UGA Landscape Safety Training Program Moves Online

Safety pub 1Ellen Bauske, UGA Center for Urban Agriculture

Creating beautiful landscapes is rewarding work, but it can also be dangerous. Finding safety training that is easily accessible and takes into consideration language and literacy barriers can be challenging. New workers are hired during the peak season and safety training overlaps with the daily work load.

The Safety Training Program, housed at the University of Georgia Center for Urban Agriculture, is successful at overcoming many of these challenges. Over the past three years, 1,923 landscape workers have been trained and received a combined 7,867 contact hours of safety training. We greatly appreciate the industry and UAC support that has made this program successful.

Change is inevitable. The safety training moved online and Rolando Orellana, the program safety trainer, moved to a new position as the UGA Cooperative Extension Agent in Cobb County Cooperative Extension. He can be found in the Cobb County Extension office.

The Safety Makes Sense: Landscape Worker Safety Certificate Course is available at no charge online. With this tool, you can train on your time schedule, rainy day or any day. The training video (a compilation of the Safety Makes Sense series) can be viewed online. It can also be downloaded and saved for use when no Internet is available. The course study guide and supervisor’s key provide talking points and a quick review.

Upon successful completion of the evaluation (70% or better), workers are emailed Certificates of Completion. The publication “Safety Checklists for New Landscape Employees” is also available on www.caes.uga.edu/publications. Designed to assure and document safety training for new employees, these well-illustrated checklists are suitable for use with both English and Spanish speakers. They cover general safety precautions, equipment safety, mower safety and basic pesticide safety.

The bilingual safety manual, “Safety for Hispanic Landscape Workers,” is also available at www.caes.uga.edu/publications. Bound copies can be purchased at www.caes.uga.edu/publications/for_sale.cfm.

All center safety training resources and Hispanic worker resources are available on the Center Safety page..

The Landscape Safety Training Program is the result of the efforts of many people and organizations. The program was initiated in 2005 by faculty members of the Georgia’s Hispanic Specialists Group at UGA and housed in the Center for Urban Agriculture. It has benefited from the efforts and support of Cooperative Extension agents throughout the state, the UAC, business owners and UGA faculty from many departments. Much of this work was supported by a series of Susan Harwood Training Grants made available through the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Safety Checklists for New Landscape Employees

Ellen Bauske, Rolando Orellana, and Alfredo Martinez­-Espinoza

Safety pub 1These checklists can be used to introduce new landscape workers to safe work practices. They ensure that job training includes safety instruction. Before new employees start their first assignment, supervisors should discuss the items covered in the following checklists. Safe use of equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) should be demonstrated as the supervisor reviews the checklists. Pictures associated with each item reinforce the safety message for employees.

These checklists are based on the book Safety for Hispanic Landscape Workers which has been approved by OSHA for use in safety training. They are designed to help companies reduce incidents, stay in compliance and create a culture of safety.

UGA Twitter shares sustainable landscape practices

Becky Griffin of the Center for Urban Agriculture is now on twitter.  The new UGA Twitter, UGAExtHOA, shares timely tips of interest to homeowners related to sustainable landscape practices, water conservation and septic system maintenance.  This is part of an Extension project that teaches homeowners through their associations and neighborhood civic groups.

 Visit this site to see past tweets, to Follow future tweets or to establish a Twitter account.

Check out the UGA College of Agriculture & Environmental Sciences Social Media

Social media CAESDo you like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or blogs? If so, the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences may have something of interest for you!

The college has a list of many of its social media sites all in one location! Visit this site to see a list of the College’s many social media or blog sites.

Examples of information you can find include:

  • Your local Extension Office Facebook site
  • Twitter account featuring new and revised college publications (and research articles)
  • Blogs (online articles) for the landscape, pest control, row crop, and greenhouse industries
  • The UGA Trial Gardens or Coastal Botanical Gardens Twitter sites
  • Facebook pages covering invasive species, forage production, the Griffin Research and Education Garden and more …

Check out the college’s list of social media sites today at http://extension.uga.edu/about/social-media/

 

Discount Available for Armitage’s Sun Perennials Online Class


Armitage’s Herbaceous Perennials for the Sun
, a self-paced, self-study online certificate program from the University of Georgia, is authored by Dr. Allan Armitage, one of the world’s leading experts on perennials.

