The success of a safety program depends to a great extent on the safety policy and work rules. It is essential that you establish a strong safety policy for your nursery or greenhouse. A good policy will make it easier to implement your safety program. A good policy will let employees know that management considers safety a high priority and, therefore, the employees will be more safety conscious.
The written policy should be brief and to the point. It should clearly state management’s attitude toward safety. The written policy should include the following concepts:
- safety of both employees and the public are of the utmost importance;
- safety will take precedence over short cuts;
- every attempt will be made to reduce the likelihood of an accident occurring; and
- the company intends to comply with applicable safety laws and procedures.
In addition to these concepts, the policy should explain that employees are expected to follow the policy and the disciplinary actions which will be taken if an employee does violate the policy.
After the policy has been established, work rules should be developed. A set of general rules should apply to all employees. In addition, a set of rules for each individual job such as potting, spraying, truck driving, etc. should be developed. The general rules should list all types of behavior and actions which will not be tolerated. The job’s specific rules should detail the proper safety procedures an employee should follow in undertaking any work or operating any piece of equipment. It is also a good idea to post these rules at the location of each particular job and on or near each piece of equipment. The more frequently workers are reminded of these rules, the more safety conscious they will become.
Once a safety policy and work rules have been written, management should present a copy of the policy, the general rules, and the specific task rules to each employee. Employees should be instructed to read the documents and given an opportunity to ask questions. It is also advisable to have each employee sign documentation stating that they have received a copy of and read the policy and rules and understand them. This should occur as soon as an employee is hired and before the employee undertakes any work in the nursery or greenhouse. Examples of safety policies and work rules are included in the remainder of this chapter. These are provided to give you an idea of what is needed to develop these two very important elements of a strong safety program. You may duplicate all or any of these for your program.