Landscaping employers must deal with unique challenges in managing their business. The seasonal nature of the work creates an annual need to recruit, train and supervise new workers as well as long hours in peak season when the weather is good or for snow removal in winter. In addition, landscaping crews must be mobile moving staff and equipment to multiple locations each day often dealing with inclement weather conditions.
These factors bring specific health and safety considerations into play together with the on-the-job hazards that workers face in their course of their work day. For example:
- Overexertion when moving or lifting objects such as equipment, supplies or debris
- Being struck by an object such as a falling branch
- Slips, trips and falls resulting in injuries such as fractures, sprains or strains
- Machinery hazards
- Chemical exposure
What the Law Says
Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act requires that employers take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances to protect workers. Sections 25, 27 and 28 refer to duties and responsibilities of employers, supervisors and workers.
The OHS Act also requires employers to appoint "competent" people as supervisors. This means the supervisor must be:
- Qualified because of knowledge, training, and experience to organize the work and its performance.
- Familiar with the Act and its regulations
- Knowledgeable about any potential or actual danger to health or safety in the workplace
How WSPS Can Help
We offer health and safety solutions for Landscaping employers to help you demonstrate due diligence, give your supervisors the knowledge and skills to stay competent, and to address hazards specific to landscaping.
Our Small Business Centre provides information and resources you need to get started on your health and safety program.