If you manage people, you know there are a lot of things to oversee. If you are in charge of making money, you know there is another whole layer of things to maintain.
The industry is continuously evolving. I am going to highlight two separate developing topics – women and security cameras. The growing number of women in the plant care space is to be celebrated. I know companies that prefer to hire women PHC technicians because they tend to be observant and exacting in their care of trees and shrubs. More women in this workforce requires a new level of consciousness.
In this industry, handling personal hygiene is a particular challenge for women. So much so that women are leaving the industry because there is no good solution. Driving solo on a PHC truck is one thing. Being on a tree crew surrounded by men is another level altogether. There just have not been any good solutions.
The only solution to date has been to leave the job site in search of a bathroom. Depending where your employee ends up, that can also mean coffee, or a donut, or some other activity that prolongs time away from work – time the company is paying for. Mind you, this is over and above the breaks and lunch that are already programmed into the day. And this is an issue for any gender. If the employee is part of a tree crew, missing one member can be a hazard to the other members of the crew. It raises safety concerns.
And how long does it take to find a bathroom, get coffee, and get back to the job? Is it 15 minutes, or 30, or 45? If the technician is working at a large property, everything has to be packed up, the bathroom run is completed, then everything is unpacked upon return. How much is this costing you?
Obviously, the cost varies dramatically across the country, but it is probably at least $15 and may be upwards of $50 when all of the overhead costs are factored in. How many times per day per employee? How many employees? How many days per year? For even small companies, the cost is in the $1000’s. For large companies, it can be over $100,000. This is not just pocket change.
Putting a price tag on the cost of permitting employees to take care of themselves is not the same as you, their manager or employer, proactively providing for their needs. We are not talking about just retention and recruiting here. But even more than that, employees want to work for a company that understands them and demonstrates, in tangible ways, that they are valued and cared for. Great companies value and care for their employees, and not just in the paycheck.
But there is increased risk in several important ways.
- There is the risk of driving a larger vehicle through the parking lot of a shopping center or a convenience store that was only designed for cars.
- We already spoke about the risk of leaving your crew one short for what could be an extended period of time.
- How about the risk of a bathroom emergency with no time to get to one? Embarrassment. Humiliation. Lost employee?
These are real issues. In an industry that is traditionally male dominated, there is a tendency to ignore these issues as if they don’t exist. We don’t want to talk about them. But they do exist and the cost in real dollars and lost employees is staggering if we actually take the time to analyze it. It is worth making a serious analysis of what it is costing in efficiency, money and personnel.
Which brings me to cameras. They are everywhere.
True, the cars are all gone and no one seems to be at home, but the cameras are running. And they see everything, including your employee relieving himself behind the azalea, or the tree, or the playhouse. What is the legal risk to your employee and your company when you receive a call that your employee was caught on camera exposing himself?
Here’s what www.findlaw.com says:
So, what about urinating in public? If one is urinating behind a dumpster, for example, outside direct view of the public (especially at night), that person likely would have a good argument that the act was not done with the purpose of sexual arousal, gratification, or offending another. But, whether or not public urination falls within the definition of indecent exposure will rely heavily on the way a state’s statutes are written. Moreover, public urination is often prohibited by nuisance ordinances passed by local governments, so it is best to just find a restroom if at all possible.
Laws and penalties range widely.
In Florida, a person cannot be convicted of this crime unless the offender had the intent to be lewd, lascivious, or indecent. Additionally, Florida not only makes exposing oneself in public a crime, but also doing it near or on someone else’s private property.
In most cases, the first conviction subjects an individual to misdemeanor penalties, which could entail a short stay in the county jail or just a fine. A second offense would likely carry tougher penalties, and repeat offenses could be prosecuted as felonies.
I am not trying to sensationalize this issue, but it is an issue, and it makes no sense to dismiss it as inconsequential. Obviously, it can have real consequences. One company reported to me that they received such a call. Green Pro Solutions has decided to address this issue. We were not looking to address these kinds of solutions. Building spray equipment is what we do. But we are a solutions company, finding answers for problems and caring about our clients and their employees. It seemed logical that we should tackle this thorny problem.
And we are, in several ways.
First, if you purchase a Sprinter, the necessary structures to support our removable toilet system are already installed. All you need to do is install the removable seat and collection bag. It only takes seconds to put the seat in place, insert the one use hygienic, disposable collection bag, finish your business (including toilet paper and anti-microbial wipes), seal and dispose of the industrial quality bag, and replace the toilet seat in an out of the way storage area. Simple, sanitary, discreet, and very fast. Much lower cost than driving to find a bathroom. Plus, it shows that you truly recognize and are willing to meet the basic needs of your employees.
A second option is the single use, disposable urine bag designed by a woman for use by either sex. Whether at work, hiking in the woods, taking a car trip with your kids, or any other activity far away from a bathroom, this high quality, leakproof solution is the perfect answer. Again, the contents become a gel for easy disposal.
If you have a tree crew on a job site, this pop-up job johnny will fill the bill. This temporary multi-purpose structure comes complete with bucket-style toilet seat, and ten single use disposable sanitary bags which include enzymes that transform the contents into a gel. Approved by OSHA, it efficiently supports your employees needs without them leaving the job site. No more requests of your customers to use their bathroom, if they are even home.
The pop-up Porta-Quick Utility System has all of the essentials including a heavy duty “bucket” that stores the soft seat and all of the supplies. (Remember, the single use disposable bags.) The shelter easily folds into its own small carrying bag. It is popular with many utility and construction companies and other outdoor operations nationwide. It is well tested. Any combinations of these products are available. Call Green Pro for more information at (866) 609-4172 x109.
One thorny problem – three relatively elegant solutions at dramatically less cost than what most companies are doing now, which is telling your employees, “You are on your own.”
In conjunction with Brief Relief, a company who’s sole focus is bathroom alternatives, we are making available the most advanced collection of disposal portable technologies today. Pricing for these alternatives is quite affordable and the disposable collection options are available in bulk by the case.
We have always supported your company with quality spray equipment and a range of other products. Now, at a very affordable price point, we are supporting your people on the front lines who get the job done for you every day. We are helping you support your employees and grow your business in a responsible and caring way.
Green Pro continues to create winning solutions. That’s our job.