a herniated disc for example. Or they can come from degenerative disc disease over time in part from the heavy physical labor required by the job duties.
Some of the landscaper or groundskeeper job duties that cause work injuries include mowing, edging, mulching, aerating, weeding, grubbing and removing thatch on lawns, and trimming and edging around flower beds, walks, and walls.
Planting seeds, bulbs, foliage, flowering plants, grass, ground covers, trees, and shrubs demands continuous bending, twisting and turning at the waist which leads to stresses on the lumbar spine.
Laying sod and planting root balls involves not only bending but lifting over 50 lbs. on a constant basis and over 100 lbs. occasionally.
Hauling and spreading topsoil and spreading straw over seeded soil is also physical wear and tear on the mechanical parts of the back, the discs, ligaments and vertebrae.
The neck or cervical spine is also under stress when pruning and trimming trees, shrubs, and hedges, using shears, pruners, or chain saws.
Raking, mulching, and composting leaves affects the shoulders in terms of the rotator cuff.
Trimming and picking flowers, and clean flower beds is stressful on the low back. But the real heavy work is building the forms and mixing and pouring concrete walks and driveways.
The same forces and heavy lifting is involved with installing rock gardens, ponds, decks, drainage systems, irrigation systems, retaining walls, fences, planters, and/or playground equipment.
In the winter in Wisconsin, landscapers and groundskeepers stay employed by shoveling snow from walks, driveways, and parking lots, and spread salt all of which is heavy, repetitive physical work.
Its also important to remember that operating power equipment such as mowers, tractors, twin-axle vehicles, snow blowers, chain-saws, electric clippers, sod cutters, and pruning saws is not easy. Even using hand tools such as shovels, rakes, pruning saws, saws, hedge and brush trimmers, and axes puts wear and tear on the body. Dynamic Strength is the ability to exert muscle force repeatedly or continuously over time. This involves muscular endurance and resistance to muscle fatigue and over time causes degenerative disc disease.
Bottom line, performing landscaping and groundskeeper physical activities requires considerable use of the neck and low back mechanics for climbing, lifting, balancing, walking, stooping, and handling of materials.
McCormick Law Office attorneys in Milwaukee, Wisconsin represent landscaper workers comp injury cases including groundskeepers as well. If medical records and opinions support the claim, we know common sense does as well.