Spring Training and Safety at Yellowstone Landscape

Posted by Joseph Barnes on Apr 9, 2024 12:58:41 PM

Spring training at Yellowstone Landscape is all about continuing to develop a safety-first mindset for our crew members. This spring marks the return of a favorite event in all our branches - their official Safety Rodeo. This annual safety program review helps to give us peace of mind and we hope that it does the same for all our Yellowstone clients

We’ve had such success with these events in some areas that we have clients with commercial businesses of their own ask for tips on implementing this type of Safety Rodeo for their staff.  They understand that we go beyond the baseline of memos, procedure reminders, and posting a few safety signs. Clients understand that safety-minded landscape teams are critical to avoiding obvious issues like injuries, but they are often a little surprised at two more key benefits.

Why Training and Safety is So Crucial Today

One of those benefits? Making hiring easier for your human resources department. It’s never been tougher to find quality team members—in any industry. However, recruiting becomes less difficult when it’s apparent that your company really cares about their employees. Our Safety Rodeo plays a big role in highlighting this benefit of working for our company.

This event brings together managers, experienced team members, and new hires. The results go beyond ensuring everyone’s up-to-date on all our current safety regulations and accident-prevention strategies, as it’s also a great team-building event. After all, a team that feels connected with one another is more likely to want to return next season and refer new workers to the company.

Want to join the Yellowstone Landscape Team? Apply here.

This gives us a larger and higher-quality pool of candidates to choose from at every level of our organization, which is a bonus for our clients, too. Not only do they have safety-conscious landscape professionals on their properties, but these workers are also more reliable, courteous, and trustworthy. That’s a big plus for HOA directors, retail property owners, and commercial property managers. 

Sure, our main concern is avoiding injuries to people in the areas where we work and protecting our staff performing the work. And while everyone can see how dangerous services like commercial tree trimming can be, they often overlook the dangers of falls, spray applications, digging near buried electric lines, and hearing damage due to noisy equipment. Noise without property ear protection also contributes to stress, another serious health hazard.

Even work apparel is a consideration because loose clothing can lead to tripping, entanglement with equipment, not to mention presenting a more professional appearance when servicing a client’s property. We also cover basic procedures like parking because, according to reports, parking lots see tens of thousands of accidents annually.

Our Safety Rodeo aims to ensure every aspect of safety is covered. So, what does our safety program look like?

man wearing safety vest with megaphone


Yellowstone Landscape Safety Specifics  

All of our Yellowstone Landscape branches participate in our Safety Rodeos. Below are some examples of  landscaping safety checklist items these events cover:

  • Proper equipment operation
  • Defensive and mindful driving
  • Material handling
  • Safe lifting techniques
  • Extreme temperature reminders
  • Chemical safety and compliance
  • First aid training
  • Situational awareness
  • Q&A sessions
  • “What if” scenarios

This comprehensive commercial landscaping safety training has shown tangible results. We have several branches that received perfect scores on safety audits. And one particular Yellowstone Landscape location just surpassed the 1,000-day mark with zero reportable incidents! 

Constant Vigilance

Consistency has also been a key to improving safety for our crews. That’s why we don’t stop at annual safety events. We bring up fresh safety concerns during our weekly Tailgate Talks with crews. 

These sessions are effective reminders that minor mistakes can cause major harm because we’re working with serious equipment, not to mention unpredictable weather. Our green industry veterans are also crucial for mentoring workers who are working on building up the range of experience those older professionals have.

Video is playing a major role in driver safety, too. We’ve installed in-cab cameras in 100% of our vehicles (to our knowledge, the first large-scale company in our industry to do so). Studies show these cameras cut down on accidents (up to a 25% reduction) but also play a role in mindful driving, which creates courteous drivers.

We studied many options for in-cab cameras before implementing our system to ensure:

  1. All data is encrypted for maximum security and privacy
  2. Our drivers understand the benefits and are comfortable with the technology

Results, Recognition, and Improvement 

There’s little doubt that property managers have a lot on their plates these days. So, anything that reduces your worry and workload goes a long way toward being able to focus on your main responsibilities. Constant worry about potential accidents, injuries, or property damage only makes your job more challenging.

This is the second key benefit we mentioned. Yellowstone Landscape’s safety program takes that stress off property managers' shoulders because we focus on protecting everyone and everything connected to our landscaping projects. That includes our clients’ brand reputations by avoiding accidents on their properties. This also helps uphold our goal to be recognized as a green industry leader. 

As you can see from the quotes below, Yellowstone team members have witnessed the impact our landscaping safety programs have made and are making.

“It’s Yellowstone’s mission to keep everyone safe, we provide all the necessary safety equipment (PPE), we teach and coach on a daily basis, we make sure all our workers understand the importance of working safe therefore they all must follow the safety guidelines, plus be aware of hazards. Our Safety Rodeo is another way to reinforce all safety procedures; we make it important, interesting, interactive and fun!”Melissa Cabanillas, Office Manager - Jacksonville, FL

Interactive safety training is a vital point. Research shows it’s an effective way to keep people engaged and can also enhance retention. Distractions are worse than ever, as you know, simply by opening your web browser for five seconds. Keep that in mind if you’re expanding your company’s safety program or updating certain aspects of it - interactivity is a huge plus.

Contact us if we can answer questions that help you enhance your safety program.

“Regularly scheduled Safety Rodeos are a key part of our training programs. As we start each landscape season we bring internal experts and outside vendors to show our teams the proper way to use all the equipment they’ll use on our clients’ properties. For most, it’s a great refresher, but for our new hires, it shows that our company cares about their wellbeing and wants them to be safe.” – Brian Martin, Vice President – Safety and Training

Outside vendors provide a unique perspective, and this helps companies avoid blind spots. It can be pretty easy to get comfortable - too comfortable if you’ve been operating a zero-turn mower or chainsaw for five or ten years. Our vendors are great at revealing critical details because they watch our landscaping equipment being built, tested, and repaired. It also gives us a chance to provide feedback to the manufacturers that will help their next models to be even easier to use and safer for the operators.


More Tips for Enhancing Your Company’s Safety Training

Create all training materials (including videos) in English and Spanish. You can go even further by using varying teaching techniques instead of written procedures only. For example, visual aids like this are great for simplifying concepts and making them memorable. Also, an internal company podcast can be a great way to keep safety memos top-of-mind for your employees (mix in fun or interesting information to keep them listening).

Safety Doesn’t Just Happen

A safety-first culture is a work in progress. It has to be built, improved, and sometimes rebuilt.

This takes serious commitment and effort, yet the effort is an absolute must. As the visual aid link above shows, everyone wants to go home 100% healthy to our families after we clock out from work. Yellowstone Landscape puts as much effort into making that happen as we do into designing amazing landscapes.

Contact us today to work with landscaping professionals who will protect your people, property, and brand—while beautifying your landscape.



Meet with Us

Are you ready to discuss your property's specific challenges?

Request Quote
Joseph Barnes

About The Author

Joseph Barnes

Joseph Barnes has served as Marketing Manager of Yellowstone Landscape since 2013. He writes on a variety of topics related to the commercial landscaping industry.