Covid-19 Policy

Posted in Uncategorized at 7:27 AM by Administrator

We thank everyone for allowing us to continue working over this Spring. We are all impacted by the precautions being taken to slow the spread of Covid-19 and we have been diligent with our efforts. The following highlights our Covid-19 policy that has been shared with all of our employees and is something that we strive to maintain these high standards.

As we all know, the U.S. Government and the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that a coronavirus outbreak had been identified and it was spreading across a number of countries, including the United States. Since that announcement on January 31, 2020, the virus has continued to spread and is a risk to all of us. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that the risk to individuals is dependent on exposure. Because of the proximity to infected individuals, workers in certain industries are at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) was enacted to regulate workplace safety and health. OSHA has provided guidance on COVID-19 and in summary it is as follows:

  • Consider whether we will encounter someone infected with Covid-19 in the course of our work.
  • Train employees about virus exposure, hazard recognition and appropriate protocols for preventing or reducing the likelihood of exposure.
  • This virus might impact use of PPE, general duty clause, bloodborne pathogens, exposure to hazardous chemicals used for cleaning and disinfection.
  • Increased record keeping and reporting.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker reaffirmed that landscaping is an Essential Service again on March 31st. Because of this ruling and our ability to help maintain healthy landscapes (which often leads to healthier environments around each home), we are allowed to work and must do so with great diligence. Some of the changes that we have made at Artistic Landscapes LLC include:

  • NOT shaking hands with any client or potential client,
  • Maintain Social Distancing (minimum 6’ between each person) when talking/working with fellow employees as well as members of the public,
  • Use an overabundance of caution as I do not go into anyone’s home when meeting to discuss a project,
  • Our office building is closed to the public and we do not allow anyone inside.
  • Mandate that all employees maintain or exceed the CDC recommended distance at all times,
  • Sanitize all tools, work areas inside the office, trucks and vehicles.

As a result of this guidance from Governor Baker, OSHA & other organizations, Artistic Landscapes has made the following enhancements to our safety protocols and continues to discuss this situation with all employees on a daily basis. Some of the enhancements include:

  • Tony asks clients if anyone has been tested for COVID-19 or is showing any symptoms of the virus prior to us showing up to work at the property (this is one reason that we have deferred the work for one client until after April 14th).
  • No more than 1 employee is allowed in a truck.
  • Work has been distributed amongst us so that we are all working at least six (6) feet apart from each other (weeding beds at a different time than the edging is being done, the spreading of mulch is done after the entire bed has already received mulch piles rather than spreading it while the mulch is being delivered).
  • Each employee has been provided with his/her own ear protection and had that person’s name written on the ear protection.
  • Each employee will not share tools with another employee without disinfecting the tool first.
  • Social distancing has been instituted and this has resulted in us sitting at least six feet apart from each other when having lunch or talking. Also, all meetings are done standing up so that we can space out even more while administrative focused meetings have been delayed until after the virus has subsided.
  • At the end of every day, at a minimum, all door handles within the building and each vehicle is sprayed with disinfectant spray or wiped down. The inside of each vehicle’s cab (the seat areas) are disinfected with a disinfectant spray every day.
  • The bathrooms are being cleaned more frequently as well.
  • We are not working on days that are rainy and cold as a way to potentially help us all stay healthy.
  • Any and all cleaning or sanitizing product that an employee may want is provided, to the best of our ability to obtain those products.
  • Every employee has been told that if he/she becomes aware that they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 then they must immediately communicate that to Tony.
  • Every employee has been told that if he/she is not feeling well that we support and require them to stay home.

The World Health Organization and local governments have provided a list of best practices on what to do so that you do not get or spread this virus. These best practices include:

  • Wash your hands regularly with alcohol based sanitizer or soap and water for at least 20 seconds each time,
  • Maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet between people,
  • If you are to be in a group then keep the number of group members to less than 10,
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth,
  • Practice respiratory hygiene (sneeze into a tissue or your bent elbow) and throw away any used tissues immediately,
  • If you get a fever or have trouble breathing then get medical attention quickly,
  • Stay informed of the latest news regarding this virus.

We have also reminded our employees that they will not loser their job if they decide that they do not feel safe to work during this time as we also shared the following: As a reminder, OSHA prohibits employers from retaliating against workers for raising concerns about safety and health conditions. Consistent with our conversations, if you do not feel safe to work or are concerned about your health then you are allowed not to work during this crisis. You will be eligible to be rehired after the crisis is over.

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