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OSHA Aligns with ALCA on Safety Program

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) are working together to further the safety and health of all workers in the landscape industry. There will be a focus on young and non-English speaking workers and on reducing injuries and illnesses associated with material handling.

“Landscaping is one of seven industries in which we’re focusing considerable resources to drastically reduce those rates. Together, OSHA and ALCA can make a positive difference for the lives of thousands of landscape workers and the businesses that employ them,”said John Henshaw, an OSHA administrator.

“The alliance will help to further our joint objective of improving safety in the landscape industry through enhanced communication about safety issues, development of safety programs, and an ongoing dialogue and commitment to work together,” offered ALCA CEO Debra Holder.

OSHA and ALCA will provide information through various media and participate together in forums and speak or appear at various conferences, such as the Landscape Industry Conference & Green Industry Expo. They will also develop and deliver safety training programs and hire knowledgeable landscaping people fluent in English and Spanish to teach the courses.

A team of OSHA and ALCA representatives will meet at least quarterly to track and share information on activities and results in achieving their common goals.

ALCA represents approximately 2,500 professional exterior and interior landscape maintenance, installation, and design/build contracting firms and suppliers nationwide.

For more information, go to and

Bill Provides Immunity for
Landscape Architects & Contractors

A bill has recently passed the house and senate amending workers compensation liability provisions that provide immunity for design professionals, including the owner, contractor, landscape architects, and designers from claims by an injured worker. HB2998/SB6600 extends this immunity to the owner, developer and other contractors on the site, but the bill also establishes that the immunity does not extend to any person or entity who injures a worker deliberately. It also does not extend to manufacturers and product sellers for product liability actions. The bill retains the provision specifying that the immunity does not apply to the negligent preparation of design plans and specifications by a design professional (defined as landscape architect, architect, professional engineer or land surveyor). It also specifies that the statute of repose (preventing lawsuits after six years) for construction of buildings or improvements to real property applies to registered and licensed persons. Identical companion legislation is now before congress to submit this act to the electorate for a referendum.

Workers’ Comp Costs Soar in CA

A new study from the Massachusetts-based Workers Compensation Research Institute has just been released showing that in California the average cost of workers’ comp claims with more than seven days of lost time is 28 percent higher than the median rate in other states. The rate of growth was driven by a 17 percent growth in average medical costs per claim; a 12.5 percent growth in indemnity benefits per claim (wage replacement payments for lost time injuries) and an 18 percent growth in allocated costs to manage the claims known as benefit delivery expenses. These benefit delivery expenses per claim surged nearly 20 percent as a result of higher medical cost containment expenses per claim, rising expenses of medical-legal exams and higher defense attorney payments. The medical costs per claim were 20 to 52 percent higher as a result of higher use of services not higher prices, and the temporary disability durations were three to eight weeks longer. Other states in the study are Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.

Landscape Contracting Spending by Homeowners up 30 percent

HERNDON, Va. – The Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) has announced the findings of its survey on consumer spending for contracted lawn and landscape services. ALCA reports a 31 percent growth of consumer spending on lawn care, landscaping and tree care services since 2002. In 2003, consumers spent $37.9 billion compared to $28.9 billion in 2002.

The survey, ALCA’s Report on Landscape Industry Growth: Trends and Buying Practices in the Consumer Market, 2004 was conducted by Harris Interactive and has a margin error of plus or minus 2.2 percent.

While the majority of homeowners spent money on lawn services, the greatest growth in expenditures was in the design/build area (pools, gazebos, patios, decks, water features, barbecue pits, outdoor kitchens, and outdoor living rooms).

The ALCA notes the industry has experienced steady growth over the past five years, but calls the growth over the last three years “explosive,” attributed to low interest rates and homeowners recognizing the return on investment for upgrading their properties.

Highlights of the Survey

  1. Landscape contractors are most often hired through referrals.
  2. One in three Americans paid for lawn, landscape or tree services in 2003.
  3. Cost is the major consideration when hiring landscape contactors.
  4. More than one in four plan to purchase professional landscaping service in 2004.
  5. Landscape construction accounted for the largest dollar volume: $13.4 billion spent in 2003.

OSHA Safety Course Available

The Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) has added a two-part, 10-hour OSHA course to its Green Industry Conference (GIC) schedule. The GIC will be November 3-6 in Charlotte, NC.

The first part of the OSHA course will be held Wednesday, November 3; the second part is Thursday, November 4.

This seminar is made possible through sponsorship from CNA Commercial Insurance, a partner in ALCA’s Safety Training Achieves Remarkable Success (STARS) program.

The program is designed to move the entire landscape industry toward safety excellence. Membership in STARS is free to all landscape contractors.

For more information about the Green Industry Conference or the ALCA STARS program, contact ALCA at 800 395-2522.


4.7 million – Number of injuries and illnesses reported among private sector firms in 2002. This represents 5.3 cases per 100 workers.

78 – Percentage of work-related injuries and illnesses in the manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and services sectors of the 4.7 million injuries reported in 2002

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August 19, 2019, 10:29 am PDT

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