Personal Protective Equipment or PPE was the most frequently cited OSHA standard for the Landscape and Horticultural Group for October 2010 through September 2011 ( 1910.132 General Requirements). As an employer, it is your responsibility to conduct a hazard assessment to determine where protective equipment is needed. The survey must:
1. Be in writing.
2. Identify the dates the assessment was conducted.
3. Identify the areas assessed.
4. Be signed by the person who performed the assessment.
Before employees use their PPE they must be properly trained on how to use and maintain it. Training must include:
1. When PPE is necessary.
2. What PPE is necessary for each task.
3. How to wear and adjust PPE.
4. The limitations of the PPE.
5. The proper care maintenance and useful life of the PPE.
Examples of protection for workers in the green industry include:
Protection from Hearing Loss: If employees are exposed to sound levels in excess of 85 decibels on an 8 hour shift, ear plugs or ear muffs must be available. This will help prevent irreversible hearing loss or impairment.
Protection from Head Injuries: Hard hats must be worn in areas where employees could be struck with falling or flying objects. It will also protect them electrical injuries such as those from contact with conductors. OSHA also requires that workers cover and keep long hair away from moving machine parts such as belts and chains.
Protection from Foot Injuries: Sturdy work boots protect your feet from heavy equipment, cutting blades, slippery surfaces and dropped landscape materials
Protection from Eye and Face Injuries: Impact resistant safety glasses protect your eyes from flying objects, sand, dirt, dust and chemicals.
Protection from Hand Injuries: Sturdy work gloves protect your hands from blisters, splinters, scratches, cuts, and punctures from tools, rough landscaping materials, plants and chemicals.
Protection from Bodily Injury: Long sleeved shirts and long pants protect your arms and legs from scratches, the sun, and bugs. Wear a wide brim hat that covers your ears and protects your nose and neck. Apply insect repellant and sunscreen to exposed areas of skin; you may need to re-apply through the day, so follow package directions
Layers of clothing help you regulate heat and cold exposure as seasons and conditions change. Lightweight, light-colored clothing repels heat while moisture-proof thermal clothing can insulate your body heat during the cold season.
Practical guidelines for complying with the personal protective equipment standard can be found on the OSHA website:
For more information on keeping workers safe, call The Flanders Group at 800-462-6435.