Why you’ll love this course:
FocusedThe course delivers Dr. Armitage’s insights on how to plant, propagate, and care for 20 of his favorite perennials. You’ll learn to identify the various species within the plant’s genus.
EngagingYou’ll benefit from Dr. Armitage’s extensive career in horticulture. In audio clips, the witty lecturer and researcher describes each plant’s origin, characteristics, bloom time, flower structure, and optimum growing conditions.
ConvenientThe course is online, so you can progress at your own pace, on your own schedule.
DefinitiveThe course’s required textbook, written by Armitage, is renowned in the horticultural world. With more than 1,000 pages, the book is packed with extensive plant descriptions and accompanying photographs, so you’ll use it over and over long after you complete the course!

 

Dr. Armitage and UGA have a gift for you this holiday season: $110 off the standard rate for the course! To take advantage of the $139 special rate, register between November 11 and January 24. Tip: At this low price, the course makes a great holiday gift for a friend, relative or “significant other”!

What past students say about this course:

  • “A great course! Very informative and entertaining. I highly recommend it.”
    J. Weed
  • “If in-class stuff is not for you, then take this course. Online is AWESOME!”
    Brandon Siler
  • “A great course for those master gardeners and home gardeners who want a deeper knowledge of perennials. The knowledge, appreciation, and stories I gained from this course made it well worth the time I invested in it.”
    Matt Torrence

Register Now!

 

Click here for detailed information on the course, the course author, and a list of the plants you’ll study.For other professional development courses, visit UGAKeepLearning.com

UGA mobile apps help professionals care for lawns

Sharon Dowdy, News Editor with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences

Four mobile applications designed by University of Georgia specialists are putting lawncare information at your fingertips, literally.

The turfgrass apps created by UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences faculty make turf management in Georgia readily available. Turfgrass Management, Turf Management Calculator, Turfgrass Weeds and Turf Management Quiz can all be downloaded from the UGA Turfgrass Team website at www.GeorgiaTurf.com or straight to a mobile device through iTunes.

A lite version

The most popular UGA turfgrass app is Turf Management Lite. This free app was created with students, homeowners and professionals in mind. It includes photos of turfgrass varieties, pests, weeds and diseases.

Mobile applications, or apps as they are commonly called, can be downloaded onto smart phones like Droids and iPhones as well as portable tablets like iPads.

“Back in 2009, mobile apps were fairly new to smart phones. We saw a great opportunity to put the information where it can be easily accessed by mobile phone, iPods and tablets, instead of publishing a telephone-book-sized publication,” said Patrick McCullough, a UGA turfgrass specialist based on the Griffin campus. The turfgrass apps are his brainchild.

“Rather than have to go to the office and get an Extension publication or go online to view a publication, turfgrass professionals can now access the information they need in the field,” he said.

In-depth subscription version

There are three versions of the first app: Turf Management Lite, Turf Management Subscription and Turfgrass Management – Spanish. The lite and Spanish versions are free, but the subscription version costs $20 per year.

The subscription version includes everything from the lite version, plus information on pest control applications and a pesticide database. “You can search for trade names as well, and it includes PowerPoint presentations from UGA turfgrass faculty,” McCullough said.

The Spanish version is very popular in the turfgrass industry. “We have folks in the industry that speak Spanish as their first language. This app is a nice opportunity for those who are fluent in Spanish or primarily communicate in Spanish at work to have research-based turfgrass advice,” he said.

The Spanish version has been downloaded in more than 40 countries across the globe.

Making calculations easy

In 2011, the Turfgrass Management Calculator app was released. “It’s a comprehensive program that covers all types of applications, pesticide rates, fertilizer requirements, topdressing sand requirements, and calibration of sprayers and spreaders. Users enter known values of equations – like how much area is needed for a pesticide treatment at a certain rate. The app then does the calculation for you,” McCullough said.

College students majoring in turfgrass management use the app to double-check their math when learning these calculations, he said. “Some of these are very complex formulas. You can enter information for two products with different application rates and see which is more cost effective.”

The calculator app costs $5 and includes more than 16,000 pre-programmed calculations. It can also convert units from standard to metric. “It’s really a great tool for turfgrass managers and professionals, but students can learn a lot from it, too,” McCullough said.

Flash cards and quizzes

The Turfgrass Weeds app was released in 2011. It is designed to help users learn turfgrasses and weeds through a series of flash cards. “The cards reshuffle so users can continue to study and learn turfgrass species and weeds,” he said.

Just a few months ago, the UGA Turfgrass Team released its latest turfgrass app – Turfgrass Management Quiz.

