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Identify and Eliminate Safety Risks with Job Hazard Analyses

Operating safely on the jobsite protects employees, reduces downtime and decreases the number of costly accidents.

One step to take to become a safer company is to conduct a job hazard analysis (JHA) for specific tasks, outline the potential hazards presented and how to eliminate or mitigate these threats.

Lawn care and landscaping tasks have a number of varying hazards, so it is important to establish safe work procedures for your crews to follow. Below are the basic steps to conducting a JHA.

Examine the Job

Break the activity into its basic steps and list them in their normal sequence. Outline the how of each step and the necessary equipment being used for this task. Talk to your employees to break down these tasks properly.

Identify and Assess Hazards

Once you have the steps listed, look for potential hazards and causes of accidents that could occur at each stage. Determine the risks workers and others that may be harmed by the hazards you have identified.

“For nearly every task we have, we review the steps involved,” says Chris Raimondi, president and CEO of Raimondi Horticultural Group in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey.  “Elevated situations are the most dangerous for our employees, many of whom hang Christmas decorations, and we always look at ‘what if’ situations, i.e., what could go wrong. I’m always checking ladders to make sure they’re safe.”  

Your team members on the front lines are also invaluable resources when it comes to identifying the safety hazards for certain tasks or jobsites. Listen to their input and involve them in decisions.

Develop Safe Work Procedures

The goal is to apply control methods that eliminate the hazard completely, but if this is not possible other methods must be implemented to mitigate the hazard as much as possible.

When controlling risks, look at ways to prevent access to the hazard or operate in a way that is less risky.

For each potential hazard, be specific and brief as to what employees should or should not do to avoid an accident. List the required PPE and the inspections that need to be done to the equipment before starting. The precautions you prescribe should be reasonable and lower employee risks. Make sure you document your JHA and share these with your staff.

Regularly check to make sure the control measures are being implemented and revised your JHAs as needed.

Safety is key to a successful landscape company. NALP’s Safe Company Program can help you build a stronger safety culture. This can help you reduce injuries and hazards, demonstrate your commitment to a safe workplace and lower your costs.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.

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