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New OSHA safety class geared to landscaping

By Bill Gardocki, Interstate Landscape

This was a busy winter in the Northeast this past year. Many manufacturers offered an impressive list of seminars, educational opportunities and product showcases. Planning these events is not an easy task in parts of the country where Mother Nature often dictates who is boss.

This was true for the Northeast Hardscape Expo in Providence, RI held in March. Despite snowfall interfering with the first day, there was good attendance for the over 300 booths and 150 vendors.

I was there with my UNH Landscape Construction students and alumni. The students changed out the installation competition areas between rounds and also participated in the competition. Congratulations to Mike Darling Construction from Troy, NY who won the installation competition and will go on to represent the Northeast at Hardscape North America in October.

The “Upstate’s Finest” team from Mike Darling Construction Troy, NY won the Northeast Hardscape Expo installer competition held in March. In addition to scoring fabulous prizes, the team will go on to represent the Northeast at Hardscape North America this October in Louisville, KY. Pictured left to right are winning team members David “Tommy Boy” Hayes, Mike “Boss Man” Darling and Francisco “Flipper” Lozano.

10-hour landscaping safety course
It is no secret that I am a big proponent of education in our industry. Education often equals success and a happy healthy work environment. As contractors, it’s our responsibility to provide a safe workplace and to educate our employees on safe work site practices.

Employee safety has become so important that ICPI includes an entire chapter in their Level 1 Certification Program to safety. The chapter includes implementing a company safety program, conducting a hazard analysis, typical hazards on a hardscape installation project, and personal protection equipment.

New to our industry this year is an OSHA-approved course designed specifically for landscapers and hardscapers by the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP). The 10-hour course covers the general topics outlined in OSHA’s 10-hour Construction Course, so it can be taken in place of the Construction Course.

While NALP developed the landscape-related course, they’ve made the program available to non-NALP members as well. The program is geared for landscape company owners, supervisors, project managers and field employees. OSHA authorized trainers teach the course.

The course covers hazards that we face every day that are unique to the landscape industry including real life case studies.

I spoke to Joannie Benfield of Greenleaf Services, Inc. in Linville, NC who recently attended the class. She said, “Take the time to learn safety and practice safe procedures for it could save your life or someone you work with.”

Bill Gardocki
Great advice as we move in to a new season and face all its challenges. I hope you all have a safe and successful year.

For more information on the OSHA 10-Hour Construction Course for the Landscape Industry contact:

Amy Easterday
Program and Services Coordinator
National Association of Landscape Professionals
12500 Fair Lakes Circle, Suite 200 Fairfax, VA 22033

Bill Gardocki is the owner of Interstate Landscape Co. Inc. in Londonderry, NH, installing hardscapes for over 40 years. Bill has taught over 100 classes as an NCMA and ICPI certified instructor. He also provides hardscape seminars for dealer/contractor education days, and in 2013 became the Landscape Construction instructor at his alma mater, the University of New Hampshire. Contact Bill@InterstateLandscapeNH.com

Some of the 1st graduates of the new OSHA 10-Hour Construction Course For Landscape Industry.