Q. We are a small maintenance company (four employees). Currently, our crews take two gas cans into the field – a 2.5-gallon mix can and a 1-gallon regular gas can. I am looking at purchasing metal safety cans. Should we get the gas cans with a roll cage or, since we are required to strap them down, just get the regular ones? Any light you can shed on regulation and safety would help.
A. When it comes to a secure gas can system for his trucks and utility trailers, if your employees are always aware of the need to strap down both of the gas cans in question, you don’t need to spend the extra money on gas can roll or protective cages.
It is not a matter of training the workers on the strap requirement; it is important that crew members are constantly reminded about this important safety consideration every day they are out on the job and moving from site to site.
You should monitor the gas cans whenever you visit job sites and provide the constant safety reminder to the crew members.
Sam Steel, PLANET Safety Consultant
Q. How can I stay competitive when hiring new employees? I’m having a hard time finding employees – specifically because the oil fields in this area offer jobs at great starting salaries. I am facing competition from startup, one-man operations.
A. The key to successful recruiting is using as many avenues to find the people you need. There is no “best way,” just a lot of different approaches. There are good people out there, but it will take time and creativity to find them.
Your challenge is finding competent people who will be able to deliver commendable service to your customers – a task easier said than done. Here are some basic recruiting tips:
Instead of using “landscaping,” try “general labor” or “driver.” Newspaper ads have their place, but do not rely on them as your only source of new employees. You will be sadly under-staffed if you do.
Never stop recruiting.
It is critical to the success of the process that professionalism and image be addressed 100 percent of the time. Is your office neat and clean, or is it a mess with papers piled all over the desk? If your ad states that your company is a premier place to work and the office looks like a tornado just hit, it will not project a good image for the recruit.
Turnover will occur on a regular basis. Be prepared for this and plan accordingly. If possible, overstaff at the beginning of the year. Never stop looking for new people who may be as good, if not better, as those who you currently have on staff.
Harold A. Enger, Spring-Green Lawn Care Corp.