In recent weeks, we’ve covered a variety of topics to help your greenhouse maneuver through an uncertain spring. This included impactful ways to keep your business blossoming from a distance through no-contact deliveries and social media strategies.
Now it’s time to consider three onsite projects that will help make your greenhouse safer and more efficient for employees and customers as we begin a summer like no other—and strive to make it a busy and productive season.
Set up handwashing stations
Due to the coronavirus pandemic—and strong recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—handwashing will be on everyone’s mind as they begin visiting your greenhouse again.
Spring and summer are busy seasons for many greenhouses, and as a result, more people may walk at close distances in your facility and touch several surfaces. Take the time now to set up an appropriate number of handwashing stations throughout your premises. To further the cause, post quick tutorials at each station explaining handwashing best practices. A brief note encouraging customers and employees to scrub their hands with soap and water for the length of a “Happy Birthday” song or at least 20 seconds can go a long way.
If placing handwashing stations around your facility is difficult, consider hand-sanitizer dispensers. Not only will these options help provide peace of mind and show care for customer concerns, it will help limit the spread of the virus and germs in general.
Perform preventive maintenance
If your greenhouse doesn’t already have a preventive maintenance (PM) program in place, now’s the time to start one. A good PM program will help reduce unexpected downtime caused by equipment failures and improve workplace safety.
Start by evaluating heating, electrical, and fan systems in the greenhouse. Monitor common issues like mechanical corrosion, worn wires, and signs of dirt. The earlier you detect and fix small but worsening problems, the sooner you can help prevent future safety hazards and larger equipment costs.
If your greenhouse business relies on tractors or forklifts for key operations, perform a routine checkup. Pay close attention to the manufacturers’ recommended maintenance schedules for items that need inspection or replacement.
Finally, assess the structural components of your greenhouse:
- Inspect inner surfaces for dirt and accumulated condensation. These conditions can provide a medium for fungal growth.
- Address any breakdown in cladding if your greenhouse uses ultraviolet radiation inhibitors. This problem can result in too much light exposure.
- Evaluate the exterior of your building and remove any standing water surrounding load-bearing areas such as gutter posts and columns.
- Check for gaps or cracks in glass panes, which can lead to future breaks or pest exposure if your business uses a glasshouse.
Plan safety talks
While scheduling safety meetings won’t generate immediate alterations to your greenhouse’s physical structure, it should lead to better communication and safety habits. Along the way, you may find gaps in your greenhouse’s safety methods, leading to changes in equipment, procedures, and facility.
Start by mapping out a consistent, weekly or monthly schedule for the year. If your team already schedules safety talks, consider forecasting topics you haven’t discussed as a team yet. Consider the following subjects:
- Proper lifting and handling of material
- Slip, trip, and fall safety
- Ladder safety
- Fire prevention and proper fuel handling
- Electrical and extension cord safety
- Heat illness awareness and prevention
- Equipment safety
- Hand tool safety
Not only will routine safety meetings train employees to perform safe greenhouse practices, it’ll keep them thinking about safety throughout the year—a result that can have lasting benefits for your business.
Each of these onsite projects can help set your employees and customers up for a safer, more successful year. If you need tips for completing these projects or want to discuss additional safety topics, contact us, we’re here to help.