Hillside Lake Park


Employee Specific Training – Outdoor Maintenance.

The following sheets represent the most common equipment that you will come into contact with and be required to possibly use. Please ensure you fully understand how to use any piece of equipment safely and have all the required safety gear before you operate. If you are not confident, please see your supervisor before you begin. If there is a piece of equipment you are required to use that is not listed, please refer to the Occupational Health and Safety Book in the staff room and review the training before you begin.

Employee Unsafe Work Refusal

Every employee has the right to refuse to do a task if they feel that their personal safety is being jeopardized or of that of a co-worker.

If you feel that your safety or the safety of a co-worker may be jeopardized by performing a certain task, that you or any other person in the workplace could potentially be a victim of workplace violence, or that you or any other person may be a victim of domestic violence that may enter the workplace, then you must report your concerns to your immediate supervisor.  

Discuss it fully with your supervisor. If the supervisor feels that the task is safe to perform or that there is no potential threat of violence and you still disagree, ask to speak to your Manager, the Owner, a member of the Safety Committee, or your Safety Representative and have that person assist in resolving the situation.

The Manager, Owner, a member of the Safety Committee, or your Safety Representative will review the Job Safety Hazards Analysis performed for that task to examine all potential hazards, and will also review the Workplace Violence program to ensure that all preventative measures are in place. Check to see if the nature of the task or if the potential for violence has changed since the time the last assessment was prepared and update the Assessments accordingly in order to help resolve any of the safety concerns.

If you are the victim of domestic violence and think that you may encounter that person in the workplace, or the risk of workplace violence has the potential to expose you to physical injury, you must report this situation immediately to your Supervisor, Manager or Owner so that they can enact measures to protect you and your co-workers. You may be exempted from your normal duties and work in what is agreed upon to be a safe place until the threat of the risk of physical violence has been removed. 

Please remember at all times to make your personal safety and that of your co-workers a top priority!

Safety should never be compromised and short cuts should never be taken. We take the safety of our employees, patrons, contractor employees, and of anyone on our site seriously and will continuously improve the safety program we have established. Please work safely while you are here at work and remember to take safety home with you.


Heat Stress Policy and Program

What is Heat Stress?

When the body is unable to cool down by sweating, several heat-induced illnesses such as heat stress or heat exhaustion and the more severe heat stroke can occur, and can result in death. 

What are some of the factors leading to Heat Stress?

Some of the factors leading to Heat Stress include; high temperature and humidity; direct sun or heat; limited air movement; physical exertion; poor physical condition; some medicines; and inadequate tolerance for hot workplaces.

Heat Disorders and Health Effects

  1. Heat Stroke - Heat stroke occurs when the body's system of temperature regulation fails and body temperature rises to critical levels.  This condition is caused by a combination of highly variable factors, and its occurrence is difficult to predict. Heat stroke is a medical emergency. The primary signs and symptoms of heat stroke are confusion; irrational behavior; loss of consciousness; convulsions; a lack of sweating (usually); hot, dry skin; and an abnormally high body temperature, e.g., a rectal temperature of 41C (105.8F). If body temperature is too high, it causes death. The elevated metabolic temperatures caused by a combination of workload and environmental heat load, both of which contribute to heat stroke, are also highly variable and difficult to predict.  

          If a worker shows signs of possible heat stroke, professional medical treatment should be obtained immediately. The worker should be placed in a shady area and the outer clothing should be removed. The worker's skin should be wetted and air movement around the worker should be increased to improve evaporative cooling until professional methods of cooling are initiated and the seriousness of the condition can be assessed. Fluids should be replaced as soon as possible. The medical outcome of an episode of heat stroke depends on the victim's physical fitness and the timing and effectiveness of first aid treatment. 

          Regardless of the worker's protests, no employee suspected of being ill from heat stroke should be sent home or left unattended unless a physician has specifically approved such an order. Symptoms of heat stroke include:

                    A.   Dry, hot skin with no sweating. 

                    B.   Mental confusion or losing consciousness.

                    C.   Seizures or convulsions. 

          Treatment - CALL AN AMBULANCE IMMEDIATELY! This condition can kill a person quickly. Remove excess clothing; fan and spray the person with cool water; offer sips of cool water if the person is conscious. 

      2. Heat Exhaustion - The signs and symptoms of  heat exhaustion are headache, nausea, vertigo, weakness, thirst and giddiness. Fortunately, this condition responds readily to prompt treatment. Heat exhaustion should not be dismissed lightly, however, for several reasons. One is that the fainting associated with heat exhaustion can be dangerous because the victim may be operating machinery or controlling an operation that should not be left unattended; moreover, the victim may be injured when he or she faints. Also, the signs and symptoms seen in heat exhaustion are similar to those of heat stroke, a medical emergency.         

          Workers suffering from heat exhaustion should be removed from the hot environment and given fluid replacement. They should also be encouraged to get adequate rest. Some of the symptoms of heat exhaustion are: 

                       A.  Headaches, dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.

                      B.   Weakness and moist skin.

                      C.   Mood changes such as irritability or confusion. 

                      D.   Upset stomach or vomiting. 

           Treatment - GET MEDICAL ATTENTION AT ONCE! This condition can lead to heat stroke, which can kill. Move the person to a cool shaded area; loosen or remove excess clothing; provide cool water to drink; fan and spray with cool water. 

           3.    Heat Cramps - If you are performing hard and physical labor in a hot environment, you can suffer from heat cramps. These cramps have been attributed to an electrolyte imbalance caused by sweating. It is important to understand that cramps can be caused by both too much and too little salt. Cramps appear to be caused by the lack of water replenishment. Because sweat is hypotonic solution, excess salt can build up in the body if the water lost through sweating is not replaced. Thirst cannot be relied on as a guide to the need for water; instead, water must be taken every 15 to 20 minutes in hot environments. 

                  Under extreme conditions, such as working for 6 to 8 hours in heavy protective gear, a loss of sodium may occur. Recent studies have shown that drinking commercially available carbohydrate-electrolyte replacement liquids is effective in minimizing physiological disturbances during recovery. 

                 Treatment - Move to a cool area; loosen clothing, gently massage and stretch affected muscles and drink cool salted water (1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt in 1 litre of water) or balanced commercial fluid electrolyte replacement beverage. If the cramps are severe or don't go away after salt and fluid replacement, seek medical aid. Salt tablets are not recommended. 

         4.    Heat Collapse - ("Fainting"). In heat collapse, the brain does not receive enough oxygen because blood pools in the extremities. As a result, the exposed individual may lose consciousness. This reaction is similar to that of heat exhaustion and does not affect the body's heat balance. However, the onset of heat collapse is rapid and unpredictable. To prevent heat collapse, the worker should gradually become acclimatized to the hot environment. 

                Treatment - GET MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY! Assess need for CPR. Move to a cool area; loosen clothing; make person lie down; and if the person is conscious, offer sips of cool water. Fainting may also be due to other illnesses. 

         5.    Heat Rashes  - Heat rashes are the most common problem in hot work environments. Prickly heat is manifested as red papules and usually appears in areas where the clothing is restrictive. As sweating increase, these papules give rise to a prickling sensation. Prickly heat occurs in skin that is persistently wetted by unevaporated sweat, and heat rash papules may become infected if they are not treated. In most cases, heat rashes will disappear when the affected individual return to a cool environment. 

                Treatment - Get the employee to a cool area and give them sips of cold water. Run cool water over the affected area. 

         6    Heat Fatigue- A factor that predisposes an individual to heat fatigue is lack of acclimatization. The use of a program of acclimatization and training for work in hot environments is advisable. The signs and symptoms of heat fatigue include impaired performance of skilled sensorimotor, mental, or vigilance jobs. There is no treatment for heat fatigue except to remove the heat stress before a more serious heat-related condition develops. 

  How to prevent heat related disorders.

  1. Work practices such as providing plenty of drinking water -- as much as a quart per worker per hour -- at the workplace can help reduce the risk of heat disorders. It is essential to train First Aid workers how to recognize signs of heat disorders and also how to treat those affected. Employers should also consider an individual worker's physical condition when determining his or her fitness for working in hot environments. Older workers, obese workers and personnel on some types of medication are at greater risk. 
  2. Alternating work and rest periods with longer rest periods in a cool area can help workers avoid heat stress. If possible, heavy work should be scheduled during the cooler parts of the day and appropriate protective clothing provided. Supervisors should be trained to detect early signs of heat stress and should permit workers to interrupt their work if they are extremely uncomfortable. 
  3. Acclimatization to the heat through short exposures followed by longer periods of work in the hot environment can reduce heat stress. New employees and workers returning from an absence of two weeks or more should have 5-day period of acclimatization. This period should begin with 50 percent of the normal workload and time exposure the first day and gradually building up to 100 percent on the fifth day. The human body can adapt to heat exposure to some extent. This physiological adaptation is called acclimatization. After a period of acclimatization, the same activity will produce fewer cardiovascular demands. The worker will sweat more efficiently (causing better evaporative cooling), and thus will more easily be able to maintain normal body temperatures. A properly designed and applied acclimatization program decreases the risk of heat-related illnesses. Such a program basically involves exposing employees to work in a a hot environment for progressively longer periods. NIOSH (1986) says that, for workers who have had previous experience in jobs where heat levels are high enough to produce heat stress, the regimen should be 50% exposure on day one, 60% on day two, 80% on day three, and 100% on day four. For new workers who will be similarly exposed, the regimen should be 20% on day one, with a 20% increase in exposure each additional day.
  4. Employee education is vital so that workers are aware of the need to replace fluids and salt lost through sweat and can recognize dehydration, exhaustion, fainting, heat cramps, salt deficiency, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke as heat disorders. Workers should also be informed of the importance of daily weighing before and after work to avoid dehydration. 
  5. FLUID REPLACEMENT. Cool (50-60F) water or any cool liquid (except alcoholic beverages) should be made available to workers to encourage them to drink small amounts frequently, e.g., one cup every 20 minutes. Ample supplies of liquids should be placed close to the work area. Although some commercial replacement drinks contain salt, this is not necessary for acclimatized individuals because most people add enough salt to their summer diets. 

Employee's Responsibilities

  1. Every employee will read this program on heat stress disorders and learn how to recognize the signs and symptoms of heat stress disorders. This will then be documented in the employee's training records. 
  2. Every employee will wear the appropriate clothing as indicated by their employer, wear sunscreen as required, bring their own plastic water drinking bottle that has their name on it and report any change to their medical condition to their employer immediately. 
  3. Every employee will stay in communication with at least one other employee when working outside by either visual means or by cell phone or radio. 
  4. Each employee will be ready to accept a change in their working schedules in accordance with a change in the humidex and temperature conditions. 
  5. At the first sign of any heat related distress symptom, the employee will immediately alert a co-worker and one of them is to contact their Supervisor immediately. The assisting co-worker will get the affected worker to shade or a cooler location if it is possible and safe to move the worker. 
  6. All employees are encouraged to have First Aid training and to be ready at all times to assist a co-worker, a customer or a contract worker who maybe suffering from a heat stress disorder. 
  7. Any employee, who suffers a heat stress disorder or witnesses a co-worker suffering from a heat stress disorder, will be expected to participate in an Accident/Incident Investigation so that we can prevent such injuries from happening in the future.
  8. We ask each employee not to do any task that they are not physically able to do or in any climate that they are not comfortable working in. No employee has the right to put his or herself or any co-worker, customer or contractor in harms way! 



