Managing a safe and healthy workplace for your florist business should be front of mind during peak season trading, as well as slower times of the year. Keeping up to date with things like workplace risks and safety is not only something you should like to do but it is also required by Australian law. Floristry is certainly not a risky business, but if things go wrong, it puts your reputation and livelihood at stake.
To get you started, we have prepared a list of some key safety points that you should run through and see how they apply to your business. Remember, your business constantly changes as do many rules and laws, so you need to review these policies at least once a year.
The workplace basics
The key safety basics for a florist workplace:
- Drinking water.
- A First Aid Kit.
- Storage for personal belongings.
- A meal or break time area.
- Adequate clean toilets and washing areas.
- Hand sanitiser and water in your delivery vehicles.
Keeping your workplace healthy
The main environmental features needed for a healthy workplace:
- Adequate ventilation and fresh air.
- Comfortable room temperatures that can be adjusted to suit the climate.
- Windows and natural light.
- Good lighting around work areas.
- Clean and rubbish free environments.
- As much space that is required for each job.
- Services are maintained e.g., toilets are cleaned on a regular basis.
Keeping your staff safe
The basic practices of how to keep your staff out of harm’s way in a florist shop:
- Make sure your First Aid Kit is kept up to date.
- Get a responsible employee trained as a First Aid Officer.
- Let all your employees know who is responsible for First Aid and where the supplies are kept.
- Discuss what you should do in an emergency e.g., emergency evacuation plans.
Help prevent skin issues:
- Wear gloves.
- Wash hands regularly.
- Dry hands well with cotton or paper towels.
- Use suitable moisturisers before and after your day.
- Check regularly for early signs of dermatitis, dry, or chapped skin.
- List botanical plant matter that may make anyone, including customers, allergic.
Help prevent aches and strains:
- Wear enclosed and comfortable shoes.
- Make sure your workbench is at a comfortable height.
- Use shock-absorbing rubber mats to stand on.
- Have a high stool seating available.
Help avoid slips and falls:
- Keep your work area free of trip hazards like plant materials, extension cords, and rubbish.
- Clean up spillage quickly and have easy access to cleaning aids, such as mops and buckets.
Other tips to consider
Basic training tips and knowledge that all workers should have when working in a florist shop:
- Keep your tools dry, well maintained and replace when not working as they should.
- Train for lifting heavy objects and repetitive lifting taks.
- Instruct your staff how to safely use and store chemicals, such as cleaning liquids, leaf shine, flower food, pesticides, fungicides, glues, and even helium.
- Train for using ladders and make sure your ladders are in good working order.
- When working on your own, always have your mobile phone with you and let your work know your movements.
- Move any electrical equipment away from areas that involve water.
- Always consult a qualified electrician for any electrical maintenance.
- Get workplace and warehouse alarms tested and fire safety checks done regularly.
Running a safe and healthy workplace is not always an easy task. Take time to understand your responsibilities, practice preventative maintenance, and have a proactive approach to maintaining a safe workplace. Ensure your policies and procedures are up to date and avoid risk so you can enjoy being a fabulous florist.
Disclaimer: This is a guide only and not professional advice. This guide is not a total list of all precautions and scenarios that may occur in a florist business. We highly recommend doing further research to expand your knowledge and consulting legal officials when reviewing your WHS practices.