If you’re looking for a way to augment your current landscape operation’s safety training, the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) recommends enrolling employees in the 10-Hour OSHA Construction Safety Course for the Landscape Industry.
This 10-hour course is designed to cover the safety hazards that landscapers in deal with and the typical equipment used, including zero-turn mowers, woodchippers, and chainsaws.
“The most important thing in our industry is making sure we keep our teams safe,” says Kim McCrossen, associate director of education for NALP. “There are so many things that can go wrong so it’s important to be proactive before the accidents happen. It also shows that your company is invested in keeping your team safe while they are on the job.”
Over the course of two days, an OSHA-authorized and NALP-approved instructor goes over: an introduction to the OSHA standards, fall prevention, struck-by hazards, caught-in and between hazards, electrical hazards, chemicals in the workplace, personal protective equipment, power tools and equipment, health hazards in landscaping, excavation safety, material handling and miscellaneous safety hazards.
“It’s important to build a culture of safety at your workplace,” McCrossen says. “Investing in your people and making them feel safe can help with that. Two days may seem like a long time to keep your team off the job, but the benefits will certainly go a long way for your business and your team.”
There are several different ways you can participate in an OSHA 10-hour course. You can sign up to get notified when new online OSHA courses are available. These virtual courses are very popular and are typically offered between September and March. Starting this year, the 10-hour course is also offered in Spanish. McCrossen notes that the course can only be offered in English or Spanish, not simultaneously, per OSHA regulations.
If you have a minimum of 25 attendees, you can request to host a course at your facility or request to host one in your area.
“NALP is happy to come to your city and state to offer the OSHA-10 course,” McCrossen says. “If filling a class is an issue, we recommend reaching out to some of your neighboring companies to see if they have any interest in partnering together to bring this to the area. You can also reach out to your state associations, and we would be happy to partner with them as well!”
These courses are limited to a maximum of 40 students per class. Field employees, entry-level employees, project managers, owners and supervisors all benefit from attending this course.
After finishing the course, participants will receive the 10-Hour Construction completion course card and a certificate from NALP. This card does not expire, but employees are encouraged to retake the course every three to five years to refresh their knowledge and stay up to date with OSHA safety standards.
“Safety is always something that is not in the front of our minds, but when something goes wrong, things can become very serious, so taking the time needed to spend on safety could be the difference between life and death,” McCrossen says.
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