Tick Bites Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is on the rise in Canada; decrease your workers risk of infection by taking preventative action and learning more about Lyme. Blacklegged ticks (deer ticks) that can transmit Lyme disease are in more areas than previously thought; infected tick populations have continued to expand into neighbouring areas, and may also be spread by migratory birds. Infected ticks are most commonly found in wooded areas, tall grasslands, and in provincial and national parks. The risk of tick bites increases between early spring and late fall.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is an inflammatory infection that spreads to humans through tick bites.

Lyme is a borreliosis caused by borrelia bacteria, which commonly infects woodland animals like mice or deer. Ticks pick up the bacteria by biting infected animals, and then pass it on to their human hosts. The are many strains or genospecies of borrelia that cause Lyme disease (borreliosis) in humans just as there are many strains of the flu virus that cause flu symptoms in humans, with some strains more virulent than others.

3 stages of Lyme (often blurred together quite rapidly):

Stage 1: Early infection (first few days after infection)

Stage 2: Infection spreads (days to weeks following infection)

Stage 3: Chronic Lyme (days to weeks after infection if left untreated, or not properly treated, for months/years after infection)

Lyme disease is most treatable during Stage 1. As time passes, both treatment and diagnosis become more difficult. Symptoms worsen during each stage of infection, ranging from flu-like symptoms to neurological illnesses, including paralysis. With chronic Lyme disease there is not one system of the body that can be unaffected.

While some Lyme victims experience immediate symptoms after infection, others may have none for many months. Symptoms of Lyme disease usually occur within one to two weeks but can occur as soon as three days or as long as months, after an infected tick bite. In order to transmit the disease, a tick must be attached to feed for at least 24 to 36 hours.

The early symptoms and signs may include fever, headache, jaw pain, light sensitivity, red eyes, muscle and joint pains, fatigue, swollen glands, and a skin rash, especially one that looks like a red bull’s eye (called erythema migrans).

If you develop these symptoms, promptly seek medical advice. Tell your doctor about your outdoor occupation, and if you have been working in an area where you may have had exposure to ticks. Early treatment with antibiotics usually results in complete recovery. Lyme disease is not spread from person to person or by animals. However, animals may carry the ticks.

Examples of Occupations Most at Risk

Occupations at risk include outdoor workers especially those in southern Ontario who may work in wooded, bushy areas or in tall grasses such as workers in park and wildlife management, ground keepers, greens keepers, loggers, construction workers, farmers, fishers, camp counsellors, landscape workers, biologists, veterinarians, silviculture workers and tree planters.

 How Can Workers Avoid Ticks? 

If you are working outside, protect yourself!

  • Wear light-coloured clothing to help find ticks more easily.
  • Wear long sleeve shirts and long pants. Wear a hat if contact with overhead vegetation cannot be avoided. Wear closed footwear and socks.
  • Tuck your pants into your socks
  • Use a bug (tick) repellent that contains 20 to 30% “DEET”. Read the manufacturer’s instructions before applying the repellent. Spray or apply it to your exposed skin and outer clothing.
  • Avoid bushy areas and long grass if possible.
  • Immediately after outdoor work do a total body inspection for ticks. Pay close attention to armpits, in and around ears, behind knees, areas with body hair, navel and groin.
  • Shower soon after being outdoors.
  • Check any equipment or gear that you may have brought with you outside for ticks.
  • Put clothes in the dryer for one hour on high heat to kill any ticks.
  • Wear protective gloves when handling dead animals.
  • If you find any ticks, report it to your employer so that other workers can be made aware of the hazard and recheck themselves for ticks.

 Treatment and Removal of Ticks

  • Prompt removal of ticks from your skin will help prevent infection, since transmission of the Lyme disease agent usually requires the tick to be attached for more than 24 hours.
  • Using fine-tipped tweezers (or a tick removal tool), carefully grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible.  Pull it straight out, gently but firmly.
  • Don't squeeze it.  Squeezing the tick can cause the Lyme disease agent to be accidentally introduced into your body.
  • Don't put anything on the tick, or try to burn the tick off.
  • After the tick has been removed, place it in screw-top bottle (like a pill vial or film canister), and take it to your doctor or local health unit. They can send it to the Ontario Public Health Laboratory for identification. Establishing the type of tick may help to assess your risk of acquiring Lyme disease.
  • It is important to remember where you most likely acquired the tick. It will help public health workers to identify areas of higher risk.
  • Thoroughly cleanse the bite site with rubbing alcohol and/or soap and water.

The most important thing is to make sure that you remove all the tick, including the mouth parts that are buried in the skin; DO NOT squeeze the body of the tick when you are removing it as this can force its stomach contents into the wound and increase the chance of infection.

When should you remove the tick?

You should only remove the tick yourself, or get a friend or family member to remove it, if the tick is not buried very deep into your skin. If the tick has been on your skin for less than two hours, it has probably not had a chance to burrow into your skin. If the tick is just on the surface of your skin, or only biting on to the outside skin layer, you can remove it following the proper protocols.

Removal methods and how to videos: http://canlyme.com/lyme-prevention/tick-removal/

When should you get a doctor to remove the tick?

You should go to your doctor to get the tick removed if it has buried itself deep into your skin. This usually happens if the tick has been on you for several hours, or even a day or two. When a tick has burrowed deep into your skin, it is very hard to remove the tick without leaving some mouth parts behind, which can cause infection.

How Can You Reduce Tick Habitats?

Keep lawns and yards well maintained to prevent ticks from living near your buildings:

  • Keep grass mown
  • Remove leaf litter, brush and weeds at the edge of lawns and around stonewalls and woodpiles
  • Discourage rodent activity by cleaning up and sealing stonewalls and small openings around buildings
  • Move firewood piles and bird feeders away from buildings
  • Keep pets, particularly dogs, out of the woods and talk to your vet about tick repellents for pets
  • Move children's play structures and sandboxes away from the woodland's edge and place them on a woodchip or mulch foundation
  • Adopt hard landscape practices, use hard materials like stone and metals instead of soft materials like soil for planting



Proper Handwashing Procedures

Handwashing is especially important in working environments to help prevent infections from spreading. Employees who don't take the time to follow careful (and frequent) handwashing procedures to remove germs can get sick themselves and spread them to others by:

  • Touching their eyes, nose or mouth
  • Preparing food or drink
  • Grabbing handrails, doorknobs or touching tables or other objects

Calling handwashing "one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others", the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that by keeping your hands clean you can help prevent passing diseases to others.

Use these step-by-step handwashing instructions to help keep germs out of your department and cut down on sick days. According to the World Health Organization, the entire handwashing process should take about 40 to 60 seconds.

Wet Your Hands First You can use either cold or warm running water. A sink filled with standing water could be contaminated from a previous use.

  1. Use Soap Don't scrimp on it; apply enough of it to cover all surface of your hands.
  2. Rub Palms Together Create a lather by rubbing your palms together
  3. Put Your Right Palm Over The Back Of Your Left Hand Interlace your fingers and rub your hands back and forth to get the soap on the back of your hand and in between fingers, then repeat with your left palm over your right hand.
  4. Rub Palms Together With Interlaced Fingers Rub palms back and forth, getting the soap between your fingers.
  5. Place Backs of Finger In The Opposing Palm Rotate your hands together.
  6. Grip Left Thumb With Right Hand Rotate right hand to scrub your left thumb, then repeat with your left hand grabbing your right thumb
  7. Scrub Left Palm With Fingertips of Right Hand Rotate clasped fingertips in the palm of your left hand, then repeat with clasped fingertips on your left hand in the palm of your right hand.
  8. Rinse Your Hands Make sure to remove all soap from the backs of your hands, palms and between your fingers.
  9. Dry Hands Dry your hands thoroughly with a single-use paper towel.
  10. Turn Off the Faucet Use the paper towel to turn off the faucet.
  11. You Are Done Your hands are now clean.

When to Wash Your Hands Frequent hand washing is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick and spreading illness. The CDC advises washing hands when they are visibly dirty, or:


  • Preparing or eating food
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • Inserting or removing contact lenses


  • Preparing or eating food
  • Using the toilet or changing a diaper
  • Touching an animal, animal feed or waste
  • Blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • Treating wounds or caring for a sick person
  • Handling garbage

If soap and water aren't available, you can use hand sanitizers instead. It should be an alcohol based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Apply the product to one palm and rub your hands together. Continue to rub your hands and fingers until all surfaces are covered and your hands are dry.

How Do I Use Alcohol Based Hand Rubs ? 

Alcohol based hand rubs should only be used if no visible dirt is present on the hands.

  • Remove hand and arm jewellery
  • Apply enough alcohol based hand rub to make about the size of a quarter onto your hands, enough when you rub your hands together to cover all areas of your hands, including under your nails (1-2 pumps).
  • Use a rubbing motion to evenly distribute the alcohol based hand rub over all surfaces of the hands, particularly between fingers, fingertips, back of hands and base of thumbs.
  • Rub hands until your hands feel dry (minimum 15-30 seconds)



Risk Assessment Motorized

Tractors and self-propelled machinery can overturn or lose control, when working on slopes, uneven ground, or near ditches. Incorrect loading, weight distribution, poor or incorrect maintenance, turning on slopes and unsafe driving practices will increase the risk of an overturn or loss of control accident.  Remember there is no such thing as a 'safe' slope. Operating on grass slopes requires particular care, as grass is likely to be very slippery especially when wet. 

It is essential that a risk assessment is carried out to reduce the likelihood of accidents occurring on slopes; typically the process in a campground would cover the following:

  1. Identifying areas where steep slopes, uneven ground, ditches, drop offs, and pedestrian crossings are likely to cause problems.
  2. Identifying aggravating features, poor sigh lines on approach to a slope, steep slope that leads to a water hazard, There are also weather hazards to assess such as ice, snow, heavy rain collection areas and wet grass. 
  3. Measuring the angle of the slopes, Compare the angle to the manufacturers' guidelines as how to safely use equipment on slopes of various angles. 
  4. Identifying "no go" areas for machinery whereby the operator has the potential risk of rolling their equipment over and into a body of water resulting in possible drowning or rolling over and causing a serious injury.
  5. Identifying which machines may operate safely in specific areas; this will involve reference to manufacturers' information for slope limits for individual machines and reference to roll over protection structures (ROP's), seat belts and life jackets. 
  6. Ensuring that machinery is maintained to manufacturers' specification. Each piece of equipment should have its own daily inspection sheet where each operator using that equipment examines the equipment and then completes the sheet before actually using the equipment. 
  7. Training staff to operate machinery safely on slopes. A competent and well-trained person must be the only person to do this training. It is recommended to start new employees on slopes of lesser angles first so that they can slowly build their comfort zone for operating the equipment. 
  8. Devising safe working practices for each machine and hazardous area. Have each employee review these procedures then sign their training records accordingly. 
  9. Audit and monitoring staff, operating procedures and any incidents that may occur.

Tractor & Motorized Equipment Safety

Tractors must be fitted with a safety cab; roll frame or roll bar. These will give the driver some protection in the event of an overturn, however if there is a risk of injury to the operator due to contact with the cab during an overturn then seat belts or other restraining system should be fitted and worn. 

Self-propelled machinery (mowers, turf maintenance machines, dumpers, excavators and work vehicles) should also be fitted with roll over protection (ROP's) if there is a risk of the machine overturning. With these machines it is essential that seat belts are also fitted and worn, as in the event of an overturn the operator would be likely to be thrown from the seat and be crushed by the machine or its roll over protection. The exception to this is the "sit astride" All Terrain Vehicle (ATV's) where it would be impractical to fit roll over protection; the controls used in this example are the requirement for operators to be trained and competent and that they wear head protection. I.E. a hard hat, motorcycle helmet, an ATV helmet or other head protection, which meets the Occupational Health and Safety Act. 

