Safety Hazards in… a Flower Shop?

DF Safety Small Business Safety Solutions, Workplace Safety

A flower store must be a safe place to work…right? 

Today, I thought I would talk about my favorite place to work other than here at DF Safety. For those of you that follow my LinkedIn, you would know that I am talking about my daughter’s flower shop, Blooms by May! In fact, I have posted enough photos of myself arranging flowers that I am in danger of losing my Redneck License…  Good thing I am still a banjo player; I can keep it for now! 

Most of my clients are home builders, health care facilities, and heavy industrial projects, so a flower shop must be very low risk in comparison, right? Well, yes and no! There are many hazards to consider in a retail/production environment like Blooms by May.

Physical Hazards

  • Working with sharp objects – knives and choppers are normal for the trade and are used for everything from cutting stems and aqua blocks to de-thorning roses.  De-thorning roses is no fun by the way…May always seem to give me that job! 
  • Slips/Trips/Falls – Wet floors from flower buckets, flower and plant cuttings.  A floral business has a lot of things to trip on! 
  • Working at heights – There is some off the ground work; putting up window treatments, curtains, seasonal decorations or just shop maintenance. May uses a platform ladder as opposed to a rolling chair. She gets her safety sensibility from me 😊 
  • Physical work – Moving boxes of flowers and plants, bending over to water things. These are all movements that can lead to repetitive or acute strain. 

Legislation Requirements

A flower store has to follow the Alberta OHS Act, Regulation, and Code just like any other business. Her shop is small, with less than 5 employees so she does not require a Safety Representative or a worksite health and safety committee. That could change as the business grows. However, there are some items that she does need! 

  • Hazard assessment – A hazard assessment and controls are required by legislation 
  • Emergency Response Plan – What to do if there is a fire, injury or other emergency? Yes, this plan is legislated! 
  • WHMIS – There are chemicals in a flower shop. Cleaning products, bleach, spray paints and glues. Safety Data Sheets are required. 
  • Training! Employees need to be trained… chemical use, knives and tools, procedure for the stem cutter. These are all important. 

Never Assume a Business is Hazard-Free

There are always risks of some sort to be recognized and mitigated. Small businesses are also bound by legislation and have mandatory activities that must be done. Obviously, Blooms by May gets free advice from me, she is my daughter after all. I would be happy to advise your business as well. 

I want to close by talking about my daughter and her business for a moment…  May has been in business for three years and it has been a lot of fun seeing her and her business grow. She was Vice President of her BNI Chapter and was nominated for an Alberta Woman Entrepreneur Award. I have also seen her take on large products like a huge wedding at the Banff Springs Hotel and happily do small projects as well. She treats all customers equally and does great work! If you need flowers, please go see her at the new location in Kensington Crossing in Edmonton

All the best to you! See you next week!