CFAES Lawn and Landscape Safety

Lawn and landscape work encompasses a wide range of activities and equipment use. Workers are at risk of injury from a wide variety of potential hazards, including exposure to chemicals, noise, machinery hazards, lifting, construction hazards, and weather related hazards. This page helps identify work related activities, equipment use, as well as potential hazards and possible solutions within lawn and landscape services.

Work related activities could include: soil preparation and grading, irrigation systems, tree, shrub and lawn planting, hardscape construction (retaining walls, pathways and patios), lawn care and landscape maintenance, arborist services including tree trimming and line clearance.

Equipment used in lawn and landscape services include: utility type vehicles (UTV), riding mower or zero turn mower, push mowers, string trimmers, leaf blowers, power auger, power tiller, chain saw, sprayers, compact tractors and implements, compact excavators, skid steer loaders, power hand tools

CFAES Safety Training Program

Facility managers, or supervisors of areas where lawn and landscape service activities are conducted need to ensure that employees are provided safety training. Any employee or student who participates in lawn or landscape activities as a part of employment or as a course requirement is subject to safety training related to the above information. Supervisors must also go over the features, controls and safe operation that is specific to the equipment being used, prior to the employee operating it for the first time.

Training Resources
Employee safety training is an essential part of the CFAES Safety Program for protecting workers from injuries and illnesses. The training resources below can be utilized to provide specific training to those employees working with lawn and landscape tasks.

Safety Makes Sense Online Training, presented by the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture, is designed to help your landscape crews become safer and more efficient in the workplace. The series is comprised of five short videos, offered in both Spanish and English.

Safety Videos in English

 

Vídeos de seguridad en español

This material was produced under grant number SH-19493-09-60-F-13 from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. Univeristy of Georgia - Center of Urban Agriculture has provided permission for these materials to be used for training purposes.

In addition to the video series, supervisors must also go over Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), safety practices, and the features / controls and safe operation specific to the equipment being used at that site location. Supervisors should use the Safety Checklist for New Landscape Employees to document site specfic training.

Additional training can also include:
Equipment and Machine Hazards
Utility Type Vehicle Operator Safety
Tractor Operator Safety
Skid Steer Loader Safety
Worker Protection Pesticide Safety

If you have any questions, please contact Kent McGuire (CFAES Safety and Health Coordinator) at mcguire.225@osu.edu or (614) 292-0588. You may also contact the OSU Environmental Health and Safety Office online at http://ehs.osu.edu/ or by phone at (614) 292-1284.

Reviewed / Updated: 2/15/21 K. McGuire