The Michigan State University Extension floriculture team and the National Pesticide Safety Education Center have developed a set of airborne disease training videos for Spanish-speaking workers at greenhouses and garden centers. These videos are designed to help green industry employers fulfill any pandemic preparedness requirements and provide their workforce with the information they need to maintain operations in the event of a future widespread airborne disease outbreak.
- Video link (Spanish): Preventing the Spread of Airborne Diseases at Greenhouse Production Facilities
- Video link (Spanish): Preventing the Spread of Airborne Diseases at Garden Centers
Growers can expect these videos to:
- Follow OSHA training recommendations on Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of COVID-19 in the Workplace.
- Follow CDC COVID-19 training guidelines for agricultural workers.
- Satisfy worker training requirements for pandemic preparedness plans (MIOSHA).
Why is this important?
The agriculture industry was largely unprepared to prevent or mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within its workforce. High-profile failures to contain this infectious disease at agricultural operations exposed a substantial weakness and highlights the necessity for the industry to:
- Be prepared: Have an established plan and be ready to implement should there be a threat of widespread public disease outbreaks.
- Demonstrate to regulators and public decision-makers that the green industry is fully capable of maintaining business operations while preventing/minimizing the spread of an infectious disease among their workers and between workers and the public in public-facing operations.
Although presented in the context of the Michigan green industry, these videos were specifically designed for use in greenhouses and garden centers across the United States. The subject matter is general enough to be used for the prevention of a wide range of airborne diseases, ensuring the videos will remain relevant worker training tools for years to come.
Topics covered by the videos:
- How airborne diseases spread, risks for workplace exposure, and how workers can protect themselves (CDC, MIOSHA).
- Proper handwashing practices and use of hand sanitizer stations (CDC, MIOSHA).
- Farm-specific social distancing practices (CDC, MIOSHA).
- Cough and sneeze etiquette (CDC).
- Other routine infection control precautions: social distancing measures and putting on/taking off masks and gloves (CDC, MIOSHA).
- Steps to take if workers get sick (CDC, MIOSHA).
- Employer policies regarding COVID-19 (CDC, MIOSHA).
- How to report unsafe working conditions (MIOSHA).
- Working with retail customers who do not follow safety protocols (garden center video only).
Closed captioning in Spanish is available for both training videos.
English versions of the videos can be found here:
- Video link (English): Preventing the Spread of Airborne Diseases at Greenhouses
- Video link (English): Preventing the Spread of Airborne Diseases at Garden Centers
Additional resources for greenhouse and garden center operators can be found at the MSU Extension Floriculture COVID-19 Resource page. Operationally specific questions, clarification inquiries, and requests for assistance with pandemic preparedness plan development can be directed to:
Melissa Millerick-May – MSU Extension - Health & Safety Resource
Jeremy Jubenville – MSU Extension Floriculture and Greenhouse Crop Production