Drost Landscape prepares action plan should landscaping be declared essential in Michigan


While landscaping has been declared as a nonessential service in the state of Michigan, the team at Drost Landscape in Petoskey, Mich., is poised to jump back into work and armed with an action plan should the ban on landscaping services be lifted, according to owner Bob Drost.

“This was something we were blindsided by. We had no idea it would be such a pandemic worldwide,” Drost says. “General Manager Dale Drier, our HR person and our lead project manager, they have put things in place so that when the governor does give us the clear to go back to work, practicing social distancing and all the other things, we are prepared.”

He adds that Michigan Landscape and Nursery Association has been hard at work to persuade the state to bring back landscaping as an essential service.

“I think as a landscape contractor that we have the benefit of working outside and that warrants the opportunity for us to bring staff back,” Drier says.

The company’s written action plan includes items such as:

  • Staff members who have been traveling outside of the state, have been in contact with someone traveling outside of the state or who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Any person who is feeling ill or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 is required to call our attendance line. Under no circumstances are they to report for work.
  • Staff washrooms and common areas will be cleaned often. Team members should spray down highly touched areas when leaving the wash room. Notify office team members if supplies are low in supply or missing.
  • All shared equipment will be sanitized often or after each use.
  • One driver per vehicle — using personal vehicles to travel to job sites is permitted. Those using personal vehicles will be reimbursed for mileage.
  • All breaks and lunch done on work site with separation or in vehicles alone without leaving the job site.
  • Using more pictures by phone to communicate. FaceTime on the job site. Check in with project manager when getting to the job site and when leaving. Share daily progress through photos.
  • Time card review for pay periods will be electronically sent to team members by each manager to their direct reports.
  • Face-to-face communication limits distance to a minimum of 6 feet without physical contact. If a site meeting is required, knock on the door and step back away from the door to greet the client.

Drier adds that the company has added software for video chats and messaging for remote work, as well as a checklist for crew members to make sure all sanitation measures were completed.

“That’s recorded so that if all of a sudden, we get a crew that’s out sick, we can look at our records and ask if they followed procedures,” Drier says.


Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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