Using hand held and pedestrian controlled machinery on slopes may also be hazardous. Problem areas will include:

  1. Operators slipping on the slope, this may lead to injuries directly associated with the fall and also from making contact with moving parts on the machine e.g. mower blades, trimmers lines and blades and hedge cutter blades.
  2. Increased risk of operator injury due to working on slopes, these will generally affect ankles and knees but may also have an adverse effect on back, necks and shoulders. 
  3. The machine sliding or overturning on the slope.
  4. Increased risk of objects being ejected from the machine.

General Safety Issues

Operators should be adequately trained, particularly to recognize potentially dangerous situations. The training should emphasize the need for care and concentration when working with tractors and self propelled machinery and, in particular, the importance of paying attention to changes in ground conditions, e.g. potholes, gravel or the turning circle load and speed with may affect the safety of the operation. 

Routine checks and maintenance will help to ensure that:

  1. Brakes on tractors and self-propelled machinery are correctly adjusted and working efficiently. Independent brakes should be linked whenever braked steering is not required. 
  2. Any safety devices or warning systems are operating correctly.
  3. Steering is maintained so that there is no excessive free movement and no unnecessary play on the front wheel bearings.
  4. Tires are inflated to the correct pressure and have adequate thread. They should not be used if they have suffered damage, which could affect their safe use. 
  5. All hoses and cables on the equipment are inspected daily. 
  6. Before recharging the battery on any piece of equipment, inspect the battery to ensure that it is not cracked or damaged. This is especially important if a pressure washer is being used to clean this equipment. 
  7. There are no fluid leaks from the equipment. Check all fluid levels daily. 



Chipper/Shredder Safety

Safety tips, have been combined in order to give you a better understanding of the risks of incorrectly operating equipment as well as working in unsafe environments. 


You can be seriously injured or killed if you incorrectly operate a chipper/shredder. The most commonly reported causes of serious accidents are: 

  1. Being Caught in Moving Parts  - You can be seriously injured or killed if you are caught in the equipment's moving parts. 

          Never reach into a running chipper/shredder.

     2. Struck by Chipper/Shredder's Hood - You can be seriously injured or killed if you open or close the hood on a running chipper/shredder.

Safe work habits are important. Here are three important actions you can take to be safe on the job site.

  1. Learn all you can- To prevent accidents with wood chippers/shredders, read and follow directions in the equipment operator's manual. Pay attention to safety instructions in the manual and to warning labels you see on the equipment. If you have questions, stop and ask your supervisor before you continue. 
  2. Concentrate on working safely. - Sometimes you may be tempted to take risky shortcuts. Remember that an accident can leave you permanently injured or cut your life short. For your safety and the safety of those around you, do not take unnecessary risks. No deadline is so pressing you can't take the time to do your work safely. 
  3. Additional Precautions  - Do not operate machinery if you are tired or have taken drugs or alcohol. If you are on medication, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you are capable of safely operating machinery. Inform your Supervisor if you have taken drugs or alcohol and cannot safely operate the equipment. Failure to do so could endanger your life, the lives of co-workers and could result in disciplinary action that can lead to termination.


Certain equipment is necessary to protect your body from materials thrown from the chipper/shredder and to avoid being caught in the equipment's moving parts. When operating a chipper/shredder, you should wear: Close-fitting clothes and no jewelry -  Loose shirt sleeves, pant legs or jewelry can catch in the equipment's moving parts, resulting in injury. Do not wear gloves with loose cuffs. Pull back long hair. Tuck in loose clothing. 

Long pants and sturdy, non-slip boots. - Wear long pants, without cuffs, to protect your legs from objects that could be thrown from the chipper. Sturdy, non-slip boots will help you keep a firm footing on the ground and reduce the risk of slipping and falling into the chipper/shredder. 

Safety glasses - Wear safety glasses to protect your vision. 

Hard Hat - Wear a hard hat to protect your head from material that may be kicked out of the machine.

Hearing protection - Overtime, you will lose your hearing if you are exposed to loud noises without protection. Two common types of hearing protection are muffs and plugs. Ear muffs should seal around your ears to properly muffle loud noises. Wash reusable ear plugs with warm, soapy water after each use in order to prevent infection. Discard disposable ear plugs after each use. Remember that I pods or other such devices are not hearing protection and are not to be worn.  

When to Wear Hearing Protection - OSHA Standard 1910.95 (i) (l) and Canadian regulations requires hearing protection to be worn when sound levels exceed certain limits (generally, a daily average of 85 or 90 decibels, depending on the circumstances). These levels can be measured with a sound level meter. 

Hearing Protection Rules of Thumb -  Hearing protection may be needed if:

. You have to raise your voice significantly to be heard by someone three feet away.

. After leaving a noisy area, your ears feel plugged or you hear a mild ringing or whooshing noise that goes away after an hour or two.

. When you start your car in the morning, the radio is so loud from the evening before that you have to turn it down. 

PRE-START INSPECTION - Safety starts before the engine. Thoroughly inspect the chipper before beginning work each shift. Use the following checklist as a guide. Alert your supervisor if you find anything wrong during your pre-start inspection. 

Machine Placement - Place the machine on a level surface that is not concrete, paved or gravel. Operating on these surfaces can cause thrown material to ricochet and injure or kill the operator or bystanders. Also keep other workers from falling into the chipper/shredder by ensuring the location of the machine is not directly in front of or below where other employees are working. 

Missing or Damaged Guards -  Guards and shields protect you from moving parts. Check the operator's manual for the location of guards and safety shields. 

Hood - Ensure the hood, enclosing the chipper/shredder's knives, is closed and latched before operating. Also, check for loose or missing pins in the hood latch as well as cracked or worn hinges. If the hood is not properly secured, it could fly off and seriously injure or kill you. The chipper/shredder should never be operated with the hood open . 

Cutting Chamber -  Ensure the cutting chamber is free of foreign objects or other debris such as accumulated wood. Wood and foreign objects can be thrown from the chipper at high rates of speed. 

Fluid Leaks -  Fluid leaks can cause fires and breakdowns. Report sign of leaking fluid to your supervisor immediately. 

Power Take-Off (PTO) - Check to make sure the PTO shaft is fitted correctly with a suitable guard. Also, check the operator's manual to ensure the PTO speed is suitable for the machine. 

Using a Buddy System -

  1. Always work in groups of two or more. Be aware at all times of the location of coworkers. 
  2. Make sure someone knows your plans: where you are going, what you are doing and when you are going to be back.
  3. If you have any severe allergies (such as bee sting), make sure someone you are working with knows about the allergy and what to do in the event of an allergic reaction.

Safe Start-up Procedures -

 . Start the chipper/shredder at the lowest possible speed and listen for any noise or vibration that could indicate loose or broken parts. If heard, turn off the machine. Be aware at all times of the location of coworkers. Keep all others out of the area. Check the operator's manual for additional procedures.

PTO -  Additional precautions for PTO - driven models:

  1. Ensure the PTO is hitched securely and level according to the operator's manual.
  2. Put the tractor in neutral and set the parking brake.
  3. Start the tractor engine, engage PTO clutch and then increase speed to recommended RPM.

Safe Shutdown Procedures -

 . Disconnect the power supply and remove key. You can tell the machine has stopped when no noise or vibration is heard.                                                                                         . Check the operator's manual for additional procedures. 

Safe Fueling Procedures - Gasoline and other fuels are flammable. Following safe fueling procedures will help reduce the risk of fuel ignition.  Always shut off the engine and wait at least 5 minutes for the engine to cool before refueling.  Use only approved fuel containers and store in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight. Never smoke or have an open flame near fuel. Touch the fuel nozzle to the chipper/shredder before opening the fuel cap to reduce the chance that a static spark will ignite the fuel. Keep the nozzle in contact with the filler neck while fueling. Replace the cap as soon as you are finished. Use a funnel or non-spill nozzle when fueling to reduce spillage. Wipe up all spills immediately, before starting the engine. Never clean your hands or tools with gasoline. Use a non-flammable solvent instead. 

To Properly Fill Fuel Containers: 

  1. Set the container on the ground.
  2. Touch the fuel nozzle to the container before opening the fuel cap so that any static spark will not ignite vapors.
  3. Keep the nozzle in contact with the container while filling.
  4. Don't fill to the brim. Leave room for expansion. Portable containers and gas tanks should be filled 3/4 full.

Never move, load or transport a chipper/shredder while the engine is running. First, shut off the power supply, wait for all moving parts to come to a complete stop and then disconnect the spark plug wire (if applicable). 

When towing, be sure to connect safety hitch chains and tighten and secure trailer hitch bolts. Rotate the chipper/shredder's discharge chute in a direction where it will not strike objects along the roadway. Equipment should only be towed at the manufacturer's recommended speed. 

If the chipper/shredder is operated near a roadway, make sure it is positioned far enough away to not interfere with the flow of traffic or injure passers-by. Use flags and warning signs to alert motorists that there are employees in the area. These employees should wear highly reflective vests. Ensure the discharge chute is pointed away from the roadway as well. This will keep debris from flying toward traffic . 


Materials should be fed into the chipper/shredder safely to avoid contact with the equipment's moving parts. Follow these feeding procedures to keep you safe.

  1. Feed material only when the chipper/shredder is at full operating speed.     
  2. Feed branches from the side of the chute, not in front of it. This will reduce the risk of you being caught and dragged into the machine. Standing to the side of the equipment will also make it easier for you to reach the emergency shut-off switch in the event of an accident.                                                   
  3. Keep hands and feet outside of the feed chute.                                             
  4. Use a push stick to help feed small pieces and brush through the chipper/shredder to keep you at a distance from the machine's moving parts. Do not push materials into the chute with your hand or feet, pitch forks, shovels, etc.                                                                                                                       
  5. Let go of material as soon as it begins to be pulled into the machine and walk away to avoid being hit or dragged into the chipper by limbs you are feeding. Feed the branches butt end first to keep the chipper from being jammed and to reduce the kickback of material.                                                   
  6. Lay shorter pieces of material on top of longer pieces and feed through the machine.                                                                                                           
  7. Collect small materials such as leaves and twigs and put them with the chipped material instead of feeding them through the chipper/shredder.                                                                                                                                                                

Moving Parts -  

Follow these steps to avoid losing body parts or your life in the equipment's moving parts. 

Never leave the chipper/shredder unattended. This helps protect children and unauthorized persons who may go near the equipment.                             

Never inspect or work on equipment while it is running. This will protect you from the machine's moving parts.

Never operate the chipper/shredder without all guards in place. These guards were put on the machine by the manufacturer to keep you from being caught in moving parts. Never remove or redesign these guards.           

Keep hands and feet away from all moving parts.

Before attempting to unclog debris or make adjustments: 

  1. Shut off engine.
  2. Disconnect spark plug wire or battery cables (if equipped)
  3. Remove key.
  4. Disconnect PTO shaft (if equipped)
  5. Wait for all parts to stop moving.

. Eliminate tripping hazards by clearing all brush and debris from the front and sides of the machine. This will keep you from falling into its moving parts.                                          . Never climb or sit on the chipper/shredder while it is running.

PTO Safety - 

A rotating PTO shaft can quickly catch your clothing or hair and wrap your body around the shaft, killing you before you can react. However, PTO accidents are preventable. Follow these steps to safely work around PTO shafts. 

