December 15, 2013
By Sally Harvey CLT, CLP
Manager Education and Labour Development

Sally HarveyAs we enter into winter, some of us have time to reflect on our business and spend time developing new strategies for 2014.

Progressive employers will include safety compliance development and maintenance strategies to ensure their business is up-to-date with a prevention framework in place. One that supports all staff and that can support a successful spontaneous spot check or planned safety inspection, if you are one of the chosen firms in 2014.

I encounter many members of our industry who want to provide the best for their staff in the way of pay, benefits, time off, etc. This is wonderful. We need to broaden our thinking to include safety compliance and prevention to protect our valuable staff who enable us to profit in our businesses. It is time that every Landscape Ontario member and industry member develop fully compliant safety programs. I am not going to argue that it is a great deal of work if you have little in place already.

If you need support, I urge you to join the LO Safety Group that meets six times a year at home office in Milton. For more information and to register for the 2014 Safety Group, go to

I know there is a need out there, as I spend a great deal of my time supporting members in developing safety prevention tools and resources to improve their businesses. Unfortunately, I help more members after a major incident or accident, instead of before one. My goal is that all of our members have the advantage of knowing what is required of them and how to implement requirements to ensure a safe and successful business.I can tell you that years ago it was amazing to hear our staff reveal to us at my company that they chose to stay with us because “we cared about them and their safety.” Our safety program supports our recruitment and retention package, which has been a huge benefit to our business. We have differentiated ourselves, not only when it comes to products and services, but from a safety and staff quality perspective.  

Celebrate leaders

I celebrate and support two Chapter leaders who are also passionate about safety and its impact on a successful business.

London Chapter leader Peter Vanderley is surveying London Chapter members to gain feedback on whether there is enough interest to start a Safety Group program in Southwestern Ontario. The survey is available at

Ottawa Chapter member Marc Arnold from Rockcliffe Landscaping is also trying to gain support from Eastern Ontario firms to develop a voluntary safety group in Eastern Ontario. He has started a discussion on Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association LinkedIn site.

The year 2014 brings about some compliance requirements of employers in Ontario. Beginning July 1, 2014, employers will be required to ensure workers and supervisors across the province complete basic health and safety awareness training requirements, under a new regulation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Employers are now required to maintain a record of training, and provide workers and supervisors with proof of completion, on request, for up to six months after the worker or supervisor stops performing work for that employer.  

The regulation also contains exemptions for workers and supervisors who have previously completed training programs that cover the content set out in the new regulation. To view the new regulation, please visit e-Laws at   

To help stakeholders comply with the new requirements, The Ministry of Labour has developed awareness training programs and materials for both workers and supervisors. These are free, available online and in many languages.

There is an employer guide on how to train and comply, including content. In addition, there are worker and supervisor guides. You can download the resources or order full-colour printed books. There are also e-learning options now available. If you follow the four-step worker awareness training and the five-step supervisor training, you will find it simple to comply with the new legislation.

A reminder, too, that you need to have the 2013 new Health and Safety at Work - Prevention Starts Here poster in your workplace. To learn more about the program, go to the MOL website at  

Doing business under Bill 119?

Potentially huge fines are coming into effect January 1, 2014. Under the new legislation, Bill 119, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Amendment Act 2008 independent operators, sole proprietors, partners and executive officers are now deemed workers. WSIB has implemented Policy 12-01-06 under the Operational Policy, Employer Coverage. Find out what you need to do to prevent being impacted. For more information, or to get registered, go to:   

The 2014 Professional Development Seminar Guide was mailed to you in your October Issue of the Landscape Ontario magazine and is available on line at

HR Toolkit

I would be remiss if I did not remind you that the HR Toolkit is available to you at no cost. It was developed by our Preferred Coach and Consultant Vicky Smith of Contact Coaching. It is under revision again this year and will be updated for Congress 2014. To download go to

As 2013 comes to a much too fast close, I reflect on the last 12 months and the amount of change that we have experienced in the landscape horticulture business world. I am proud to witness the success of so many of our members and our agility to adapt and embrace change and get on with doing what we love doing: enhancing lives.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” Charles Darwin

All the best to you and yours this holiday season.

I welcome your comments.
Contact Sally Harvey at