Why Carry Workers’ Comp Insurance? Or, Beware of the Cactus Needle
I am at the doctor’s office as I write
this article. Don’t worry, I am
O.K. But I have been here since
10:00 a.m., and it is now 4:00 p.m.
Let me give you some background as
to why I’m here…
As you know, we are in a drought and
California native gardens are getting
very popular. Native gardens need
very little water, which will save your clients and mine a lot
of money. Here’s the problem: Part of the low-water use
family of plants are succulents and cactus. When handling
cactus, BE VERY CAREFUL. You may think, and rightly
so, that getting poked by a cactus needle hurts, but it may
not end there. If any of the needle gets stuck inside of you,
IT WILL GET INFECTED. It is organic and decomposes.
While decomposing inside of you, it will get infected and
could lead to your losing your finger or hand, if that is
where you got stuck. There are many stories about this and
many of them are true.
If you try to pull out a cactus needle which has penetrated
into your hand or somewhere else and are unsuccessful,
do not hesitate to go to the doctor. This is why you or
your boss pays for Workers’ Comp insurance. Paying for
Workers’ Comp insurance means your employer cares for
you and wants to DO THE RIGHT THING. “What if I can’t
afford to pay for Workers’ Comp insurance?” you ask. A
better question is, “Can I afford to NOT pay for and have
Let’s get back to the doctor’s office. A good friend and
employee got stuck with a cactus needle that broke off deep
in his hand. He tried to dig it out himself. After realizing
how deep it was, he asked me what to do. I said that he
needed to see a doctor. We called our insurance carrier
(Landscape Contractors Insurance Services – LCIS) and
since this was not a bloody emergency, I got their advice
on the best route to take, as we all work together to keep
costs down. They directed me and my friend to a medical
provider in my area. The first doctor did not have the
expertise to go as deeply as needed to get the needle out.
He told me that going in too deeply in the hand could cut
the nerves and lead to possible paralysis of that hand. I am
sure glad we carry Workers’ Comp insurance! We ended up
going to a hand surgeon ten miles away. Thankfully, I was
just told that my friend and employee is going to be fine, due
to the careful and knowledgeable work of an expert surgeon.
Why do some businesses carry Workers’ Comp insurance
and others do not? They may think it’s too expensive.
Company owners who do pay for the insurance may need
to charge their customers a little more, but they can sleep at
night, knowing they are covered if something goes wrong.
I’m happy to be among that group.
To find out more about the benefits of carrying Workers’
Compensation insurance, visit an upcoming ALL-PRO
or CLCA meeting and speak to other Green Industry
professionals to see how Workers’ Comp insurance saved
their business and reputation.
Enviroscape Landscaping Contractor Mike Garcia
phone: (310) 374-1199