  1. Never operate equipment without the PTO shields in place.
  2. Ensure the shaft is secured to the tractor.
  3. Keep all bystanders, especially children away from the shaft.
  4. Keep hands, feet, clothing and hair away from the shaft.
  5. Walk around a PTO shaft, never step over it.
  6. Never inspect, service, lubricate or adjust the PTO unless the PTO is disengaged, the tractor engine is shut off and the shaft has stopped rotating. 


AVOID BEING STRUCK BY THE HOOD.  NOTE:  The following information has been covered in previous chapters. Due to the seriousness of this issue, please review the information.   Prevent Injury From The Hood -  The hood that covers the chipper/shredder's rotating blades can fly off and seriously injure or kill you. Take the following steps to protect you from the equipment's hood.

  1. Check to see that the hood latch is secured. Check for any missing parts or hinges that may allow the hood to become loose. 
  2. When starting the machine, unless the manufacturer recommends otherwise, begin by running it at the lowest possible speed and then increase to full operating speed while listening for unusual vibrations indicating loose or broken parts. Stop the engine immediately if there is any unusual noise.
  3. Do not attempt to open or close the hood of the chipper while it is running. Close the hood before starting the engine. 
  4. After turning off the engine, wait for all parts to stop moving and disconnect the spark plug wire or drive shaft before opening the hood. 


Dump Truck Safety

Whether you drive a dump truck or merely work around them, it is important to remember that they have the potential to be dangerous. There is a tendency for even experienced dump truck drivers to do things the easy way rather than the safe way. A Dump truck is a piece of heavy equipment and should always be treated with the respect and care it deserves. 

In addition to crashes, dump truck drivers may be injured while boarding and de-boarding the vehicle and raising or lowering the dump box. Dump truck mechanics and other employees working on the ground in the vicinity of dump truck operations are also at risk for being injured in an accident involving a dump truck. Hazards include tipping over, collapsing bed, running over workers, and injuries during maintenance. 

Safe Work Practices - 

  1. While the driver should always attempt to be efficient, safety protocols should always be followed.
  2. Many accidents are caused from drivers being in a hurry and taking shortcuts.
  3. Careless driving will lead to injuries.
  4. Pay attention to the slope of the ground.
  5. In construction settings, dump beds shall be fully lowered or blocked when being repaired or when not in use. 
  6. Warn employees of the hazard of falling dump truck beds.
  7. Detail actions to prevent unintended falling of the dump truck bed.
  8. Back-up alarm should be in proper working condition. 
  9. Use a flag person.
  10. Be aware of overhead structures and power lines.
  11. Ensure the bed is suitable supported from unexpected movement while being serviced.

Check Prior to Use

  1. Thoroughly review and understand information provided in the dump truck operator's manual with particular attention given to descriptions of safety procedures.
  2. Before using, always thoroughly inspect the dump truck, including the head and tail lights, horn, rear view mirrors, tires, air brakes and fluid levels.
  3. If any dump truck equipment fails the pre-use inspection, notify your supervisor and remove the truck from service by attaching a red tag that states "DO NOT USE" . Complete red tag with appropriate information.              

Operating Precautions. 

  1. When entering or exiting the cab of a dump truck, always use the hand hold and steps.
  2. Know the locations of obstacles such as boulders, overhead electric lines, fences, and low tree limbs in areas where loading, hauling, and dumping are to occur. Be aware of blind spots when backing a dump truck.
  3. Carefully adjust rear view mirrors to maximize your field of view. As necessary, use a "spotter" to back a dump truck.           
  4. Always know where other workers are located in the loading, hauling and dumping areas.
  5. Maintain awareness of the relationship between increasing braking distance as the dump load weight increases. Dump box loads should be evenly distributed to enhance vehicle stability.     
  6. Always engage the dump-box lock bars before performing maintenance or other tasks under a raised dump box.         
  7. Recognize surface areas hazardous to dumping, such as uneven and sloping surfaces of poorly compacted fill. Dumping loads while located on hazardous surface areas may result in vehicle tip overs. Assure the length of travel is reasonably level and compacted before spreading material by dumping from a moving truck. Know whether the material being hauled is wet or damp and therefore, will have a tendency to stick in the dump box as it is raised.                                     
  8. Prevent vehicle tip overs by deflating the air bags before raising the dump box.     
  9. Always obey all traffic signs, signals, and speed limits. 


Environmental Hazards

1) Insect Stings - 

Insect stings can be treated without medical attention unless the person suffers an allergic reaction. The first step to treating an insect sting is to remove the stinger. This can be done by using a straight edge (the back of a knife or credit card) to scrape off the stinger. Do not use tweezers since it may squeeze the venom sac and increase the amount of venom released into the wound. Next wash the site thoroughly with soap and water. Place ice wrapped in a washcloth or other suitable covering on the site of the sting for 10 minutes and then off for 10 minutes - if needed an antihistamine can be applied to help reduce the itching. Over the next several days the stinger site should be watched for signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, or pain.         

Those with severe allergies to insect stings should consult a physician about carrying a prescription medical kit. The kit contains medicine and instructions to be used if the person is stung. If the kit is used, the victim still must receive medical attention. Call for help or take them to the nearest hospital. 

2) Snake Bites - 

If you are bitten by a snake, seek medical attention immediately and try to describe the size and color of the snake to the doctor. This can help the doctor determine whether or not the snake was poisonous. Never cut, suck or apply cold packs to snake bites. 

Your chances of seeing a rattlesnake are remote, since they are relatively shy and will often hide from view to avoid being detected. A rattlesnake's first response is to lie motionless, relying on its cryptic pattern to prevent detection. When the snake does not feel threatened, it will let the danger pass without revealing its location. Depending on the situation and on the snake, a rattlesnake may warn you of its presence by rattling its tail. If given room and time, the snake will move away into nearby cover. 

Snake Safety Tips

  1. Wear protective footwear (such as hiking boots that cover the ankles) and long, loose fitting pants, especially when hiking in open rocky areas or places where vision may be obscured, such as in long grass or at night;
  2. DO NOT pick up snakes or other wild animals. This act is the most common cause of bites;
  3. Do not harass, chase or threaten a snake. This act is the second most common cause of bites;
  4. Always watch where you are putting your feet and hands. Poke around with a stick before reaching into brush, under rocks, or into dark places where snakes may be hiding;
  5. If you hear a rattlesnake, STAY CALM! Stop walking, and then determine the snake's location. Slowly move away from the snake and give it room to also move away;
  6. Keep pets on leashes; curious pets at large are more often the victims of snakebites than people;
  7. If you come across a snake, the best advice is to enjoy the unique encounter but observe it from a safe distance and try not to disturb the snake. 


Snakebites are a medical emergency and should be taken seriously. Within 15 minutes, most bites are recognizable by the development of discoloration, swelling, and pain at the site of the bite. Hospitals and doctors now receive specialized training in snakebite treatment and have quick access to a network of snakebite experts. 


Do not panic. Remain calm. Reassure the bitten person. Remember that the person may have been bitten, but NOT envenomated. The calmer the person is, the better he/she can assist the hospital in ensuring a full recovery.  A calm person can assist doctors by answering questions about the incident and the snake in question - important information doctors will use to assess your condition and appropriate treatments. Staying calm is essential! The spread of venom, development of shock, and other medical reactions will be slower if the person stays calm.                                             

Call emergency services to request transportation to the hospital. Remember, there is time. Although a medical emergency, a doctor may opt for one or two hours of observation before deciding on treatment. Do not endanger yourself, the person who was bitten, or others by the reckless operation of a vehicle or boat in order to get to a medical facility or transfer point. To secure transportation to a hospital, one should call an ambulance or an emergency service. 


  1. If possible, carry the patient or assist them in reducing activity. Ensure they are laying down while waiting for transportation. Remaining calm and inactive will slow the circulation of venom throughout the body.
  2. Wash and cleanse the wound.
  3. Remove any jewellery from the bitten limb in case of swelling.
  4. Splint the limb to reduce movement.
  5. DO NOT apply a tourniquet.
  6. DO NOT apply ice; DO NOT cut the bite area and apply suction.
  7. Identify the snake (if possible). Take note of the snake, its coloring, pattern, and size. You will be asked to describe the snake when you reach the medical facility. This will aid doctors in determining whether you were bitten by a rattlesnake, and whether you have been envenomated. Often snakes will not envenomate prey which is significantly larger than they are (such as humans), and you will not require anti-venom.
  8. DO NOT try to catch the snake!

3) Mammals - 

Be aware of animals such as squirrels or bats that may be in trees or bushes and startle you during work. Also, be cautious of animas such as rats, skunks and raccoons that could be rabid. 

4) Poison Ivy, Oak and Sumac - 

  1. Wash the affected area and all clothing and tools that may have touched the plant.   
  2. Avoid scratching the area if possible, to prevent infection.
  3. Hot and cold compresses can be used to suppress itching.
  4. Consult a doctor if the rash is on the face, inside the mouth or covers a large portion of the body. 
  5. Poison Ivy Leaves are usually found in clusters of three. 

5) Wild Parsnip - 

Warning Wild Parsnip Risk

This invasive weed should be avoided as it poses a significant health risk to persons. An explosive growth of Wild Parsnip in recent years has resulted in many residents suffering serious burns to the skin as a result of contact with sap from the Wild Parsnip plant. 

Wild Parsnip can be found throughout Eastern and Southern Ontario within uncultivated land, roadside ditches, parkland, nature trails, and sports fields as well as on and around residential properties. The best way to avoid contact with the plant is to become familiar with what the plant look like. 

Stems & Roots:  Stems erect, 50-150 cm (20-60 in.)high, branched, hollow except at the nodes; seedlings with small ovate leaves on long stalks, later rosette leaves pinnately compound with broad leaflets; plants remaining as a rosette during the first season and developing a thick white to yellowish taproot.

Leaves: Stem leaves alternate (1 per node), pinnately compound with usually 2 to 5 pairs of opposite (2 at a place), sharply toothed, relatively broad leaflets that may be somewhat mitten shaped, and 1 somewhat diamond-shaped leaflet at the tip; all leafstalks broad and completely encircle the stem; uppermost leaves reduced to narrow bract5s with flowering branches from their axils.

Flowers & Fruit: Does not flower in its first year of growth. Flowers yellow, small, clustered in compound umbels 10-20 cm (4-8in.) across; seeds round in outline, flat and winged. Flowers from late June into late autumn (resembles dill).

6) Giant Hogweed -

Giant hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum), also known as Giant cow parsnip is a perennial plant and a member of the carrot family. It is a garden ornamental from southwest Asia that is naturalizing in North America and becoming more common in southern and central Ontario. Giant Hogweed has the potential to spread readily and grows along roadsides, ditches and streams. It invades old fields and native habitats such as open woodlands.

There are a number of plants that look very similar to Giant Hogweed such as Cow parsnip, Purplestem angelica, Woodland angelica, Valerian, Lovage, and Queen Anne's-Lace (also known as Wild carrot). However, these plants are not as large as a mature Giant hogweed, which grows up to 5.5 metres tall under ideal conditions. The white flower clusters resemble those of Queen Anne's Lace, but tend to be more widely spaced and can form a flower-head almost one metre wide. 

