Protect yourself and your employees while on the job Email
Colorado Green NOW
Tuesday, February 21, 2017 05:00 AM


Man wearing safety gearYou may know that Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires you to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) to employees when the job may be dangerous, but do you know why? You’ve been following the law all these years because it’s the law…but it’s more than that. There’s a reason PPE is required to protect you and your fellow employees from injuries and illnesses, including chemicals and physical hazards.

Tasks that landscape professionals face daily can include chemicals, machinery or large products that may be harmful. Things you come across on the job can cause injury, illness or worse. A tree limb could fall and hit you over the head. The pesticide you’re spraying could irritate your skin. There could be an accident with the lawn mower—and someone could get seriously hurt. OSHA’s policies are in place to protect you from these incidents. Practice these tips and try out these products to help you stay safe.

Protect your skin. As you get ready to spray chemicals, don’t forget to grab the supplies you need to protect your skin. Make sure you read the chemical label! These labels tell you the precautions you should take. Gloves, coveralls/overalls and boots can help protect you against the reactions chemicals may cause.

Protect your eyes. Your eyes are sensitive and need protection from flying dirt, grass clippings, and chemicals in pesticides and fertilizers. Safety glasses can help you get the protection needed to keep your eyes on the job.

Protect your ears. Select hearing protection appropriate for the environment you’ll be working in. Several different types of ear protection are available, but earplugs are a quick and easy option to have on hand for when noise levels rise. Be sure to have enough protection for all employees on site.

Protect your lungs. Breathing comes so natural that most people don’t even think about it during an average day. But we need to protect ourselves from harmful fumes in sprays to keep breathing easily. Respirators and face masks are quick and easy to slip on when you’re suiting up to spray that next yard.

Protect your body. Injuries may occur and work time may be lost if employees aren’t careful or properly protected. Hard hats can protect heads from falling tree branches. Kneepads can help and protect joints when installing a new paver project.

“How do I know when PPE is needed?” Great question! OSHA usually requires employers to provide the proper equipment to employees when it’s needed to protect them from on-the-job hazards. Check the OSHA website to learn exactly what is expected of you as the employer (and of employees when they’re working). 

Jennifer Klemmetson is public relations specialist at Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply, Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, visit ewingirrigation.com.

Read more in this issue of Colorado Green NOW:
ProGreen EXPO enjoys another successful year
Consumers show strong interest in native plant use

Study findings defend landscape water use

What does the green industry contribute to the Colorado economy?

 
Strategic sponsors Signature sponsors Classic sponsors