July 4, 2022
Landscape Ontario’s endorsed Human Resources provider EIO Solutions hosted a lunch and learn for LO members on May 17. The webinar gave participants the opportunity to learn about Health and Safety guidelines for landscape horticulture businesses, as well as the chance to ask EIO Solutions staff questions.

The start of the presentation focused on Health and Safety Compliance including Ministry required training like the Health and Safety Awareness course. EIO Solutions HR Director Domenic Richichi explained companies with 20 or more staff on site are required to have a health and safety committee.

Here are some other important questions asked during the webinar:

What happens if the number of employees fluctuates?

The guidelines for 20+ employees is only for those that remain in the building each day. However, if the number fluctuates close to 20 people, then it is recommended that a committee is set up.

Are there required topics for safety meetings?

No, there are no requirements, but the presenters recommended the committee puts together a set agenda. For example, you could start off by talking about the previous meeting and then talking about new actions. That way you have a conclusive agenda to look at each time you hold a meeting.

Do you have any information for employees to utilize?

The Ministry of Labour’s Health and Safety Awareness course is what an employee needs, and it is also mandatory to take. It tells each employee what their responsibilities are, what their rights are and tells them where to go if their company isn’t following the rules.

The next part of the presentation focused on other safety measures more specific to landscaping. This included having an up-to-date safety policy, hiring employees with first-aid certifications in case of an accident and understanding the role of the Ministry of Labour (MOL). Questions from this section included:

We operate heavy machinery and pay for online training for our employees, is this training necessary? Should we hire someone to come in to train employees?

The presenter highlighted how a lot of employers train workers through online courses. He suggested people think about employees as if they were your child. You wouldn’t let your kid watch a few videos about driving and then give them the keys to your car. Hiring a trainer is always best since they do the training on site and give employees a mix of both theory and practical application.

Do you need to have a health and safety board at each site?

A physical board is not required, but you need to have the documents available if needed by your employees. These can be kept in a binder, or on a board.   

If we have a sub-trade on site, is it our responsibility that they are trained?

The answer is yes. A sub-trade contract where you explain your health and safety policies is also recommended to make sure everyone is following the same rules.

Tailgate meetings and on-site meetings: are they required?

Safety boards or binders on site are a requirement because you do have to post your policies and have them clearly displayed, whereas the tailgate or safety meetings are not legislatively required, but are very strongly recommended. An idea for these meetings is to take about five minutes each day and you pick a topic (e.g. lawnmowers) and talk about the safety concerns for using the equipment.

How do you find out what information you need for these boards?

You can reach out and get a free compliance package by contacting Domenic Richichi at domenic@eiosolutions.com or 426-875-1237.

EIO Solutions is offering Landscape Ontario members a free, one-on-one health check that will help employers to attract and retain dependable staff. Over a 90-minute, in-person or online meeting, an EIO expert will analyze business operations and identify ways to save you money, reduce liabilities and streamline operations — producing an action plan that will transform your business, reduce turnover and build a better team. Sign up for your check up at: eiosolutions.com/landscape-ontario.