“This app is a trivia style education game. You get test questions or photos with four choices to answer. You tap the correct answer, and when you’re done, you get a quiz score,” McCullough said.

The quiz app has two modes – quiz mode and study mode. Quiz mode scores your answers and study mode helps you get the correct answer.

“This app is perfect for students, but it can also be used by any turfgrass professional who wants to brush up on their knowledge. It’s a fun application that challenges you to get the best score, improve on your score and test your knowledge,” he said.

The new turfgrass apps are perfect for those who like to learn on their phones or mobile devices. UGA publications are also available online for computer users and in print form for those who still like the feel of a book in their hands.

“(Mobile apps) are a new technology – a new method to get information in the hands of the end user. We are trying to make it easier for people to get UGA turfgrass recommendations so it just makes sense for us to create these programs,” McCullough said.

To download the UGA turfgrass mobile apps or get more information on the turfgrass research at UGA, see the website www.GeorgiaTurf.com.

Free video helps to provide required OSHA training on the newly revised Safety Data Sheets

 (Editors’ notes – these changes impact pesticide applicators in several ways:

  • SDS sheets should replace the MSDS sheets used in the past. You will want to update your MSDS sheets with these new 16-section format Safety Data Sheets. These sheets need to be available to employees so they can understand the risks associated with using these chemicals at work.
  • Employee training on the new system is required by Dec 1, 2013. The following article includes an online video to help with this requirement. Additional employee training may also be needed.

Pesticides will remain under US EPA regulation.  EPA is not requiring pesticide labels to make any changes. The OSHA regulated SDS and the signal word will not match the EPA pesticide label.  This OSHA training focuses on chemical label elements that are NON-pesticide.)

Original article found on this website

“Exposure to hazardous chemicals is one of the most serious threats facing American workers today,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis. “Revising OSHA’s Hazard Communication standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information, making it safer for workers to do their jobs and easier for employers to stay competitive.” This update to the Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) will provide a common and coherent approach to classifying chemicals and communicating hazard information on labels and safety data sheets. Once implemented, the revised standard will improve the quality and consistency of hazard information in the workplace, making it safer for workers by providing easily understandable information on appropriate handling and safe use of hazardous chemicals.

Hazard Communication Standard

In order to ensure chemical safety in the workplace, information about the identities and hazards of the chemicals must be available and understandable to workers. OSHA’s Hazard Communication Standard (HCS) requires the development and dissemination of such information:

  • Chemical manufacturers and importers are required to evaluate the hazards of the chemicals they produce or import, and prepare labels and safety data sheets to convey the hazard information to their downstream customers;
  • All employers with hazardous chemicals in their workplaces must have labels and safety data sheets for their exposed workers, and train them to handle the chemicals appropriately.

Major changes to the Hazard Communication Standard

  • Hazard classification: Provides specific criteria for classification of health and physical hazards, as well as classification of mixtures.
  • Labels: Chemical manufacturers and importers will be required to provide a label that includes a harmonized signal word, pictogram, and hazard statement for each hazard class and category. Precautionary statements must also be provided.
  • Safety Data Sheets: Will now have a specified 16-section format.
  • Information and training: Employers are required to train workers by December 1, 2013 on the new labels elements and safety data sheets format to facilitate recognition and understanding.

Employee training – This video explains the new GHS labeling system adopted by OSHA when they revised their hazard communication standard in 2012. Employers must provide training on this particular topic to their workers by no later than December 1, 2013. This video is free for employers to use for worker training, compliments of OSHA Training Services Inc.

eLearn Urban Forestry Online Training

Trees in fog - MS Word clipartThe Office of the Southern Regional Extension Forester, the USDA FS Region 8–Urban and Community Forestry Program along with the Southern Group of State Foresters have partnered to design, develop and implement a state-of-the-art online, distance-learning program geared specifically toward beginning urban foresters and those allied professionals working in and around urban and urbanizing landscapes

To access the modules for free, please visit www.elearn.sref.info

To access the modules for International Society of Arboriculture and Society of American Foresters credit, please visit www.cfegroup.org

To access the modules for volunteer credit or a certificate of completion, visit www.campus.extension.org  and look for the eLearn Urban Forestry–Citizen Forester course.

For more specific information, please contact Sarah Ashton, Educational Program Coordinator, Southern Regional Extension Forestry at sashton@sref.info.

