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BUILDING A SAFER OPERATION


Farmside Landscape & Design displays its safety awards to make employees more aware of safe operations. Miles and Lisa Kuperus (above)


No Injuries or Illnesses, and No Days Away from Work. Another highly coveted award is the Overall Safety Achievement Award. Companies that participate in previous programs are also eligible for Most Improved. Making safety top-of-mind for employees, however, means putting awards for safe operations on display so they know safety is highly valued at the company.


Awards on Display Make Safety Issues Go Away


Raimondi has taken home Gold and Silver Overall Safety Achievement awards. They also have won awards for no vehicle accidents, no injuries or illnesses, and no days away from work. Raimondi, a long time safety award participant, says he enters because of the awareness that it creates within the company. “If employees see that we care—that we’re displaying these awards we’ve won for safety—then I believe they’ll think twice about standing on that top step or about making other mistakes that could lead to an accident,” Raimondi says. “With these awards hanging in our lobby, employees see them all of the time. Just recently I had a team member tell me he wanted to wash the truck because the windows were filthy, and it could impact visibility. I was thrilled to hear him say that—it made me feel that the safety message is getting through.”


Lisa L. Kuperus, vice president of Farmside Landscape & Design in Sussex, New Jersey, agrees that displaying the company’s safety awards has led to “heightened awareness from crews.” “I think it also makes a difference in how we are per-


ceived by clients and prospective clients,” says Kuperus, whose company won a No Vehicle Accidents award this past year. “They see the care that we treat our people with and that safety is important to us. They recognize that we’ll treat their property the same way.” Kuperus says the company also puts out a press release to the local paper when taking home safety awards to let its customers and community know how much it values safety on the job.


Bottom Line Benefits


While there’s no question that valuing safety is an excel- lent way to show both employees and clients that you care, there’s a bottom line benefit as well. Rich Arlington, owner of Arlington Lawncare and Landscape Inc., in Lake City, Pennsylvania, says that safety is a valuable “cost control measure.” “Because of our safety record, we get a break on auto insurance and worker’s compensation and it opens up our insurance market to a more diverse range of insurance


Building a Safer Operation continues on p.28 2 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LANDSCAPE PROFESSIONALS 27


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