COVID-19 HEALTH AND SAFETY POLICY AND PROCEDURES
April 21, 2021
The purpose of these policies and procedures is to keep our staff, our clients, and the general public safe, and to support the global effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We are working during a state of emergency in the Province of Ontario. Only essential services, as defined in Schedule 2 of the updated regulations (O.Reg. 82/20) are allowed to operate. On April 19, 2020 the Province of Ontario updated this regulation. According to Section 15 and Section 43.1 of Schedule 2 landscaping services continue to be allowed to be open while adhering to these rules to keep employees, clients and the public safe.
This policy and procedures have been reviewed and they adhere to the specific guidelines recommended by the Province of Ontario. We are practicing physical distancing and all recommended measures for sanitization and personal hygiene. We continue to monitor the situation and will continue to follow public health instructions, guidelines and regulations from the City of Toronto, the Province of Ontario and the Canadian government.
Employee Policies and Procedures:
You have the right to refuse work that you feel is unsafe. If you feel uncomfortable you can stay at home. If during the day you feel you are at risk, or you are concerned about a co-worker, you should immediately talk to me about the issue, and if not satisfied you can leave. At no time would raising concerns or refusal to work jeopardize your employment with Raindrop Gardening.
If you are feeling sick or have been in contact with anyone that has symptoms or is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, you should not come to work and advise me immediately. Typical symptoms can include fever, headache, difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose, lost sense of taste or smell, fatigue, digestive issues. Do the self-assessment tool at https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/. You will be contacted if you meet the criteria.
We will be keeping a journal with details of each of our locations and the people we contacted during our work day. This will allow you to report all contacts should you, anyone you work with, or any of our clients become sick.
Each of our clients will be contacted the day or two before we work at their property. They will be advised of our Covid-19 safety protocols. They will also be asked to confirm that neither they nor anyone in their home is suspected or has been confirmed to have COVID-19. If someone in the home is suspected or has been confirmed to have COVID-19, we will defer work at their location until it is clear.
While we are on site, all residents will be asked to stay inside or maintain a minimum physical distance of 2 metres from all staff.
All preliminary work on garden assessments, designs, quotes and consultations with clients are being done remotely or while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):
Each of us will have our own labelled bin with hand tools, garden gloves, safety glasses, washable cloths, soap in a container, washable masks and hand sanitizer if available. In the vehicle, there will be disinfectant spray, buckets and garbage bags.
Each day you should wear safety boots, dress appropriately for the weather and bring your own water bottle, food and snacks to last the whole day. Any garbage will go home with us.
Each of us will arrive separately to the first location of the day when possible. If it is necessary for more than one of us to ride in the truck at a time, we will wear masks at all times when in the vehicle together.
We will start with a tailgate meeting to identify any hazards and touch points to be aware of.
At all times, we will maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from each other, our clients and members of the public. Wherever possible, each of us will be assigned separately to a task, area and/or machine. We will wear masks and gloves.
We will wash hands frequently, particularly after drinking, eating or smoking. Touch points on site will also be wiped down frequently.
There will be no sharing of PPE and hand tools will be shared only when unavoidable. You will wash all hand tools and safety glasses and place them in your personal bin once finished at a location. Any larger tools such as the string trimmer, blower, lawn mower, etc. will be washed/wiped down at the end of the day.
Each of us will have their own trug for holding weeds and debris. A yard waste bag will be located centrally and no two people will be near the yard waste bag at the same time. One person will take the full yard waste bags to the clients’ disposal area.
The Raindrop Gardening vehicle will be thoroughly cleaned/sanitized at the beginning and end of each day.
Washroom facilities will be provided at 581 Mortimer for our use, residents will be asked permission to use their facilities when we are there long term, or we will identify open public facilities nearby. You must remove gloves, boots and coats and wash your hands before entering, take your own towel inside with you, wipe down touched surfaces within the washroom, and wash your hands when you are finished.
Initially, work will be scheduled so that, within one day, work sites are in close proximity to each other. Each of us will travel separately from one work location to the other, where possible.
If it is absolutely necessary to travel together in a vehicle between locations, each person will wear gloves and masks at all times within the vehicle. The vehicle will be wiped down regularly.
If you are able to use a personal vehicle, you will be reimbursed for travel between locations at a rate of $0.59 per kilometer. Your personal vehicle should also be thoroughly cleaned at the beginning and end of each day.
Immediately after use, all washable cloths, masks, garden gloves will be placed in a supplied bag for washing at the end of the day.
While you are not working you should be following all recommendations to stay at home except for essential trips, practice physical distancing and wash your hands frequently.
This policy was developed together and using resources from Landscape Ontario and the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. As the situation changes with COVID-19, so will this policy be updated.