An HOA community is bustling with activity: people strolling, kids playing, dogs frolicking, somebody complaining about something. (You know who you are.)
Streets and sidewalks are lined with everything from parked cars to skateboarders to kids’ sticky lemonade stands. (Neighborhood tip: make a kid happy and buy a cup.)
That means HOA landscapers have to take extra precautions as they mow, trim, and edge.
“This is somebody’s home — it’s where they live,” says Brad Butler, manager of corporate safety at Level Green Landscaping.
HOA landscapers should be following these safety considerations to keep everybody at your Northern Virginia HOA safe:
HOA Safety Tips: Inspecting the Property
Before they pick up a shovel or fire up a trimmer, crews should inspect your HOA property, looking for any rocks, pipes, wire on the ground, or anything that could interfere with their work or pose a hazard.
They should check for any irrigation heads or pipes and mark them with a flag so the mowers don’t hit them.
Crews should also place safety cones around their parked trucks as a reminder to thoroughly check the area before driving away.
The Stuff of Safety: Cones, Triangles, Earplugs and More
HOA safety issues involve a lot of small details with big importance.
Level Green owns hundreds of bright yellow safety cones and orange safety triangle markers, to use on job sites to section off areas and for visibility when vehicles are parked along the road.
Each vehicle has first aid kits and fire extinguishers on board.
Personal protection equipment for each crew member includes earplugs, safety glasses and dust masks. Bright, high-visibility “safety yellow” vests and company shirts add to visibility and safety.
Protecting People and Property at Your Northern Virginia HOA
HOA landscapers’ dedication to safety should extend beyond their employees to your northern Virginia HOA property — and the people on it.
Crews should go beyond mowing, trimming, and pruning to really pay attention to HOA safety issues, looking for potential dangers.
- Is there a tree stump that may cause someone to trip? Cracked, uneven concrete that needs repair?
- HOA playgrounds need extra attention to keep children safe. Our crews are always on the lookout for poison ivy, nests of ground bees, tripping hazards at the edges of playscapes. HOA safety considerations include proper mulch for play areas, too. Regular bark mulch gets so compacted, a fall onto it is like falling on concrete. Most mulch manufacturers make special kid-safe mulches with softer edges and that resist compacting. Rubber mulch is another alternative.
- Let branches grow too low, and a resident walking and talking on their phone could walk right into them. Keep them trimmed up and out of the way.
- HOA landscapers should be sure the edging between lawn and beds is clear and defined. That helps prevent pedestrians from tripping.
- Sometimes sprinkler heads get stuck, protruding a couple inches above the ground instead of staying safely tucked below ground level. Level Green crew leaders regularly walk HOA properties to check for wayward sprinkler heads that could cause people to trip.
- HOA landscapers should stop power equipment when pedestrians pass, to keep them safe.
Level Green crews take photos of any problem areas so we can report them to property managers right away.
That extra time we take could make a big difference in the safety of your property — a great assurance for your HOA safety committee.
Behind the Scenes: Spending Time on Safety, Every Day
Much of planning for safety at your Northern Virginia HOA happens before HOA landscapers even show up at your community.
HOA landscapers should invest substantial pre-planning before every job to make sure it’s planned with safety in mind.
Managers should meet regularly to review any safety-related incidents, from a broken window to a physical injury, and come up with a plan to prevent it from happening again.
Butler keeps a detailed spreadsheet that records every safety-related incident.
“Accidents do happen,” Butler says. “When you’re working at an HOA and siding gets damaged, the worst thing you can do is do it again. You have to make it right immediately and not do it again.”
Level Green uses “stop and train” protocol. If a crew member makes a mistake, the account manager visits the site with training tips to explain how to prevent the same mistake from happening again.
“The HOA knows we’re doing something about it,” Butler says.
Everybody on the team gets a record of the “stop and train” incident, Butler says, to ensure accountability.
Level Green’s comprehensive safety program also includes equipment and safety training and weekly meetings for crews that cover timely safety topics.
Trust Your Northern Virginia HOA Safety Issues to Level Green
Lots of precious people and property make up the community at your Northern Virginia HOA. (Yes, even that complainer.)
Make sure safety is a top priority for your HOA landscapers. It means keeping your community’s landscape not just beautiful, healthy and appealing, but safe for your residents and visitors — and in compliance with your HOA safety committee guidelines.
If you’re not already a Level Green Landscaping client, we’d love to add you to our growing list of happy customers.
Level Green Landscaping services commercial properties like office buildings, homeowner associations (HOAs), mixed use, condominiums, retail, institutions and government entities in Maryland, Washington DC and parts of Virginia.
Contact us today at 202-544-0968 or by filling out our form online.
We’d love to hear from you.