Ellen 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.
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.