Greenhouse workers face specific hazards in the course of their work day. The Greenhouse Risk Assessment Project, a multi-year initiative undertaken by the Ontario Ministry of Labour in coordination with Workplace Safety & Prevention Services and greenhouse industry stakeholders, identified the top hazards as:
- Falls from heights
- Overexertion and repetitive strain when moving or lifting objects such as equipment, supplies or debris
- Substance abuse in the workplace
- Heat stress
- Slips, trips and falls resulting in injuries such as fractures, sprains or strains
- Machinery/equipment hazards
- Chemical exposure
What the law says
Ontario's Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) 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.
OHSA 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
Our “Safety, Health and the Law for Greenhouses” training course, which will provide a roadmap for a customized health and safety program, is now available.