Workplace safety is more important than ever Email
Tuesday, June 09, 2020 04:00 AM

Hardhat outdoorsThis year, National Safety Month takes on a sense of urgency as people around the globe deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. Workplace safety is more important than ever, and employers have new responsibilities to their employees, their clients, and their communities with regards to safety.

Talk about safety
A key component of a workplace safety program is communication. Weekly or even daily safety talks with your employees can go a long way to reinforcing the importance of following safety protocols on the job.  Resources for landscape companies—talk topics, safety sheets, cards with tips—can be found at OSHA’s website

Communication should not be restricted to site workers. Staff in administrative offices should be following safety protocols related to COVID-19 as well. And relaying your safety plan to your customers supports your customer service efforts.

Address COVID-19 concerns
Both OSHA and CDC have a variety of resources for employers to ensure that their workplaces are keeping staff and clients safe. Safety information is available in multiple languages so that everyone has equal access. 

Related: OSHA has released new guidance regarding use of face coverings, surgical masks, and respirators in the workplace

Don’t forget about mental health
Whether it is due to workplace stressors or outside factors, the mental health of your employees affects workplace safety. In light of the pandemic, many insurance providers have increased access to mental health services to support mental wellbeing. Make sure your staff are aware of the resources available to them.

Understand what you need to report
It’s a good idea to do an annual self-audit of your injury and illness reporting requirements. Having the proper records on file and submitting them properly will help your company in the event of an OSHA inspection.

OSHA offers QuickTakes, an email newsletter that will notify you of new guidance, changes to safety requirements, and other workplace safety news. They also share resources that can make it easier to implement your safety program. 

A robust, well-communicated safety plan can be a tool for employee retention. Employees appreciate knowing that their employer is invested in their health and wellbeing and to providing a safe work environment. Involving them in the development and implementation of a safety program can make them more invested in the program and encourage adherence to safety protocols. 

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
Leo Degenstein received Stan Brown Award
In memoriam: Bill "Smitty" Smith
In memoriam: Bill Whittaker

Quarantine leads Coloradans to look for landscape improvements