Train for safety

Marcos Mejia of Clarence Davids & Co. wears his personal protective equipment. (Photo: Alan Watkins)
Marcos Mejia of Clarence Davids & Co. wears his personal protective equipment. (Photo: Alan Watkins)

Creating a culture of safety starts with communication and training. Todd Meyer, vice president of operations at Clarence Davids & Co., headquartered in Matteson, Ill., says there are many facets to safety.

“Our focus is always on the safety of our employees, our clients and the general public,” he says. “That’s first and foremost.”

With about 200 employees, Meyer says the goal is for everyone to come back home safely at the end of the day.

“We strive to minimize injuries and accidents,” he says. “Equipment can be replaced, but the safety of the people is always at the forefront of what we’re trying to do.”

The nearly $21 million company hosts two big safety training meetings every spring. To kick off the season, foremen from all three locations meet to review responsibilities and policy updates.

“The meeting gets them refreshed and refocused on the importance of safety,” Meyer says.
The second spring safety meeting includes all crew members.

“During the training, we remind them of the safety expectations going into a new season,” he says. “We review challenges and dangers to watch out for as we start up in the spring.”

Besides the spring safety kick off, Meyer says Clarence Davids hosts tailgate safety meetings on an as-needed basis. Those tailgate meetings coincide with services provided at that time of year.

For example, when trimming shrubs, crews will review how to use gas-powered hedge shears. And during leaf cleanup time, crews learn how to lift heavy material.

According to Meyer, the seasoned crew members and foremen understand safety expectations.
“We don’t have a lot of turnover at our company, which is an advantage when it comes to safety,” he says.

Danielle Pesta

Danielle Pesta

Danielle Pesta is the senior digital media manager at Landscape Management's parent company, North Coast Media. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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