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UAC MAGAZINE • NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012


BUSINESS


pesticides, and I only want trained people—ever—to mix chemicals or apply pesticides.”


Before anyone comes to work at your firm, have them sign a simple one-page form —you can decide the precise language with your attorney— that states that to their knowledge, they have no medical condition that would interfere in any way or have any impact on their doing the job. Also, that they have no prior medical condi- tion that could be made worse by the carrying out of any work duties, even in the case of accident or injury.


On the mower front, White points out a paradox. While he would expect more accidents and injuries with rookie crewmembers, he has found the opposite to be true. Te longer a crewmember has been on the job, the greater their chance of sloppiness and overconfidence in themselves and their equipment, and the more possibility for accidents.


“It’s those ride-on spreaders and ride-on mowers,” White says with a sigh. “Te guys get so used to them


that they become overconfident, and use them on slopes where they ought to use a walk-behind. Tat’s an invitation to a rollover. In a way, the technology has gotten so good, and the ride-ons are so much faster and easier than the walk- behinds, that the guys get lazy.”


Training never stops One of the real challenges all landscape busi- nesses face is staff turnover.


You put all this effort into safety training, and then when a worker or workers you’ve trained departs on two weeks—or two hours’—notice, you’re in a pressure cooker. Turnover can be an occupational hazard of being the boss, and it’s never as frustrating as when it happens mid- season, when everything is go, go, go and your crews are rolling from sunrise to sunset.


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In these situations and others, an audiovisual booster shot might be useful; you might also want to consider a training video. Tese vid- eos, typically 15 minutes in length, cover all the key areas of landscape services operation, from mower engines and fueling to trucks and trailers. A worker can watch the video at home or at the office, and even be tested on its contents.


When accidents happen Despite all your best precautions, tailgate meet- ings, and training, accidents will happen. When those accidents require medical treatment, it doesn’t mean that the injured person always needs to go to the emergency room. You might save a fair amount of money and time by bring- ing the worker to a nearby urgent care center. You might even be able to cut a deal with a local urgent care facility to serve as your medical headquarters for the season.


Colvin offers one more tip that can make safety more profitable. Before anyone comes to work at your firm, have them sign a simple one-page form —you can decide the precise language with your attorney—that states that to their knowl- edge, they have no medical condition that would interfere in any way or have any impact on their doing the job. Also, that they have no prior medical condition that could be made worse by the carrying out of any work duties, even in the case of accident or injury.


“Here’s why this can be valuable,” Colvin ex- plains. “If a worker gets injured on the job, he or she won’t be able to claim that it aggravated an old shoulder injury, or knee injury, or what-not. Tey can’t make that claim.”


With a one-in-50 likelihood of on-the-job injury or accident, anything that can reduce claims is a good thing. To reduce the number of accidents is even better. When you can do both, safety gets profitable, indeed.


Originally published March 16th, 2012 at www.igin.com. Reprinted with permission fromIrrigation & Green Industry magazine.


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