If you see Giant Hogweed, DO NOT TOUCH IT. Giant hogweed can be a serious health hazard. Its watery, clear sap contains photosensitizing compounds (furanocoumarins), which, when in contact with human skin and in combination with UV radiation, can cause burning. Content varies depending on plant park, but contact should be avoided at all times. The reaction of the skin depends on individual sensitivity. After 24hrs, reddening and swelling of the skin can be noticed, which is followed by an inflammatory reaction after 3 days. Depending on individual sensitivity, effects can last for months and skin can remain sensitive to UV light for years. 

Protective clothing:

Wear protective clothing, including waterproof gloves, long sleeve shirts, pants, and eye protection. It is ideal to wear a disposable "spray suit" coverall over top of your normal clothing (spray suits are commercial grade waterproof coveralls). Remove protective clothing carefully to avoid transferring any sap from your clothing onto your skin. Wash your rubber gloves with soap and water, and then take off your spray suit or outer clothing. Wash your rubber gloves again and then take them off.  Finally, take off your protective eye wear. Put non-disposable clothing in the laundry and wash yourself immediately with soap and water. 

7) Lightning Precautions:

Lightning strikes injure and kill hundreds of people each year. Follow these precautions to help keep you safe when the weather turns bad.

  1. As soon as you hear thunder, shut off and put away equipment and move indoors out of the storm. When you are able to hear thunder, you are able to be struck by lightning. Lightning can strike even when it's not raining.
  2. The cab of an enclosed vehicle provides some protection from lightning but a sturdy building provides the best protection.
  3.  Listen to the radio for weather updates and storm warnings. 

If you Can't Take Cover Inside -

  1. Get to a low space. Lightning strikes the tallest objects.
  2. Crouch down on the balls of your feet. Place your hands on your knees and lower your head between your knees. 
  3. Minimize contact with the ground. 
  4. Do no lie flat on the ground. This will make you a larger target. 

Lightning Facts: 

  1. A person that is struck by lightning DOES NOT retain an electric charge that can shock you.
  2. Lightning can spread as far as 60 feet after striking the ground.
  3. Lightning can travel at speeds of 100,000 mph.
  4. The temperature of a bolt of lightning can be as high as 50,000 F. 
  5. Lightning CAN strike the same place twice.  



Ladder Safety


There are many different scenarios when it comes to the use of a ladder. Whether you are doing some minor repairs around the home or you need the use of a ladder at work, there are some general safety rules that should be applied at all times.  We will take a look at some generally accepted safety guidelines for ladder safety. It is strongly advised that you only use grade 1 or 1A industrial ladders in your workplace.  Please inspect all ladders in your workplace immediately and remove any damaged and defective ladders, footstools being used as ladders or ladders that are not industrial grade.

Working with Ladders - 

  1. The employer, employee and the user of the ladder should ensure that a portable ladder has non-slip feet, is placed on firm footing and has no broken or loose members or other faults. 
  2. Always inspect the ladder for signs of cracks or other damage before using it. 
  3. If the ladder is damaged, do not use it! Place a label on it so as to notify anyone else who may wish to use it that it is not safe to use.
  4. Disable the ladder if possible so that it cannot be set up for use if it is beyond minor repairs. 
  5. Replace all damaged ladders immediately.
  6. If it is necessary to work on a ladder for an extended period of time, without changing location, the employer should try to provide scaffolds or other work platforms to reduce the risk of falling.
  7. When a portable ladder exceeds six meters in length, and is not securely fastened or is likely to be endangered by traffic, it should be: held in place by one or more workers while being used: and, inclined so that the horizontal distance from the top support to the foot of the ladder is not less that one quarter and not more than one third of the length of the ladder.
  8. The employer should ensure that a ladder is appropriate for the task, and that the worker is instructed in its proper use. When necessary for safety, the feet of the ladder should be equipped with steel points or other non-slipping bases designed for the surface on which the ladder will be used. 
  9. Where a worker climbs the outside of a structure such as a silo or grain bin on an access ladder fixed in position, the ladder should have a safety cage installed to protect the worker. In the absence of a safety cage, other means of fall protection should be used, for example, the three-point method of contact while climbing. 
  10. The three-point method of contact means that the user must keep two feet and one arm/hand inside the confines of the ladder and in contact with the ladder at all times.
  11. Never reach excessively so that part of your body is outside the frame of the ladder. Go back down the ladder and reposition it properly. Don't stretch or reach beyond the side rails of a ladder. You could lose your balance. 
  12. Secure the top of the ladder as needed. Secure the top and bottom of a ladder when using it to access a platform or scaffold.
  13. Hoist materials or attach them to a belt. Do not carry materials in your hands.
  14. Make sure that only one person at a time is on the ladder.
  15. Never stand any higher than on the third rung from the top of a ladder.
  16. Keep metal and wet wooden ladders away from live electrical circuits.
  17. Put the ladder up correctly. Follow the "4 to 1" rule. One foot back for each four feet up. when you set up the ladder, count the number of rungs up to the point where the ladder touches the wall. The bottom of the ladder must be one rung's length out from the wall for every four rungs up the wall.
  18. In aisles or where there may be the danger of traffic, have someone hold the ladder. Post a warning sign, if necessary.
  19. Always inspect the ground or floor before putting a ladder in place and using it. Ensure that the surface is not slippery or uneven. This may cause the ladder to slip or tip over. 
  20. Never use a ladder in an aisle that is also being used for forklift traffic or other vehicles unless you have barriers and a spotter in place. Always inform co-workers in the immediate area if you have to set up and use a ladder in an area where they may not be expecting you to be. 
  21. If a ladder is being used for work that is over three meters in height or there is the chance of a worker falling onto equipment or into a chemical or body of water, then the worker now requires fall arrest training, equipment and a tie off point that has been certified by an engineer. Always use caution in this situation and examine the use of other means in such a scenario. 


Log Splitter Safety

There are different types and sizes of wood splitters available on the market. They range from small portable units for domestic use to larger stationary units for commercial firewood production. The splitting action is usually performed by a moving axe or wedge, which presents a crush hazard to the hands and feet. All those involved in the operation of the wood splitter must have read, and have been instructed in the safety instructions. The owner must ensure that those operating the wood splitter are competent to do so with adequate supervision. The OHS Act requires employers to provide supervision to the extent necessary to minimize the risks to health and safety. 

Important Safety Tips before Using a Log Splitter - 

  1. ONLY operate the log splitter of wood conveyor after you have fully read the owner's manual. CAUTION; failure to follow proper operating instructions while operating a log splitter or a wood  conveyor might result in sever injury.
  2. KEEP in mind that most accidents occur when more than one individual is operating the log splitter or wood conveyor. We recommend that the operator be the only person within 10 feet of the log splitter during the splitting phase. Keep bystanders, pets and children at least 20 feet from the machine at all times while it is in operation. 
  3. CAUTION; Never position the logs on the log splitter by holding either end of the log with your hands. It is recommended that you hold the log by the middle when loading the log splitter in order to prevent injury.
  4. CAUTION; Keep hands clear of the space between the log splitter ram and the log, or the log and the wedge of the log splitter at all times.
  5. ONLY operate the ram control of the log splitter lever by hand.
  6. WARNING; NEVER operate the log splitter on icy, muddy, wet or any other slippery surfaces. Also avoid operating the log splitter in enclosed areas.
  7. While operating a log splitter or wood conveyor, ALWAYS wear adequate eye and foot protection such as safety glasses and heavy work boots to ensure protection from flying pieces of wood or falling logs.
  8. WARNING; NEVER fill the log splitter or wood conveyor gas tank while the engine is running or still hot. ALWAYS shut off the fuel supply before towing the machine.
  9. WARNING; For your own personal safety and the safety of those nearby, NEVER operate the log splitter or wood conveyor while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medication.
  10. WE RECOMMEND that you DO NOT lend your log splitter or wood conveyor to an individual unfamiliar with these procedures and who may be hurt as a result. 
  11. NEVER wear jewelry or loose clothing that might become entangled in moving or rotating parts of the machine.
  12. Hydraulic log splitters develop high fluid pressures during operation. Fluid escaping through a pin hole opening can penetrate your skin and cause blood poisoning, gangrene, or death.

Log Splitters - Operation Tips:

  1. Logs should be cut with square ends prior to splitting.
  2. when loading a log, always place your hands on the sides of the log, not on the ends, and never use your foot to help stabilize a log. Failure to do so, may result in crushed or amputated fingers, toes, hand or foot.
  3. Use only your hands to operate the controls.
  4. Never attempt to split more than one log at a time unless the ram has been fully extended and a second log is needed to complete the separation of the first log. 
  5. For logs which are not cut square, the least square ends and the longest portion of the log should be placed towards the beam and wedge, and the square end placed towards the end plate.
  6. When splitting in the vertical position, stabilize the log before moving the control. Split as follows:  

Place log on the end plate and turn until it leans against the beam and is stable.     

When splitting extra-large or uneven logs, the log must be stabilized with wooden ships or split wood between the log and end plate or ground. 

Always keep fingers away from any cracks that open in the log while splitting. They can quickly close and pinch or amputate your fingers. 

Preparing the Work Site -

  1. NEVER operate your log splitter on slippery, wet, muddy or icy surfaces. The location you choose should be flat, dry and free from any tall grass, brush or other interference. 
  2. NEVER operate engine in an enclosed area. Exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide, which can be deadly when inhaled.
  3. NEVER attempt to move your log splitter over hilly or uneven terrain without a tow vehicle.
  4. NEVER use your log splitter at night.
  5. ALWAYS operate your log splitter on dry, solid, level ground.
  6. ALWAYS block wheels to prevent movement of machine while in operation.

How-To Safely Cut a Log Using a Log Splitter;

Step 1. Logs should be cut with square ends prior to splitting.

Step 2. When loading a log, always place your hands on the sides of the log, not on the ends, and never use your foot to help stabilize a log. Failure to do so, may result in crushed or amputated fingers, toes, hand or foot. 

Step 3. Use only your hands to operate the controls.

Step 4. Never attempt to split more than one log at a time unless the ram has been fully extended and a second log is needed to complete the separation of the first log.

Step 5. For logs which are not cut square, the least square ends and the longest portion of the log should be placed towards the beam and wedge, and the square end placed towards the end plate.

Step 6. When splitting in the vertical position, stabilize the log before moving the control. Split as follows; Place log on the end plate and turn until it leans against the beam and is stable. When splitting extra-large or uneven logs, the log must be stabilized with wooden ships or split wood between the log and end plate or ground. 

Step 7. Always keep fingers away from any cracks that open in the log while splitting. They can quickly close and pinch or amputate your fingers.

Guarding -

The objective of guarding the wood splitter is to prevent injuries, such as being caught between the moving parts and the wood or the fixed parts of the wood splitter, or being hit by falling wood, during the splitting or return strokes.

For certain machines - outlined in section 4 - where a high risk has been identified, guarding requirements in this section are compulsory.

For machines where a medium risk has been identified due to the wedge speed being less than a nominal 60 mm per second, guarding requirements in this section are optional. However, if the wedge speed exceeds the nominal 60 mm per second, the risk level changes to high and the requirements in this section are compulsory. 

The guarding must;

  1. Protect the hands and arms that are free from the controls but may be in the crush zone during the wood-splitting action.
  2. Protect against the potential crush hazard on the return stoke - e.g. if wood is jammed.
  3. Provide protection to the operator's feet during splitting operations.

To ensure that guarding is effective, one or more of the following principles should be observed;

  1. Provide fixed or interlocked moveable guarding of the moving wedge or axe, rotating screw and pressure plate areas;
  2. Locate manual splitting control levers or buttons so that the operator cannot reach the danger points while operating the controls. 
  3. Ensure two-handed operation of the manual-splitting controls so that both hands are kept away from the danger points.

