SAFETY MANAGEMENT FOR LANDSCAPERS, GROUNDS-CARE BUSINESSES, AND GOLF COURSES. Jesse LaPrade Extension Environmental and Safety Specialist The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University. SAFETY MANAGEMENT FOR LANDSCAPERS, GROUNDS-CARE BUSINESSES, AND GOLF COURSES.
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Extension Environmental and Safety Specialist
The Alabama Cooperative Extension System and Auburn University
Why Study Safety?
To prevent injuries.
To prevent financial losses.
To prevent fines and penalties.
In an Average Week in the United States:
1,400 people are injured with lawn mowers.
600 people are injured with chain saws.
700 people are injured by pruning, edging, and trimming equipment.
6 people are killed because of tractor mishaps.
The first step to operating lawn maintenance equipment safely is: READ AND UNDERSTAND THE EQUIPMENT OPERATOR MANUAL BEFORE USING THE EQUIPMENT.
1. Published by Deere and Company, John Deere Publishing.I. Preventing Injuries
Mishaps are expensive in terms of human suffering and in terms of money spent. Hospital bills are one example, but that may be a fraction of the total costs involved in a mishap.
Workers’ lost wages
These costs may be covered by insurance: workers’ compensation or some other insurance plan.
Downtime of fellow workers after a mishap.
Overtime to makeup for a lost employee.
Reduced employee efficiency and morale.
Time spent filling out reports.
Time spent filling out insurance forms.
Effort and time required to hire and train a replacement worker.
Possible fines if the incident resulted in a safety inspection or infraction of OSHA law.
The indirect costs can total 4 to 10 times as much as the direct costs of injury. Properly maintained equipment and properly training workers is relatively cheap.II. Preventing Financial Losses
The third reason to study safety—IT’S THE LAW! terms of money spent. Hospital bills are one example, but that may be a fraction of the total costs involved in a mishap.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was created in 1970 with the following goal:
“To assure, so far as possible, every working man and woman in the nation, safe and healthy working conditions.”
The act applies to every employer who has one or more employees and who are in a business affecting interstate commerce. For all practical matters, all landscapers, grounds-care businesses, and golf courses are covered under the act.
Employers are expected to provide safe equipment and a safe place to work.
Each employee is expected to comply with safety rules and health standards.
Avoiding mishaps is not common sense. Proper safety procedures are generally not something you can just pick up from co-workers or know automatically by “using your head.” Good safety practices need to be a part of each work-day routine. Each new machine or work situation may pose it’s own safety challenges.III. Preventing Fines and Penalties
Factors that influence personal limitation:
Cold Weather Work
Use warm clothing that is right for the job. Dress appropriately; use layers of clothing to adjust to changing weather needs. Wearing a hat will make your whole body feel warmer. Avoid wearing cotton clothing next to your skin; use synthetic materials like polyester fleece or polypropylene that will keep you dry even if you sweat by wicking perspiration away from your skin.
A high-calorie, high protein diet is required to provide enough energy and help keep you warm in cold weather.
Wear lightweight, light-colored clothing that will reflect sunlight and heat. Cotton breathes better than polyester clothing and is preferred in hot climates.
Drink more water. Frequent water breaks will provide liquid and prevent dehydration. Short resting periods are needed in hot weather outdoor work.
Increase potassium and sodium intake unless a restricted diet limits it. Most fruits and fruit juices are rich in potassium. Crackers are a good source of sodium.
Early warnings of heat stress are headache, reduced perspiration, high pulse rate, and shallow breathing.
If you or your co-workers experience these symptoms, you may need to take a break and get to a cooler place.
To avoid thermal shock:
Get used to warmer weather gradually. Take it easy the first few hot days. Your body adjusts better if not rushed.
Skin cancer is a major concern for outdoor workers. According to the American Cancer Institute more than 800,000 people in the United States are treated for skin cancer each year and close to 10,000 people die from skin cancer annually.
Prevent sunburn and possible skin cancer by using proper clothing and sunscreen and/or limiting your time of sun exposure.