Accessible Training for the Landscape & Turf Industries

Online training

The Safety Makes Sense: Landscape Worker Safety Certificate Course is available at no charge on Vimeo (vimeo.com/46623806).  With this tool, you can train on your time schedule, rainy day or any day.  The training video (a compilation of the Safety Makes Sense series) can be viewed online.  It can also be downloaded and saved for use when Internet is not available.  The course study guide and supervisor’s key provide talking points and a quick review.  Upon successful completion of the evaluation (70% or better), workers are emailed Certificates of Completion.

The publication Safety Checklists for New Landscape Employees is designed to assure and document safety training for new employees, these well-illustrated checklists are suitable for use with both English and Spanish speakers.  They cover general safety precautions, equipment safety, mower safety and basic pesticide safety.

The bilingual safety manual, Safety for Hispanic Landscape Workers, is available Online or For purchase

All center safety training resources and Hispanic worker resources are available on the UGA Center for Urban Agriculture web site at Safety Makes Sense.

UGA offers a monthly webinar for the landscape industry. Past classes are also archived for viewing online.

The Urban Ag Council has an excellent collection of Safety Zone training materials. Part of this collection of training materials is the Safety School.

Just In Time Disaster Training videos cover disaster related preparedness, safety, response and recovery training for a wide variety of areas.

eXtension is a web-based collaboration of land-grant universities across the US to make university educational resources more accessible. You can learn more about the initiative here – http://about.extension.org/

eXtension Learn offers online classes covering numerous topics including pest control, landscaping, info technology and other topics. You can register to be reminded of upcoming trainings, access trainings online and view archived trainings at https://learn.extension.org/

eLearn Urban Forestry Online Training – The Office of the Southern Regional Extension Forester, the USDA FS Region 8–Urban and Community Forestry Program along with the Southern Group of State Foresters have partnered to design, develop and implement a state-of-the-art online, distance-learning program geared specifically toward beginning urban foresters and those allied professionals working in and around urban and urbanizing landscapes

To access the modules for free, please visit www.elearn.sref.info

To access the modules for International Society of Arboriculture and Society of American Foresters credit, please visit www.cfegroup.org

To access the modules for volunteer credit or a certificate of completion, visit www.campus.extension.org  and look for the eLearn Urban Forestry–Citizen Forester course.

For more specific information, please contact Sarah Ashton, Educational Program Coordinator, Southern Regional Extension Forestry at sashton@sref.info .

Pesticide Applicator Training

A Commercial Pesticide Applicator’s License is required for a person who applies pesticides to the land of another person for hire, or who manages these type pesticide applications. A firm applying pesticides for hire must also have a Pesticide Contractor’s License. Both of these licenses can be obtained through the Georgia Department of Agriculture.

For more information on training for these licenses

See this site to order study materials or to sign up for exams

The Georgia Competent Applicator of Pesticides Program (GCAAP) is a comprehensive training tool for pesticide technician and handlers. GCAPP offers training for pesticide applicators that do not have a commercial license.

Commercial applicators of mosquito control products need to have pesticide applicator certification in Category 41, Mosquito Control. UGA Entomologist Elmer Gray has recorded an online video to better prepare applicators to take and to pass the Category 41 pesticide exam.

Video Training

The Super Crew Employee Training for Landscape Professionals has several videos that can be purchased for training landscape workers. See the list of titles.

The Super Crew training series is also available in an online option.

Certification

The Georgia Certified Landscape Professional (GCLP) program is a voluntary testing program that certifies those in the landscape profession who have mastered a thorough knowledge and understanding of job skills required to be successful in the industry. The Georgia Certified Plant Professional program (GCPP) certifies plant professionals for the retail and wholesale ornamental plant industries.

The UGA Center for Continuing Education offers several online certifications:

Email Newsletters

Landscape Alerts for the landscape and turf industry are released as needed. See past issues here or subscribe by emailing ebauske@uga.edu.

Pest Control Alerts update the structural pest management industry. See past issues here or subscribe by emailing ebauske@uga.edu.

Pesticide Related Resources

Information about specific pesticides or other info – National Pesticide Information Center – (800) 858-7378

Information about risks of specific pesticides:

Extension Toxicology Network

Especially note the PIPS or Pesticide Information Profiles

Other pesticide information

Contact your Local UGA Extension Office

Locate your local UGA Extension Office

Call your local UGA Extension Office – 800-ASK-UGA1 (800-275-8421) from any non-mobile phone.