For two-handed operation;

  1. The controls should be of the hold-to-run type - i.e. the splitting action is stopped immediately if either manual control is released. 
  2. The controls should not be able to be operated simultaneously with one hand or arm, or with other parts of the body.
  3. The wedge or axe or the pressure plate should not return to the starting position if either manual control is in the 'on' position.

The controls for the splitting operation should be laid out in such a way that the operator has an unobstructed view of the splitting action.

Wood Holding Devices -

There should be a means to prevent the wood, or parts of it, from falling onto the operator during the splitting and return movement. An adequate size workbench or table, on which the wood is split, may be an acceptable means of preventing the wood from falling. Where the wood is split horizontally, catch plates (or similar) should be fitted to prevent wood sections falling from the splitter. 

Stability -

Mobile wood splitters should be designed so that they are stable when used or parked according to the manufacturer's instructions.

The machine should not turn over when it is placed on a horizontal hard surface and is subjected to:

  1. An inclination of 8.5 degrees in any direction, or
  2. A horizontal force of 300 N, approximately 30kg push, applied in any direction at a point 1650 mm from the ground or at the highest point of the machine - whichever is the lowest

Prevent Fires - 

  1. NEVER operate the log splitter near a flame or spark. Motor oil and gasoline are flammable and can explode.
  2. DO NOT fill the gas tank while the engine is hot or running. Allow the engine time to cool down before refueling.
  3. NEVER smoke while operating or refueling the log splitter. Gasoline, oil and even gas fumes can explode.
  4. ONLY refuel the log splitter outdoors in a clear area void of gas fumes or spilled gasoline.
  5. ALWAYS use approved fuel container.
  6. ALWAYS replace the gas cap securely.
  7. If gasoline is spilled, move the machine away from the area of the spill and avoid creating any source of ignition until the spilled gasoline has completely evaporated.
  8. Take a class B fire extinguisher with you when operating the log splitter in dry areas as a precautionary measure against possible flying sparks. 
  9. Always store gasoline in an approved, tightly sealed container. Store the container in a cool, dry place. Do not store the container in a house or near any heating appliance. 
  10. NOTE; The log splitter is equipped with an internal combustion engine and should not be used on or near any unimproved forest-covered, brush-covered or grass-covered land unless the engine's exhaust system is equipped with a spark arrester meeting local or state laws (if any). If a spark arrester is used, it should be maintained in effective working order by the owner and/or operator.


Leaf Blowers


Leaf blowers are essential for landscape maintenance professionals. This is because these machines are very efficient tools for cleaning up leaves and other small debris from landscape sites. Since their development in the 1970s, leaf blowers to a large extent have supplanted brooms, hoses, and rakes. Leaf blowers even perform functions that no other tool can handle effectively, such as cleaning areas covered by rock, gravel, bark, or mulch -- with minimal disturbance.

Why do we use leaf blowers?

Leaf blowers are extremely efficient for cleaning leaves, grass clippings, and debris from driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, sports arenas, parks and construction sites. In these situations, a leaf blower is more time and cost efficient than a rake or a broom. Leaf blowers also perform tasks like cleaning areas covered by mulch or bark more effectively than hand tools. When used properly, there is little disturbance to the surface.

What do leaf blowers do? You can use a leaf blower to:

  • Remove and gather leaves
  • Vacuum leaves
  • Remove grass clippings
  • Dislodge or break up matted grass
  • Clean parking lots
  • Clean farm and construction equipment
  • Clean arenas and amusement parks
  • Remove light or fluffy snow
  • Dry off pavement
  • Clean rain gutters

Types of leaf blowers

There are two main types of leaf blowers: handheld and backpack models. Both types are usually powered by either a 2-stroke or 4-stroke engine. Some handheld blowers also provide a blower-vacuum combination. There are many different models, attachments and performance options available for different applications. For more technical and performance information, check your operator's manual.

How to use a leaf blower

Before you use a leaf blower, read the instruction manual provided by the manufacturer. If you do not have an instruction manual, you can get one by contacting the manufacturer or your local retailer. Many manufacturers have them available on their websites. You need to know how the leaf blower works and how to use it properly before you start a job. For example, the following are general rules:

  • Children should not use a leaf blower.
  • Pay attention when using a leaf blower. Don't point an operating blower in the direction of people or pets.
  • Make sure bystanders, including other operators, are at least 50 feet away. Stop blowing if you are approached.
  • Do not use a leaf blower if you are tired or sick, taking medication, or if you have used drugs or alcohol.
  • Do not use a blower indoors or in poorly ventilated areas.
  • Inspect the blower before and during use to make sure controls, parts and safety devices are not damaged and are working properly.
  • Never modify a blower in a way not authorized by the manufacturer.
  • Do not operate while standing on a ladder, rooftop, tree or other unstable surface. Use nozzle attachments to reach high places.
  • Work carefully. You need to be safe, courteous and responsible.

Dress Safely!

  • Wear hearing protection when using a leaf blower – either ear plugs or earmuffs.
  • Wear goggles that meet eye protection standards.
  • Wear non-slip, heavy-duty work gloves.
  • Wear sturdy protective clothing. Do not wear anything loose. Tie back long hair. Wear long pants to help protect your legs and long sleeves to help protect your arms.
  • Wear sturdy shoes with non-slip soles.
  • In dusty conditions, wear a respirator or dust mask as appropriate.

Handle Gas Carefully

  • Don't spill when you fill! If you do spill, wipe leaf blower dry before using.
  • Use the correct fuel/oil mix. Check the instruction manual.
  • Refuel before you start the engine. If refueling during work, turn off the engine and allow it to cool before fueling. Loosen the cap slowly to relieve pressure in the tank. Always retighten the fuel cap securely.
  • Never smoke while handling fuel.
  • Start the blower at least 10 feet from the fueling spot.
  • Store fuel in a well-ventilated area in a properly marked safety container.
  • Make sure the spark plug boot is secure to avoid sparks and possible ignition of fuel vapors.

Operating courtesy

  • Follow local rules and ordinances about when to use leaf blowers. Do not use very early in the morning or very late in the day.
  • Check wind direction and intensity. Never point the nozzle or blow debris toward people, pets, cars or houses.
  • Do not blow debris toward open windows or doors.
  • Always be considerate of people passing by and of property.
  • Do not leave the blower running when unattended.
  • Do not use a blower to spread or mist fertilizers, chemicals or other toxic substances, unless it is designed for these purposes and in an appropriate area.

Reducing sound

  • Use the lowest possible throttle speed to do the job.
  • Use nozzle attachments that help reduce sound. See manufacturer's operator's manual.
  • Avoid using more than one blower at a time, especially in neighborhoods or around buildings where sound can be intensified.
  • Check the condition of the leaf blower muffler, air intakes and air filter to make sure they're in good operating condition.

Reducing dust

  • Start with nozzle close to the ground at first – then raise it to a height where it does not generate dust.
  • Use the full lower nozzle extensions to control sound and minimize dust.
  • Pay attention to what you are moving.
  • Practice moving grass clippings or a paper cup without moving dust.
  • Wet dusty areas down first before using a blower.
  • Never use a leaf blower to move excessively dusty materials.
  • A leaf blower should NOT be used to clean up:
    • Large amounts of gravel or gravel dust
    • Construction dirt
    • Plaster dust
    • Cement and concrete dust
    • Dry garden topsoil
  • Use a vacuum or power broom with water


Mowing/Trimming Safety


Failure to observe safety precautions when operating mowing equipment can result in serious injury or death. The most common types of serious accidents are:

  1. Rollovers-

Agricultural mowers and riding lawn mowers can overturn, causing injury and death. Never make sharp turns at high speeds, especially on a hill.

      2. Being Caught in Moving Parts -

Serious injury or death can result from being caught in mowing equipment's moving parts. Never put hands or feet under a running mower. Always shut the mower off before servicing.

Help Yourself

Safe work habits are important. Here are three actions you can take to be safe on the job site.

  1. Learn all you can.   To prevent accidents with mowers and trimmers, read and follow directions in the equipment operator's manual. Pay attention to safety instructions in the manual and to warning labels you see on the equipment. If you have questions, stop and ask your supervisor before you continue.
  2. Concentrate on working safely.  Sometimes you may be tempted to take risky shortcuts. Remember that an accident can leave you permanently injured or cut your life short. For your safety and the safety of those around you, do not take unnecessary risks. No deadline is so pressing you can't take the time to do your work safely.
  3. Additional Precautions - Do not operate machinery if you are tired or have taken drugs or alcohol. If you are on medication, discuss with your doctor or pharmacist if you are capable of safely operating machinery. Discuss this with your Supervisor, Manager or Owner.  


Certain equipment is necessary to protect your body from materials ejected from the mowing equipment and from being caught in moving parts. When operating mowing equipment you should wear the following.

Close-Fitting Clothes and No Jewelry - Loose shirt sleeves, pant legs or jewelry can catch in the equipment's moving parts or on electrical lines, resulting in injury; therefore, close-fitting clothes should be worn. Pull back long hair.

Long pants and sturdy, non-slip boots - Wear long pants and sturdy, non-slip boots to protect your legs and feet from objects that are thrown from the mower. Never wear sandals, which expose your feet, or tennis shoes, which can easily be severed if caught under the mower deck or in the trimmer's cutting swath. 

Safety glasses and a face shield - Safety glasses should be worn at all times unless operating equipment with an enclosed cab. A face shield should be used, in addition to safety glasses, when operating a string/brush trimmer and other times when your face could be hit by debris. ALWAYS wear eye protection when operating all mowing equipment.

Hearing Protection - Over time, you will lose your hearing if you are exposed to loud noises without protection. Two common types of hearing protection are muffs and plugs. Ear muffs should seal around your ears to properly muffle loud noises. Wash reusable ear plugs with warm, soapy water after each use in order to prevent infection. Discard disposable ear plugs after each use. Remember that I pods and other such devices are NOT hearing protection and are not to be worn! 

When to Wear Hearing Protection - OSHA Standard 1910.95 (i) (l) and Canadian regulations requires hearing protection to be worn when sound levels exceed certain limits (generally, a daily average of 85 or 90 decibels, depending on the circumstances). These levels can be measured with a sound level meter. A hearing conservation program requiring hearing tests and other precautions may also be necessary. Check with the equipment operator's manual, as well as your supervisor, for suggestions on hearing protection for each piece of equipment and instructions on how to wear it properly. 

Hearing Protection Rules of Thumb - Hearing protection may be needed if: 

  1. You have to raise your voice significantly to be heard by someone three feet away.
  2. After leaving a noise area, your ears feel plugged or you hear a mild ringing or whooshing noise that goes away after an hour or two.
  3. When you start your car in the morning, the radio is so loud from the evening before that you have to turn it down.


Pre-Start Inspection

Safety starts before the engine. A thorough inspection of the mower or trimmer is important before beginning work each day. Use the checklist on the next page as a guide for daily, visual inspection. Alert your supervisor if you find anything wrong during your daily pre-start inspection. 


Check for loose or damaged belts. Loose belts can slip, causing friction and possibly a fire. Belts can also break and be flung from the mower. Tighten loose belts and replace belts if any ply separation or cracks are visible.


Make sure the blade is secure, balanced and covered to prevent injury. Report bent, cracked or worn blades to your supervisor. Protect your hands with heavy-duty gloves when inspecting blades.

Fluid Leaks

Fluid leaks can be a fire hazard as well as cause break-downs. Report signs of leaking fluid to your supervisor immediately.

