There’s a lot to consider when you’re about to hire a landscaping company.
Quality, cost, size, reputation.
But safety should be at the top of your list.
Roger Beale, training and efficiency manager at Greenscape Inc., talks about the five crucial safety questions you should ask — and why they’re so important.
Do You Have The Capacity To Handle Our Site?
“If you want a company to handle your snow removal and you have a huge campus, can they even do it?” Beale says. “Most landscaping companies can’t handle snow removal on that scale, or even clean-up after a storm.
“Greenscape is big enough to handle your big site and still service our other clients, too.”
You don’t want to be the customer who falls through the cracks on an icy day.
Do You Use E-Verify And Do Background Checks?
E-Verify is a web-based system that lets enrolled employers confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States, by electronically matching employee information against Social Security Administration and Department of Homeland Security records.
“We guarantee our employees are legal to be in the U.S.,” Beale says.
Be sure your landscaping company does criminal background checks on employees, too, he says.
“We are walking all over your campus,” Beale says. “It’s good to have a level of comfort about that. We do those checks for you.”
In addition to the safety of your property and the people on it, you have your company’s reputation to consider, Beale says.
“You don’t want to be on the TV news because immigration agents did a raid and arrested 30 people at your place,” he says.
Are Your Crew Members Trained?
“Are the staff working on your site trained on all the landscaping equipment before ever going out to a job site?” Beale says.
They are at Greenscape. Safety training is part of Beale’s job.“We train not only in the classroom, but out in the field,” he says.
Beale trains new employees on all the basics, from how to operate the various pieces of landscaping equipment to what to expect out in the field.
He watches while crews demonstrate their proficiency on the machinery, so he can be sure they know what they’re doing out there.
How does that impact your safety?
“Our crews are trained that if a pedestrian is within 15 feet, they disengage their equipment until that person is far enough away,” Beale says. “You don’t want a stray rock flying at you, or a crew member running into you with dangerous equipment because they weren’t paying attention.”
Will My Site Have A Dedicated Manager?
“You want the experience of a dedicated manager on your site,” Beale says.
Greenscape assigns a client relations manager to your property who will regularly walk your site, checking not just for quality issues, but safety concerns, too.
“They’ll see a tree on the edge of your property and know if dead branches pose a hazard,” Beale says. Hole in the ground that could cause someone to fall? A broken fence surrounding your retention pond? A fire ant nest?
They’ll see it and tell you.
What Certifications And Insurance Do You Have?
“Anyone can buy a truck and a mower and call themselves a landscaper,” Beale says. “Be sure your landscaping company is a licensed landscaping contractor.”
Ask about pesticide and herbicide certification so you know the crews spraying chemicals on your property are properly trained.
“We’re licensed by the state of North Carolina to apply those,” Beale says.
Is the company insured?
“They should have a liability insurance policy of at least a million dollars,” he says.
Any reputable landscaping company should be ready and willing to show you proof of all this, Beale says.
“Some of the larger facilities we service ask us to see these every year,” Beale says.
Why All This Matters
If your landscaping company’s crews are working in unsafe conditions — without proper safety gear, or using equipment improperly — not only does that endanger them and possibly passersby, it looks bad, Beale says.
And that reflects poorly on your company, he says.
“If someone gets hurt on your job site, it can affect your company’s safety rating — even if the workers aren’t employed by you,” Beale says.
Lawyers representing injured workers will go after the landscaping company that employed them, but they’ll pursue legal action against the company where it happened, too, he says.
Greenscape hosts “Safety Day” once a year, a company- wide event where employees walk through various stations learning about everything from fire extinguisher use and equipment safety to landscape hazards and chemical use safety.This year’s theme was “Decide to be Safe.”
Trust Your Safety To Greenscape
Safety is a top concern at Greenscape, from the thorough training we require for our workers to the eagle-eye attention our client relations managers give your property.We’ve been meeting the full-service landscaping needs of commercial customers in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary areas for more than 35 years.We offer landscape management and lawn care, design and build services, irrigation, landscape lighting and more.
Call us at 919-552-7742 or fill out our online form to request a free consultation and learn how we can transform your landscape.