Health and Safety in Small Business: Landscaping (5 of 5)

Hey buddy, no ear buds. It’s just another distraction, alright? You’ll hear even less. Ok. Thanks man. I’m constantly telling my employees to be safe. What more can I do? There is no common sense these days. Working safely takes more than just relying on common sense and telling your employees to be safe. You need to show them and then supervise them. Begin by giving new employees an orientation before they start work. Alright John, now I know you’ve worked with me before on a couple sites, but I just want to remind you how I run my business, you know that. First aid, first off, kept in the glove box, passenger side. This means going over general information, such as their duties, who they should go to for questions, their rights and responsibilities, and where to go for first aid. And just remember, it’s, you know, about working safe. Ok, no problem. Train your employees for each specific task they will be doing. Alright, today I’m going to train you on a backpack blower. I need you to be careful, wear your safety eye protection, and this baby’s a little loud, so you got these – wear ‘em, let’s protect your hearing. Now let’s fill ‘er up together. First, show them how to perform the task, and then have them demonstrate it to you. Put the cap back on and let’s get started. Supervision means regularly walking by and checking on your employees to make sure they are doing their work properly, efficiently, and safely. Whoa! I want to see you using both straps, ok? I don’t want you hurting your back. Let me get you started. Check on them frequently in the beginning, especially new workers, and then less often as you gain confidence in their work habits. If you see your employees doing something wrong, correct them. Saying nothing means you condone it. Hey Andy, I forgot to mention it during the safety orientation, but we always need to be careful of overhead hazards. Earlier I saw you cleaning up under the tree while John was pruning it. Clean up under another tree, and then when he moves to another tree you can go clean up where he just was, alright? Ok. You’re doing a good job. Thanks. And don’t rely on common sense, because common sense means different things to different people. Take the time to orient and train your employees on how to work safely, and then supervise them throughout, and you will have a safer and more productive workplace. For more information, visit

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