March 07

Outdoor Lighting Installation Risks

The light-scaping class of business engages in the design, installation, and maintenance of outdoor lighting systems. In the past, this kind of work was handled by landscaping companies. As time has gone by however, the market has evolved and outdoor lighting projects have become much more complex. This has led to the work being handled by specialists.

Naturally, more complex jobs are going to equate to more exposure for the specialists who handles outdoor lighting projects. The following are the most common risks involved in the light-scaping line of business:

Fall Risks
With jobs becoming much more grandiose and complex, fall risks are becoming more apparent. Many lighting jobs take lighting contractors high up on ladders and onto the roofs of houses/buildings they are working on. This is just one exposure that has increased with the evolution of outdoor lighting.

Faulty Wiring
Running wire outside is an entirely different animal when compared to indoor lighting. Due to the inevitability of damp conditions outside, leaving anything exposed can cause the system to short out. A lighting system shorting out usually means the lights cease to work. However, there is also the chance that the short could start an electrical fire.

Ancillary Damage
In large outdoor lighting projects, wiring is typically run underground while hooking everything up to the power source to keep the installation looking clean. Putting the wiring underground requires a little bit of trenching. Digging out a small trench isn’t inherently too dangerous, but the problem lies with other installations that are already underground. The trench won’t be deep enough to hit major utility lines, but there could be other wires from previous lighting projects, underground piping for a sprinkler system, or drainage pipes from a previous landscaping project. These three aren’t typically put very deep underground, so there is always a risk of damaging them while digging for lighting wire.

The light-scaping business has come a long way, from a job that used to be handled by a subset of landscapers, to a full blown class of its own. It is important to remember that with the expansion and evolution of any class of business, there will be more risk involved.

For more information on outdoor lighting insurance and risk management, visit LightScapePro.

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