In the landscaping industry, Insurance is by far one of the largest expenses for a company. Finding a way to cut down the cost will go a long way in helping the company turn a profit. One of the best ways to get insurance premiums lowered is by coming up with a properly documented safety program. It will prove to be beneficial for both your employees and your business.
Below are five elements needed for a successful workplace safety program.
Commitment to safety
In order for a workplace safety program to be successful, there has to be a commitment to safety starting from the top. Everyone from the owner down to the management teams needs to be on board. Workplace safety is not something that just trickles down from the higher ups, you will not see success with the program that way.
To this end, there has to be someone designated within the company that will be in charge of leading the safety training efforts. For a larger company, it may make sense to hire a safety and training director. With a smaller company, it may make more financial sense to go with a crew manager. Once you have come up with who will be overseeing the program, a formal policy statement should be made that way all employees see that the commitment level to safety starts from the top.
Refine your safety training
As you begin putting together your safety program, it is important to look at all the facets of the business. Everything from services offered, climate issues, added equipment to the fleet, properties the crew works on, have to be considered in order to properly refine the training.
As an example, if you expand your lawn care services to include tree cutting, you now have new equipment like chainsaws and other hazards to think about. You have to constantly keep reworking your safety program to make sure it stays up to date as the company grows.
How you respond is key
The landscaping industry is dangerous and with that come the accidents. This is something that cannot be completely avoided but it is how you react that can make all the difference. You also need to determine how do you keep this from happening again.
You want to start by identifying the issue and what caused the accident. Often times the employees want to save on time by cutting corners. Check to make certain that all the right measures were taken. Knowing these potential issues before an accident occurs is key. Only then can you come up with the right training that will help avoid these issues in the future.
Training is essential
As you are getting started putting together your training materials, it is key to begin with looking at the unique characteristics of your company like we mentioned above. The training program you put together should be tailored to the hazards employees face at their specific worksites.
There are also many resources available to help you put together the necessary training materials. OSHA’s website, osha.gov, is a great starting point. Insurance companies are also a good source of information as well as schools that have horticulture programs.
The use of videos is also really popular as a training tool. With smartphones and tablets it makes it simple to deliver content.
Constantly evaluate your program
It is key to circle back with employees after every safety training session. Their feedback is essential to your program’s success. They should be answering questions and letting you know what they thought of the program, if they understood everything and if there are any changes they think need to be made. This critical information will help you better your program and provide retraining if necessary. In addition, if you are not already using a landscaping business management software, you should think about implementing one. It will provide you with the necessary project and internal management functions you need to run your business successfully and your safety program will benefit as well.