Most accidents and injuries that happen outside commercial buildings are preventable. Whether it’s a car collision or a slip and fall accident, a lot of hazards in your landscape are hiding in plain sight.
As a property manager, it's your responsibility to mitigate risk. Overlooking these five most common hazards in your commercial landscape could put others at risk.
The five most common landscape hazards:
1. Weak and dead branches or trees.
As trees get older and grow larger, they become susceptible to rotting or weak branches from diseases or pest infestations. Weak branches can fall on people, buildings and cars.
Don’t neglect your trees. Regular tree care that includes consistent pruning and inspections ensures healthy trees with proper growth. It also guards against infestations or diseases that can harm and kill your trees. Be sure to hire a certified arborist, as improper work can cause more damage in the long run.
2. Bumps, dips, cracks and buckles in driveways, parking lots and walkways.
While mature trees are assets on commercial properties, their roots can sometimes damage sidewalks, pavement or hardscapes. Most of the time, this shows up as cracks or buckling on the paved surface.
If you notice anything in your hardscapes, it’s best to diagnose the issue before it becomes a headache or someone gets hurt. Again, we recommend getting in touch with a certified arborist.
3. Poor visibility and lighting.
On one hand, dark pathways and parking lots are always a hazard — they can cause slip and fall injuries and potentially car accidents. But on the other hand, adding too much lighting, or lighting in the wrong spots, can add to the hazard with dangerous glares.
Think carefully about where you place lighting on your property. Ground-level and overhead lighting tends to be a good choice, but avoid placing lights at eye-level.
4. Tripping hazards and leaks in your irrigation system.
Sprinkler heads should be in good working order and clearly visible so they don’t pose a tripping hazard. If there are any leaks, even small ones, they can eventually balloon into hazardous flooding.
A regular irrigation system inspection can prevent both tripping or flooding. But the best part? You’ll save money on your water bills too.
5. Drainage issues.
Poor drainage causes erosion and hardscape damage, and will only get worse as time goes on.
And with the snow and ice that comes during the Massachusetts winter, poor drainage can freeze and create an even greater risk for injury or accidents. We recommend unblocking all drainage grates and dealing with poor grading on your property as soon as you can.
Leave it to the experts.
While these hazards are dangerous, they’re also all preventable if left to the experts. If you think something might be a hazard, or become one in the future, reach out and ask us to take a look. Our commercial landscape contracts typically include regular inspections and cleanups, so you don’t have to worry about a thing.
By keeping up with preventative maintenance, you can stop accidents and injuries from happening on your property.