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A statewide coalition of public and private sponsors is working to ensure that one of Alabama's fastest growing industries remains safe.

They are offering safety training aimed at landscaping, landscape maintenance and nursery and lawn care service providers throughout the state. Their goal: to provide these professionals with the knowledge they will need to comply with OSHA requirements and to secure a safe and healthy work environments for their employees.

"Professionals who complete these sessions will return to their businesses with a better understanding of how to provide a safety plan that will reduce workplace injuries and that complies with federal safety laws," says Jesse LaPrade, an Alabama Cooperative Extension System specialist in farm management and agricultural enterprise analysis who helped develop the training.

The training will be offered at the following dates and locations:

  • June 10 at the Alabama Green Industry Training Center near Birmingham
  • June 11 at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens
  • June 23 at the John Archer Agriculture Center in Mobile
  • June 26 at Patterson Greenhouse in Auburn

LaPrade says there are three compelling reasons why professionals in these industries should consider enrolling in the training.

"First, by complying with OSHA law, you're preventing fines and reducing business costs," he says. "Second, you will also reduce the risk of on-the-job injury to employees.

"Finally, you also reduce your liability and secure the lowest cost workers compensation insurance."

OSHA law applies to all companies with at least one employee, even if the employee is the owner or a relative.

While most commercial businesses must pay for training aimed at OSHA compliance, this training is offered at little cost.

"Ignorance of the law does not negate your responsibility and could result in even more severe OSHA fines," says LaPrade, who also says that "now is the time to step forward and help yourself with business profitability and to secure reduced liability and a safer work environment for your employees."

The program is sponsored by the Alabama Nursery Professionals Association, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Additional support was provided by James Harwell, executive director of the Alabama Nursery Professionals Association, and Virginia Ames, an OSHA compliance assistance specialist.

For more information, contact Dr. Glenn Fain at (334) 844-8674 or Dr. Jesse LaPrade at (334) 844-5533.

To preregister, contact Dr. Fain or your county Extension office.


Jesse Cobb LaPrade

9/17/2012 11:21 AM
This article is currently out of date. It badly needs to be revised. This training took place in 2006.We do need to do it again but there has been no request by the Alabama Nursery Association.