Accumulated Grass or Grease

Check the mower deck and chute for accumulations of grass clippings, leaves, grease and other debris. Debris build-up on moving parts is a fire hazard and can cause break-downs.

Missing or Damaged Guards

Guards and shields protect you from moving parts. Check the operator's manual for the location of guards and safety shields on the equipment you are using. 

When Operating an Agricultural Mower

Ensure there is a shield covering the power take-off (PTO) to keep you from being entangled in the rotating shaft. Also, if your equipment has any belts or pulleys, make sure the guards are in place and secured. 

When Operating a Riding Mower

Ensure that the discharge chute's guard is in place to deflect debris and cover the mower's blade. Also if your equipment has any belts or pulleys, make sure the guards are in place and secured. Also, check that the operator presence control is working properly. The control shuts the mower off automatically when weight is lifted off of the seat.

When Operating a Walk Behind Mower

Ensure the operator presence control is working properly. The engine should shut off automatically when the handle is released. There should be a rear guard installed to protect your feet, as well as a discharge chute on the side of the mower that deflects debris and covers the mower's blade. 


Check tire pressure and look for signs of damage. Make sure lug bolts are tight to keep the wheel from slipping off.

Attachments (if applicable)

Make sure attachments are mounted and fastened correctly.

String/Brush Trimmer

Ensure the shield covering the String/blade is in place and secured. 

Prepare Mowing Area

Prepare the mowing area before beginning to ensure a safe working environment for yourself and others. 

Remove Debris

Walk the area to be mowed. Pick up debris such as rocks, sticks, bottles, cans, wires, etc. Debris picked up by a mower or trimmer can be thrown from the machine at speeds as high as 200 mph or cause the equipment to jam or malfunction.

Be Aware of Surroundings

While scanning the area for debris, locate other potential hazards such as ditches, drop-offs or embankments. Be aware at all times of the location of co-workers. Keep all others out of the area while you are mowing or trimming. Make sure that the chute of the mower is pointed away from people, animals, buildings and traffic. ALWAYS be aware of the location of co-workers and wear appropriate eye protection. 


Start Up Safety Procedures - Make sure all attachments are disengaged.

  1. shift into neutral before starting the engine.
  2. always start string/brush trimmers on the ground.
  3. start riding equipment from the operator's seat only.
  4. keep hands and feet away from the blade area when starting walk behind mowers.

Safe Shut Down Procedures

  1. disengage the blade and other attachments.
  2. lower the attachments to the ground.
  3. shift the controls into neutral.
  4. set the parking brake.
  5. turn off the engine.
  6. remove the key (if applicable)  
  7. ALWAYS shift the gear to neutral before shutting down equipment. 

Safe Fueling Procedures

Gasoline and other fuels are flammable. Follow safe fueling procedures to help reduce the risk of fuel ignition.

  1. Always shut off the engine and wait at least 5 minutes for the engine to cool before refueling.
  2. Use only approved fuel containers and store in a well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight.
  3. Never smoke or have an open flame near fuel.
  4. Touch the fuel nozzle to the machine before removing the fuel cap to prevent a static spark from igniting the fuel.
  5. Use a funnel or a non-spill nozzle when fueling to reduce spillage.
  6. Keep the nozzle or funnel in contact with the fuel tank while filling.
  7. Wipe up all spills immediately, before starting the engine.
  8. Never clean your hands with gasoline. Use a non-flammable solvent instead.

To Properly Fill Fuel Containers;

  1. Set the container on the ground.
  2. Touch the nozzle to the container before removing the container lid.
  3. Keep the nozzle in contact with the container while filling.
  4. Don't fill to the brim. Leave room for expansion. Portable containers and gas tanks should be filled 3 / 4 full. 
  5. To reduce the chance of static sparks, do not fill containers in the bed of a pickup or in a car.

Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can poison and kill. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea, weakness, dizziness, and the loss of consciousness. To avoid CO poisoning, operate all equipment outdoors. If you must work indoors, make sure there is adequate ventilation to prevent exposure to CO. 


When a mower becomes unstable or out of balance, it can roll over. A human's reaction time is too slow to stop a rollover once it starts. Look over the area before you mow, noting all land elevation changes. Once you have assessed the area to be mowed, observe the following precautions to avoid rollover accidents, Do not mow near drop-offs, ditches, embankments or steep slopes.  The wheels on your mower and attachments can drop off or slide over the edge, causing the mower to roll over. Use a string trimmer to cut grass in these locations. 

Do not operate tractors and mowers on steep hills. Refer to the operator's manual for the maximum slope allowed for your equipment. Know the maximum slope on which your equipment can safely be operated. 

Avoid sudden moves. - Abrupt starts, stops and sharp turns can make the equipment roll over.

Slow down when turning and make wide, gradual turns, especially when mowing on slopes. - Turning quickly and sharply can cause the mower to overturn. When mowing on slopes, don't turn unless you have to. If turning is required, turn slowly and downhill. 

Riding Lawn Mowers/Agricultural Tractors - Mow up and down slopes, not across. Your mower can become unbalanced and overturn on slopes, if you do not drive in the correct direction. Mowing up and down slopes can help prevent a side rollover. Keep the heavy end uphill to avoid a rollover. Refer to your operator's manual to determine which end is heavier. 

Walk Behind Mowers - Mow across slopes, not up and down, to keep you from sliding underneath the mower.


Observe these precautions to prevent being caught in the equipment's moving parts. 

  1. Keep both hands and feet on the equipment at all times ( if applicable). Never reach around or beneath a running mower or trimmer.
  2. Never use a mower or trimmer without all shields and guards in place. Shields and guards protect you from being caught in moving parts and should always be in place and undamaged when operating mowers and trimmers. 
  3. Never add blades or chains not recommended by the manufacturer. A blade or chain not specifically designed for the equipment can seriously injure or kill you. Refer to the operator's manual for recommended attachments.
  4. Shut off the engine before picking up debris or unclogging the chute. If the mower becomes clogged, turn the engine off and disconnect the spark plug wire before attempting to clear debris from the discharge chute. String trimmers should also be turned off before removing debris. 
  5. Never work on the equipment while it is running. Turn off the engine, disconnect the spark plug wire (or unplug if electrical) and allow moving parts to stop before unclogging, adjusting, changing blades or working on equipment. This procedure should also be followed if you hit an object or if the equipment vibrates unusually.- NEVER DISMOUNT RUNNING EQUIPMENT.
  6. Be cautious on wet grass. Slips on wet grass can cause you to fall into the equipment's moving parts. Also, wet grass can cause riding mowers and agricultural tractors to slide or skid, throwing you off. 
  7. Always push the mower, never pull, to keep from pulling the mower over your feet. Never lift the mower up. Push the mower forward to turn so that you do not pull the equipment over your feet. Never lift the mower up to complete a turn. 


Runovers - you can be injured or killed if you are run over by mowing equipment. Protect yourself by following these steps to avoid runovers.

  1. Always start riding equipment from the operator's seat. Do not start riding equipment while standing beside it. 
  2. Never carry extra passengers, including children, on a riding mower.
  3. Never leave running equipment unattended. Always follow proper shut-down procedures.
  4. Watch for traffic and pedestrians when crossing or working near roads, driveways, parking lots, buildings corners, shrubs, trees and other blind spots. People, animals and traffic move quickly and may not realize they are in the path of danger. Be aware of your surroundings at all times.

Obstacles- You can be seriously inured or killed if you run into obstacles while mowing. Follow these precautions to avoid obstacles.

  1. Always be looking ahead for obstacles
  2. Watch for trees, buildings, overhangs and other obstructions
  3. Allow enough room to safely pass between obstructions. Be careful not to get too close
  4. Check overhead clearance before passing beneath branches, awnings and other obstructions
  5. Watch for obstacles when backing up
  6. Allow plenty of room when passing between obstacles
  7. Never mow on wet grass and always keep hands on the steering wheel of an agricultural tractor or riding mower

Thrown Objects- Objects thrown from mowing equipment can cause severe injury. Follow these steps to protect yourself and others.

  1. Clear the work area before you begin. Pick up sticks, bottles, rocks, wires and other debris before you begin
  2. Keep children and bystanders away from the area
  3. Wear long pants to protect your legs from debris
  4. Safety glasses should be worn at all times unless you are inside and enclosed cab
  5. Safety glasses and a face shield should be worn when operating string and brush trimmers
  6. Shut off equipment when crossing a sidewalk, driveway or road

Electrical Safety- Follow these precautions to keep you from being electrocuted while working with electric tools.

  1. Never cut off the ground pin (bottom prong) of a three prong plug to fit in a two prong outlet
  2. Do not use electric equipment when grass is damp or wet
  3. Keep ladders away from power lines
  4. Use tools that are double insulated
  5. Do not carry any tool by its cord
  6. Ensure extension cords are in good condition and always use a cord labeled for outdoor use
  7. Do not run over extension cords with equipment
  8. Make sure electric tools are unplugged before working on, unclogging, or adjusting the equipment
  9. Unplug all equipment immediately after use
  10. When unplugging a tool or piece of equipment, do not yank the cord
  11. Battery powered tools are much safer than electrical tools


Mower Safety Guideline for on Ground Use

Driving in the Safety Zone- "Driving in the safety zone" means making choices that keep you out of high-risk situations and hazards, like steep slopes or sudden drop-offs near water. Stay off hills or surfaces with a slope greater than 15 degrees.

Maintain areas close to water with a hand trimmer or walk mower- Avoid driving your mower too close to water. There may be drop-offs, the surrounding grass can be wet or slippery, or the ground might be muddy and unstable.

Give yourself plenty of clearance- It's tempting to get as close to water or edges as you can to eliminate a little handwork. But don't sacrifice safety in the interest of saving a little time or effort. Give yourself plenty of clearance. Suggested use is 2 mower widths as a guide.

Safety Basics- Safety basics when operating any mowing equipment:

  1. Wear goggle and protective hearing devices
  2. Be comfortable with the operation of the equipment and observe the safety decals
  3. Avoid drugs and alcohol

Keep movements deliberate and steady- ZRT zero turn mowers operate differently than traditional garden tractors. They're maneuvered with control levers rather than steering wheels. They're fast, and they can turn on a dime-that's why they're so popular. In the interest of safety, keep your speed under control and operate the control levers with smooth even pressure.

Maneuvering Hills- Depending on the surroundings, you may feel more comfortable mowing from side to side or up and down a hill. But in either case, hills can cause loss of traction. Never drive your ZRT mower on any slopes greater than 15 degrees. Keep movements deliberate and steady. Don't make sudden changes in speed or direction.

Retaining wall and drop offs- Retaining walls and drop offs around steps or ramps are a common hazard. Give yourself plenty of clearance. Hand trim the edges with a walk behind mower or string trimmer.


PPE Program Grounds Maintenance

The employer will establish what personal protective equipment is to be worn, how it is to be worn and where and when it is to be worn. By regulations in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, it is Provincial law that all employees will follow those rules. If a worker is to use chemicals when performing their work, the material safety data sheets for those chemicals will indicate what personal protective equipment is to be worn.

