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Safety Watch: Tips to keep employees safe on the road

October 26, 2022 -  By
The team at David J. Frank keeps their seven-year safety streak alive by holding each other accountable. (Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting)

The team at David J. Frank keeps their seven-year safety streak alive by holding each other accountable. (Photo: David J. Frank Landscape Contracting)

The goal for landscape professionals nowadays should be to have safety on the job site become second nature. Representatives from one company say staying safe while on the way to and from the site should be a focus as well.

Donna Landon, chief human resources officer at David J. Frank Landscape Contracting in Germantown, Wis., spoke with LM about the company’s road safety policies and impressive seven-year safety streak.

David J. Frank — No. 97 on the 2022 LM150 list — teaches employees the art of driving defensively (i.e., not expecting other drivers to do what you think they should do). The company ensures everyone in the vehicle knows the location of safety equipment such as fire extinguishers and spare items like fuses.

Training is key to the company’s safety policies, with weekly safety meetings, site visits from the company safety committee, OSHA-10 training and certification programs and safety articles in its weekly newsletter.

Technology also plays a role in the company’s road safety policies, with GPS trackers implemented on each vehicle and piece of heavy equipment.

Donna Landon

Donna Landon

“We can monitor the behavior and have those conversations if needed,” Landon says. “If we see a recurrence of speeding or hard breaking, we can have that conversation and say, ‘Hey, what’s up with this report that we’re getting.’”

The company also has drivers and crew leaders complete what it calls a “circle of safety,” where employees must walk in a circle around the vehicle to check for potential safety issues.

“Every time they’re ready to leave the yard or a job site, they have to walk around the vehicle and check for things on our checklist,” Landon says. “(That includes) making sure all lights are working correctly, their load is secure, the chains are properly hooked up and that the vehicle isn’t overloaded.”

When it comes to safety gear, employees working near busy roads wear high-visibility yellow uniforms. Trucks also carry safety cones to mark off areas where landscapers are standing or working.

Super streak

The company celebrates a seven-year safety streak as it prepares to enter its 64th year of operation. According to the company, it has gone more than 3.4 million hours without a lost-time incident.

“Safety is our top priority, but even we are amazed at the length of this streak,” says CEO and president David R. Frank. “It has become a real source of pride for our team members, and nobody wants the streak to end.”

Landon echoes Frank’s comments about employees taking pride in the streak. But at the end of the day, she says, the streak is just the outcome of day-in and day-out efforts from the company.

“Our employees are so excited that we’ve been able to hang onto it for so long,” Landon says. “They remind each other often when they see others doing something unsafe. It’s nice knowing that they care about each other like that.”

Rob DiFranco

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

1 Comment on "Safety Watch: Tips to keep employees safe on the road"

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  1. I read this post. Your post so nice and very informative! thanks for sharing it!!!