According to OSHA, Landscaping and Nursery companies are responsible for requiring workers to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) in all operations where there is an exposure to hazardous conditions or where specific regulations indicate the need for using PPE to reduce the hazards to the employees.
There are a number of precautions Landscapers and Nursery operators can take to help protect yourself and your employees while complying with safety regulations.
Wearing PPE is always a best practice and may be a regulatory mandate.
There are several items should be available and used as needed.
- Cut resistant protective gloves
- Safety glasses
- Hearing protection such as ear plug or ear muffs. Workers should use these devices when exposed to:
- Prolonged exposure to loud noise which can result in permanent hearing loss.
- Short-term exposure to loud noise can result in temporary or permanent hearing loss.
- Short-term exposure to very loud noise can result in permanent hearing loss.
- Too much exposure to loud noise can result in stress from constantly straining to listen and be heard.
- Noise can cause you to miss important safety instructions, horns, back up alarms or emergency signals.
- Sturdy work shoes or work boots – non slip
- Hard hats or safety helmets
- Face shields
- Long sleeve, loose fitting shirts and long pants.
- No jewelry that can get tangled in machinery
Inspecting your equipment prior to use.
- Ensure workers know how to properly operate equipment?
- Ensure equipment is properly maintained, operated and inspected.
- Clean and properly store equipment at the end of the day?
Working with toxic chemicals such as weed killer or fertilizer? A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) provides information on hazardous materials and wastes.
- Maintain chemical safety data sheets (SDS) for each chemical.
- Have the SDS’s readily available to workers.
- Train workers how to read SDSs
- Wear eye protection as recommended by the SDS.
- Use respiratory protect as required to protect workers from toxic fumes, vapors and mists.
- Handle and use chemicals as directed by the manufacture.
- Only allow trained workers to use and handle chemicals.
Trimming trees, bushes or cleaning out gutters? Then Ladder/Fall Safety awareness is important
- Provide the correct ladder for the job.
- Train affected workers on ladder safety.
- Place ladder on level ground.
- Secure the ladder so it won’t tip, slide or fall.
- Maintain safe distances from power lines; use non-conductive ladders.
Providing first aid
- Have a complete first-aid kit onsite.
- Encourage employees to learn first aid and CPR.
- Maintain emergency medical plan and keep it current.
- Maintain and post emergency contact phone numbers.
Be aware of hidden dangers in your work environment at all times, and be safe by following OSHA’s standards as well as these additional suggested practices
For more information about this and other safety measures, contact:
Michael E Alexander, CPIA
Haylor, Freyer & Coon Inc.
Phone: 315-703-9143 / Cell: 315-436-2615