This session will guide you through a variety of topics that will help you understand how to work safely when performing your grounds maintenance work on busy college campuses. By the time the session is over, you should be able to understand the risks involved with ground maintenance work, how to prepare yourself before starting your work, how to work safely with different types of power equipment and hazardous materials, the importance of wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), and some safe practices in order to prevent serious injuries, illnesses, and accidents.
Why “Grounds Maintenance for Campus Workers” Matters:
Personal safety is important. Hundreds of grounds maintenance workers suffer from injuries every year, and dozens die. Working carefully limits potential hazards to yourself and your coworkers.
Careless maintenance work creates serious hazards to the campus community that you work in and around and affects campus safety.
Working safely around the public decreases your school’s exposure to liabilities for creating hazardous environments.
Being careful with proper planning and procedures increases your productivity and organization.
The school’s reputation is important. Working sloppily, with no regard for personal and public safety, can only serve to injure your school’s reputation, causing potential for decreased enrollment.
Most importantly, you can prevent injuries. With the proper understanding and a plan of action, most every injury caused during your grounds maintenance work CAN BE PREVENTED.
- Be aware of your surroundings. College campuses are busy places. Make sure students, faculty, and other community members are at least 50 feet away when you are working with powered equipment.
- Prepare to work with care and organization. Practice good housekeeping and inspect your work area thoroughly so that needless injuries don’t occur.
- Never handle equipment that you’re not thoroughly trained on and that you don’t have extreme confidence in handling.
- Always select the right equipment for the job, including the appropriate PPE.
- Use and maintain your equipment according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Never take shortcuts to get a job done more quickly. Shortcuts get people hurt.
- Never smoke around gasoline or other flammable substances or chemicals.
- Take plenty of short breaks to give your body time to recover. Drink lots of water.