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Leveling up Your Safety Awards

Showing clients that you are a safe company is now more important than ever. The Safety Recognition Awards are a way to benchmark your safety performance and improve your safety practices, and they can also provide recognition for your employees for a job well done.

In order to enter for the Safety Recognition Awards, you must answer questions and submit data about your safety record on the application form; complete the OSHA Form 300 A “Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses” form; provide a Vehicle Loss Run Report/Vehicle Claims Summary Report; and pay the entry fee.

If your company has won an award in the past and is looking to go from a bronze award to a silver award or to go from a silver company to a gold one, here are some tips on how to reach that next tier of safety.

Gold Level

The judging criteria in order to receive a gold level award are to have 10 checklist points check off on the entry form and be 97 to 100 percent safe. The safety percentage is calculated by the combined fleet and employee incident rates. Incident rates are subtracted from 100 to reach the correct percentage.

“It is a misperception that you need a perfect year to receive Gold Level status,” says Cheryl Claborn, director of education for NALP. “A larger company, for example, could have accidents and days away from work but still get an overall percentage high enough to reach that level.”

The checklist includes these 10 points:

  • Our company is a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals Safe Company Program.
  • Our top management has a strong commitment to safety. We have an in-depth Company Safety Policy, which is updated on a regular basis and is communicated to all employees in a language and manner they understand.
  • Our company has a formal written and hands-on fleet safety-training program that must be completed successfully. The Fleet Safety Officer must approve the driver before the individual is allowed to drive.
  • Our company complies with applicable OSHA and other safety-related regulations, including, but not limited to, OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard and OSHA’s posting, record keeping, and reporting rules.
  • Our management provides the resources necessary for a safe workplace, including, but not limited to, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and enabling employees time to be spent on safety meetings and safety training.
  • Our company has a formal written reporting system in place for all work-related injuries, illnesses, and near-miss accidents. This reporting system includes prompt investigation and follow-up by management.
  • Our company has a workplace policy that authorizes drug/alcohol testing in accordance with the law.
  • Our company has a written return-to-work or modified-duty program, with job descriptions of potential modified-duty work.
  • Our company posts the number of consecutive days without a lost-time injury or illness for all employees to track our progress.
  • Our company conducts regular tailgate safety training with our crews. Sessions are conducted orally in a language the workers understand and attendance logs are kept of all tailgate sessions and safety meetings.

Silver Level

The silver level award is presented to companies that have nine or 10 checklist points check and are 90 to 97 percent safe or for businesses that have nine checklist points and are 90 to 100 percent safe.

Bronze Level

The bronze level is awarded to companies that have nine or 10 checklist points and are 80 to 89 percent safe.

Best of the Best

The “Best of the Best” award is presented to companies who have maintained their Overall Safety Achievement Award – Gold Level for three straight years.

Aside from completing the checklist points, the best way to improve your company’s safety percentage is to work on implementing a culture of safety. This achieved by leading by example with the top management walking the talk and encouraging employees to come forward about near misses and learning from mistakes.

“It’s also important to allow employees the time to perform hazard assessments and safety walks before starting any job,” says Angie Carignan human resources manager for Belknap Landscape Co. in Gilford, New Hampshire. “Although we understand the concerns around budget and man-hours, fitting in the time for those evaluations — areas where there could be safety concerns — can really save money on the other side. The bottom line is that safety always has to be front and center.”

For those interested in entering, the NALP Safety Recognition Awards are open through June 15, 2020.

Jill Odom

Jill Odom

Jill Odom is the content manager for NALP.

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