December 15, 2012
By Sally Harvey CLT, CLP
Manager Education and Labour Development

Sally HarveyWe are excited to be presenting Congress 2013, celebrating our 40th anniversary. Our renowned trade show and thought-provoking conference series will be sure to inspire and provide significant return on investment for every attendee.

Don’t forget our Awards of Excellence event, which brings us pride and recognition. I always consider this event to be a great education opportunity. I always learn something after examining the award-winning project photos. I hope you can join us.

Back by popular demand this year, we are offering the job board at Congress. This is a great opportunity for our members to post their employment opportunities. It also serves those in search of work, who may post their resumes. I encourage students to take advantage of this resource. For details, go to

We will also offer the Landscape Industry Certification written tests once again at Congress. The date and time are to be confirmed. For more information, contact Laura Brinton at, or Sally Harvey at  

We will repeat the Landscape Industry Certified Plant ID Challenge again at Congress. The Challenge is similar to a typical Landscape Industry Certification Plant Identification test station. It was a huge hit at Expo 2012.  

Congress is a must-attend for industry and students. The education, resources and connections gained by participating are immeasurable. Don’t miss out. Register at  

What does Bill 119 mean to us?

Of late there has been a buzz around this change with WSIB and independent contractors within our industry. Although the focus is around the construction industry, it will also impact some of our industry members.

WSIB recently spent time with us to clarify what impact it has on our industry. Officials told us that the new rules do affect those in our industry who presently pay in a construction rate group classification in the 700 series, such as pool installation, fencing and decking, or electrical. Based on their activities, some firms may need to double-check that they are properly covered. For more specific information to understand Bill 119 in regards to your own firm, go to

WSIB has also provided us with an article this month. See page 56.

In addition, a WSIB expert on Bill 119 is providing a free special session at Congress on Thurs., Jan. 10. He will provide information and respond to questions. Register in advance for this session to ensure you have a seat, as we expect this to be a busy session. Go to

What does Bill 160 mean to us?

Recently we notified members in e-news and on the website ( of an update undertaken by the Ministry of Labour (MOL) to the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). We have been communicating the implications of Bill 160 since its release in 2011. The changes primarily relate to the establishment of the Chief Prevention Officer and Prevention Council, and the responsibilities and oversight of the health and safety designated entities and the responsibilities shifting from WSIB to MOL. This shift includes moving prevention and certification training from the WSIB to the MOL.

Will Bill 160 impact our industry? Yes, it will impact all employers and workers. See the highlights below:
  • Add the Prevention Council, Chief Prevention Officer (CPO) and Designated Entities to the Act, along with organizational and operational details of the Prevention Council to the Act. The Bill allows the CPO to: develop a provincial occupational health and safety strategy; establish and approve standards for training programs; establish training and other requirements that a Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) member must fulfil in order to become a certified member; certify a committee member who meets the requirements. This was previously undertaken by WSIB.
  • Oversee the health and safety associations, such as WSPS.
  • Requires an employer to ensure that health and safety representatives receive training
  • Acknowledges the worker reprisal referral process.
  • Acknowledges the Worker Adviser and the Office of the Employer Adviser functions and responsibilities.

Landscape Ontario Safety Group: Your road to compliance

Even the safest and most successful business can experience a workplace accident. While the well-being of the worker is always of first concern, rarely is it the only concern. A workplace accident can hurt the reputation of a business, brand and of course its pocketbook. Many of us in the industry are operating with good intentions, thinking that we are compliant, but many find out during the worst time (after an accident) that they are not.  

Did you know that an MOL inspector can issue a range of orders that not only can stop work, but can prevent certain equipment use and also charge you with a hefty fine that will certainly financially strain the business and possibly owner?

I was recently asked by MOL to speak to over 100 MOL inspectors to help them better understand our industry and our challenges. I can tell you that our industry is on their radar.  

How can an employer protect himself? Through due diligence, you may need to prove you have taken all reasonable precautions to provide a safe working environment. We can help you understand and implement due diligence. The Landscape Ontario Safety Group provides awareness, information, tools and resources to help our members develop compliant safety programs in their workplaces to reduce this risk.

When asked about the value of the LO Safety Group, a long-term member responded, “The Safety Group has provided me with a lot of information about implementing an effective health and safety plan in my company. Networking with other similar companies also allowed me to learn more about my peers and share our experiences and solutions in order to improve our industry’s safety record. It is important for businesses to understand that working together as an industry makes us wiser and stronger.”
Contact Sally Harvey at