As an entrepreneur, it is important to be aware of landscape safety topics and how to keep your landscapers safe while on the job. Although many potential hazards are common to most professions, there are specific dangers that come with landscape work. It is crucial that business owners take the time to understand these dangers and provide proper safety training for their employees. In addition, by following a few simple tips, you can help protect your landscape professionals during every job.
Let’s dive in.
Landscape Safety Topics According to OSHA
There are a variety of landscape safety topics that business owners and employees should be aware of, as outlined by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These include:
- Electrical hazards
- Excavation and trenching hazards
- Hazardous materials
- Ladder hazards
- Machinery and equipment hazards
- Slip, trip and fall hazards
- Weather-related hazards
For example, landscape professionals may be exposed to electrical hazards when working with groundskeeping equipment that has exposed parts. They may also face excavation and trenching hazards when digging trenches for planting or installing irrigation systems. It is important for landscape business owners to have a thorough understanding of all potential landscape safety hazards in order to provide proper training for their employees.
Common Landscaping Potential Hazards
There are many potential hazards that landscape professionals may face while on the job. Some of the most common include:
- Electrical hazards from power lines, equipment and extension cords
- Excavation and trenching hazards from working in deep trenches or around buried utilities
- Hazardous materials from handling pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals
- Ladder hazards from climbing or working on unstable ladders
- Machinery and equipment hazards from operating lawn mowers, trimmers and other landscape equipment
- Slip, trip and fall hazards from wet or icy surfaces, holes in the ground and other trip hazards
- Weather-related hazards from extreme heat, cold, wind, rain and snow
Landscape business owners should take the time to identify all potential hazards that their employees may face on the job. By doing so, they can develop comprehensive safety protocols and provide targeted training.
Safety Training for Landscape Professionals
Landscape business owners must provide safety training for their employees on an ongoing basis. This training should cover all potential landscape hazards, as well as safe work practices and procedures. In addition, landscape professionals should be certified in first aid and CPR.
There are a variety of resources available to help landscape business owners with safety training, including online courses, webinars, and in-person seminars. Landscape business owners can also find helpful resources through landscape trade associations, such as the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) and the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP).
Examples of safety training for landscape professionals are:
- Landscape hazard awareness
- Landscape safety protocols
- Landscape first aid and CPR certification
You can hold safety training onsite at your office or landscape business, or take advantage of online courses, webinars and in-person seminars.
Tips for Keeping Landscape Professionals Safe on Job Sites
There are a few simple tips that landscape business owners can follow to help keep their employees safe on job sites. These include:
- Inspect job sites before work begins to identify potential hazards.
- Provide employees with the proper safety gear, such as gloves, protective clothing, eye and ear protection.
- Establish clear communication procedures to ensure that employees are aware of hazards and know what to do in an emergency.
- Supervise employees during work hours to ensure that they are following safety protocols.
- Conduct regular safety meetings and training sessions.
By taking these simple steps, landscape business owners can help create a safe work environment for their employees.
Landscaping Safety Checklist
To help landscape business owners ensure that their employees are working safely, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a number of resources.
You can review the landscape and horticultural safety standards online at: Landscape and Horticultural Services – Additional Resources | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (osha.gov)
They have also developed a landscape safety checklist here. This checklist can be used to assess job sites and identify potential hazards. It also includes suggestions for corrective action.
By following the tips and guidelines in this article, landscape business owners can help create a safe work environment for their employees. By taking the time to address landscape safety concerns, they can prevent accidents and injuries from occurring on the job.