July 15, 2013
Landscape Ontario is well represented in 2012 annual report of the Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS).

The association’s manager of education and labour development Sally Harvey is recognized in the report through a photograph, an introduction and her own words. She, along with LO members Bob Allen and Peter Olsen, serves on a WSPS special advisory committee.

“Our industry contributes social, environmental and health benefits to our communities. We have an obligation to do it in a safe way, especially if we want to market our industry as a safe and professional career opportunity,” writes Harvey in the annual report.

WSPS board chairman Gordon Vala-Webb writes about the importance of people like Harvey, Allen and Olsen. WSPS is unique not only in size, but in capabilities and relationships. It is unique in how it is structured, being a mix of government agency, a not-for-profit, member-driven organization; and a for-profit company.

The WSPS introduced Landscape Ontario in the report with the following, “A trade association that embraces the business case for health and safety understands why a focus on prevention serves as a welcome mat for the youth and new Canadians it hopes to attract to its industry. It is passionate about elevating its image as a safe and competent group of professionals.

“A trade association with that degree of insight has a sweeping opportunity to influence, through its members, the well-being of tens of thousands of employees.

“According to Sally Harvey, leader of the call to action, Landscape Ontario achieves that kind of reach. Landscape Ontario is a horticultural trade association representing more than 2,000 professional members, and Harvey, a fiercely passionate advocate on their behalf, has collaborated with WSPS for many years. Nothing is more important to Harvey than providing up-to-date, easy-to-use information to enable members’ compliance. Partnering with health and safety experts is central to her strategy for sustainable change.”

Harvey writes, “It is critical that we partner with a trusted and qualified organization so that we are up-to-date and can help our industry and members achieve compliance. We consider it a true privilege to work with WSPS, and an advantage for all our members.

“Awareness is often the biggest challenge for business owners. They want to be compliant; they just don’t know where to start. The industry-specific projects that Landscape Ontario and WSPS partnered on in 2012 removed some of the barriers to access and awareness. For example, the Safety Group that WSPS sponsors for our members has enabled us to improve our annual scores and member rebates; a small-business guide provides existing and new organizations with a gap analysis and resources on how to begin; and our Tailgate Talks inspire weekly training sessions on industry-related hazards. These tools have had amazing feedback.

“Landscape Ontario also hosts a Safety Council that meets several times a year with agencies that impact our industry from a compliance perspective. WSPS’s participation is crucial to our success in developing strategies to improve prevention and safe work practices. I don’t think we’d be where we are today without them.”

The WSPS report listed musculoskeletal disorders and falls as the top reasons for lost time injuries. Motor vehicle incidents accounted for one per cent of lost time, but do lead to a disproportionate number of traumatic fatalities and serious injuries.

To view the entire report online, go to www.horttrades.com/wsps-annual-report.