Greenhouse Safety — Working in a greenhouse can be a rewarding and fulfilling job – especially for people who love plants and flowers. Greenhouse workers often work with a variety of plants, learning about their properties, needs, and uses. This is the type of job that keeps you active simply through the work – moving, lifting, and caring for plants.
Of course, depending on your workplace, you may work directly with customers. For many people, helping others find the best plants for their needs and preferences is another great part of the job. There can be quite a lot of creativity involved in landscaping and gardening, which can be fun and interesting for some.
For the environmentally conscious, working in a greenhouse or nursery means that you are contributing to a better environment by growing plants that produce oxygen, reduce carbon dioxide, and provide habitats for wildlife. Of course, one of the best advantages of working at a greenhouse or nursery is that you can enjoy the beauty and fragrance of plants and flowers every day.
However, it’s not always flowers and sunshine! Working in a greenhouse also comes with some challenges and risks. As you know, we’re all about safety at A.R.M., so we’d like you to stay safe and healthy while on the job. Working in a greenhouse has a unique set of hazards.
Greenhouse safety guidelines
- Wear closed-toe shoes with slip-resistant soles to avoid falls on wet surfaces. Walk slowly and steadily.
- Prevent injuries and exposure to harmful substances by wearing protective clothing and equipment like gloves, goggles, masks, hats, and boots. Wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when working with greenhouse chemicals. Make sure there is proper ventilation.
Bonus: Wearing PPE can help prevent allergic reactions to plants, as well.
- Follow the instructions and safety guidelines for using pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals. Read product labels and always wear the appropriate protective gear. Review Safety Data sheets and labels before using pesticides or other greenhouse chemicals and make sure you have the proper training to use them.
- Know what plants you are working with and your skin sensitivities, if any.
- Avoid electrical hazards especially when watering plants. Report any issues, damage, or problems with electrical equipment, outlets, or cords immediately, and do not use them.
- Use proper lifting techniques when lifting loads. Enlist the help of another person or use a dolly if the load is too heavy.
- Avoid overexertion and dehydration by taking breaks, drinking water, and stretching your muscles regularly.
- Know the signs and symptoms of heat stress headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and confusion. If you experience any of these, seek medical attention immediately.
- Maintain a clean and organized work area to prevent accidents and injuries. Dispose of waste properly and store tools and equipment safely.
- Keep aisles and walkways clear of clutter.
- Don’t eat or drink anything while in the greenhouse. Instead, take breaks outside to hydrate often, as greenhouse heat can dehydrate your body.
- Wash your hands after leaving the greenhouse.
Greenhouse safety, like safety in other workplaces, requires us to be aware of our surroundings and to learn about the tools we use. From chemical dangers to back injuries from unsafe lifting, there are a lot of opportunities for accidents and injury in a greenhouse job. Stay safe out there!
Visit OSHA to learn even more about safety and hazards in the greenhouse industry.
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