Work Shops and Maintenance

  1. Steel-toed safety boots must be worn at all times.
  2. Safety glasses with side shields and hearing protection must be worn when operating power tools, mowers, weed eaters, grinders, spray guns, pressure washers compressed air or in performing any work where there is the potential for an eye injury or damage to your hearing. All PPE must be CSA approved.
  3. Hard hats with inserts are to be worn as required when working on the grounds.
  4. No jewelry or loose fitting clothing is to be worn when operating power tools, grinders, rotating, spindling equipment or where there is the potential for these items to be caught causing an injury.
  5. Cut proof gloves are to be worn on the free hand when using utility knives or other sharp instruments.
  6. Leather gloves are to be worn when handling sharp objects, collecting garbage or any items that pose a hazard to hand and finger safety. I.E. broken glass, strapping materials, or in an situation where there is the potential for a hand or finger injury.
  7. The appropriate chemical resistant gloves are to be worn when handling or dispensing chemicals, gasoline or diesel fuel.
  8. All personal protective equipment is to be inspected before being used for signs of wear or damage. Any defective equipment is to be reported to a member of the management team.
  9. Personal protective equipment will be stored properly.
  10. Keep your personal protective equipment clean and sanitary at all times.

PPE Guidelines- Head Protection

When a worker is exposed to the hazard of head injury the worker must wear head protection appropriate in the circumstances. Any work being done above a workers head will require that head protection be worn and the worker will ensure that:

  1. The correct protection is selected for the job.
  2. The head protection is cleaned before and after each use.
  3. Head protection is to be stored in a clean environment, preferably a locker or a sanitary container.
  4. The headgear is replaced when hairline cracks appear.
  5. The headgear is replaced when it has been struck even when no damage seems to have occurred.
  6. The headgear is removed and destroyed if its protective abilities are in doubt.
  7. No holes are drilled to alter or modify the shell.
  8. The plastic shell is not painted.
  9. The headgear remains in place when bending over.
  10. The headgear suspension is in good condition. Replace suspension if it is torn or has worn threads. CHeck suspension lugs and adjustment slots for wear or cracks.
  11. Do not transport headgear in the rear windows of vehicles.

PPE Guidelines- Eye Protection

Eye protection is required at all times when working where there is a potential danger of an injury to the eyes, with equipment that produces particles or causes chemical splashing. Any work done with, air-powered equipment, grinders wire wheels, or other equipment that may cause eye injury, requires eye protection.

  1. Always select correct eye protection for the job. If working outdoors, use eyewear with UV protection.
  2. Ensure that your safety glasses fit properly. Safety glasses must be individually assigned and fitted to compensate for varying head size, bridge size and temple length wearers.
  3. Wear your safety glasses so the temples fit snug and comfortably over your ears. The frame should be as close to the face as possible with adequate support from the bridge of your nose.
  4. Clean your safety glasses daily following manufacturer's instruction.
  5. Replace scratched, pitted, broken, ben or ill-filling glasses. Do not wear glasses that are in a condition that would impair vision or impact on the protection.
  6. If in doubt what type of eye protection is to be worn when handling a certain chemical, review the requirements in the material safety data sheet for that chemical. If you cannot find the information required, speak to your supervisor.
  7. Wear splash proof googles when dispensing chemicals.
  8. Face shields (splash shields) are available if required.

PPE Guidelines- Foot Protection

Foot protection is required at all times while at the shop or when working on the grounds. In general this will mean that all workers wear foot protection that is appropriate for the type of work they are performing. In general it is important to use slip resistant footwear in the kitchen. In some instances it will be necessary to use footwear that meets the CSA green patch requirements, (steel toe and steel shank).

  1. Always select footwear protection correct for the job.
  2. Footwear must be worn where the following conditions apply;
    1. Danger from cuts or punctures
    2. Danger from slips, trips, falls
    3. Danger from falling objects
    4. Wherever posted
  3. Safety boots/shoes must be CSA approved for the type of work being performed. For our workplace this means that we only accept footwear that has the CSA green patch.
  4. Footwear should be comfortable, provide good support, have a closed toe, closed heel and have a non-slip sole.
  5. Always lace up boots or shoes fully.
  6. Use a protective coating to make footwear water-resistant.
  7. Inspect footwear regularly for damage.
  8. Repair or replace worn/defective footwear immediately.

PPE Guidelines- Hand Protection

Hand protection is required for all situations where there is the potential for injury to your hands.

  1. Always choose hand protection that adequately protects from the hazard. Review M.S.D.S. and the label of the chemical as per the manufacturer's instructions for gloves, if required.
  2. Ensure the gloves fit properly. There should be no gap between the glove and the sleeve.
  3. Do not wear gloves with metal parts (such as fasteners) near electrical equipment.
  4. Never wear worn or torn gloves.
  5. Do not wear gloves while working on moving equipment.
  6. Wash off all chemical protective gloves with water before removing them.
  7. Inspect and test gloves for defects before wearing them.
  8. Test all rubber or synthetic gloves for leaks by inflating.

PPE Guidelines- Hearing Protection

  1. Where a worker is exposed to the hazard of noise above 85 decibels to the ear, hearing protection will be required that is appropriate for the circumstance. When using power equipment that generates noise over 85 decibels, hearing protection is required.
  2. Always select correct hearing protection for the job.
  3. Keep your hearing protection stored in a sanitary location, such as a locker or sealable container.
  4. Do no use IPods or radio headsets as a substitute for hearing protection.
  5. Do not modify hearing protectors.
  6. Check protection regularly for wear and tear.
  7. Replace ear cushions or plugs that are dirty, contaminated or are no longer pliable.
  8. Replace unit when headband in it no longer keeps ear cushions snug against the head.
  9. Wash hearing protectors with mild liquid detergent and warm water (make sure the sound-attenuating material inside the cushions does not get wet).
  10. Once clean, ensure that the hearing protector is set on a clean surface to dry.
  11. Ensure hearing protector tightly seals within the ear canal or against the side of the head.

Skin Protection

A worker exposed to the hazard of injury from contact to the worker's skin with a noxious gas, liquid, fume or dust; a sharp or jagged object that may puncture, cut or abrade the worker's skin; a hot object, hot liquid or molten metal, must wear appropriate protective equipment or clothing. This may mean that workers will be required to wear dust masks or other equipment designed to eliminate the inhalation of these gases, fumes or dusts. Or the worker may be required to wear equipment designed to eliminate contact with a dangerous liquid. In cases where the worker may possibly cut or burn themselves the worker will be required to wear equipment designed to eliminate this possibility.

PPE Required By All Workers

Safety Glasses - when operating mowers, weed trimmers, any powered equipment, power tools or when working out on the property.

Safety Goggles - If wearing non safety prescription glasses and for when dispensing chemicals such as gasoline or other chemicals.

Ear Plugs or Ear Muffs - When decibel level is above 85db. IPods are not acceptable as hearing protection.

Particle Mask - In dusty conditions.

Gloves - When handling wood, metal, sharp objects such as mower blades, metal strapping, broken glass or other material such as emptying garbage cans.

Safety Boots - CSA approved, required.

Hard Hats - When working outside on the property as required by MGMT.

Chemical Resistant Gloves (Nitrile) - To be worn when dispensing or handling chemicals including gasoline.

Splash Proof Aprons - To be worn when dispensing large amounts of gasoline or other chemicals. 


Skid Steer / Loaders

Skid steer loaders can cause serious injuries or death if the machine overturns and crushes the operator, a worker is struck by the bucket, or a worker standing on the bucket is injured by a fall or run over by a machine.

Common Hazards

  • Crush injuries or death from rollovers
  • Crush injuries from attachments and moving parts
  • Catching fingers, clothing or jewellery in pinch points
  • Fire and spills when refueling

GREATEST DANGERS Skid steer loaders can be dangerous if you do not observe certain safety precaution. Injuries can death are preventable. The most commonly reported causes of serious injury and death using skid steer loaders are

  1. Crushed by Moving Parts Never leave the the operators station when the engine is running or the lift arms are raised.
  2. Rollover Accidents When operated improperly, skid steer loaders can overturn, especially handling heavy loads or operating on uneven ground.

Pre-Start Inspection

  • Safety starts before the engine. Every day, you should walk around the loader to see that it is ready for safe operation. 
  • Ensure tires are properly inflated
  • If the cab frame or side screens are damaged or appear to have been altered, tell your supervisor and do not operate the loader until a qualified person has determined it is safe.
  • The safety belt and safety bar work together to keep you securely in the drivers seat during operation. Damage to either of these safety devices can lead to serious injury.
  • Your hands can easily slip off worn out grips causing you to fall or lose control of the loader.
  • Slips and falls on steps are common and can cause you to engage controls inside the cab if you fall on them. Keep the steps free of ice, mud and debris. When the non-slip surface becomes worn, it can become slick and should be replaced.
  • Many different attachments are used on skid steer loaders, including buckets, backhoes, augers, chippers, trencher and pallet forks. Make sure attachments are mounted and fastened correctly. The sudden release of an attachment can cause a load to drop, making the loader unstable and possibly injuring bystanders.
  • Leaks can cause the loader to break down. Fluids can also be a fire hazard. Puddles of fluid under the loader indicate something is leaking. Report signs of leaking fluid to your supervisor immediately.

Safe Start Up and Shut Down

Entering Workers are crushed and killed by moving parts when they do not climb into the skid steer loader safely. To prevent accidents, enter according to manufacturers instruction.

  1. Enter only with the engine off, lift arms down and attachments on the ground.
  2. Face the seat with both hands on the grab bars.
  3. Never use the control levers as grab bars.
  4. Use the steps made for entering.

Safe Start Up Practices

  1. Fasten your safety belt
  2. Lower the safety/restraining bar (if so equipped)
  3. Make sure controls are in neutral and the parking brake is set
  4. Clear the area of people
  5. Start the engine
  6. Test all controls (Steering, forward, reverse, raise and lower lift arms, attachment controls)
  7. Check brakes
  8. Check the horn and backup alarm (if so equipped) 


  • try to start a loader from outside the cab
  • operate the machine if any safety device is missing or damaged
  • climb out of a loader with the engine running
  • start the engine by shorting across the starter terminals
  • place any part of your body outside the cab where you could be crushed
  • exit a skid steer loader with the engine running 

Safe Shut Down and Exit Many operators are killed trying to climb out of the cab without observing safe shut down procedures. Protect yourself by always following these precautions:

  1. Park on a level surface.
  2. Lower the lift arms and attachments to the ground.
  3. Place the controls in neutral.
  4. Set the parking brake.
  5. Turn the engine off.
  6. Cycle the controls to relieve hydraulic pressure.
  7. Make sure the controls are locked (if so equipped).
  8. Remove the ignition key.
  9. Unbuckle the safety belt and raise the safety bar.
  10. Exit according to manufacturer's instructions using the steps on the loader and the grab handles for support.
  11. Block the wheels if there is a chance the loader will roll.

Moving Parts Can Crush You - Being crushed by moving parts is the most commonly reported cause of death when operating a skid steer loader. Crushing accidents happen while entering and exiting, during operation, and when performing maintenance. Even when the loader is equipped with interlocks, those interlocks are not fool proof. People are killed in ways that cannot be prevented by interlock systems.

How To Avoid Being Crushed

  1. Never enter or exit under a raised attachment because it could fall on you.
  2. Never start the engine or operate controls from outside of the cab. The loader or lift arm attachments can move and crush you when the controls are engaged.
  3. Always fasten your safety belt and lower the safety bar when you are in the operator's seat so you stay securely in the cab, protected from being crushed.
  4. Never climb into or our of the cab while the engine is running. You can be crushed if you bump the controls.
  5. Never lean out of the cab while the engine is running. Keep your head, arms and legs inside or you can be crushed by moving lift arms or attachments.
  6. Never lift an attachment above a person. Loads can shift or fall out, or the attachment can drop unexpectedly, crushing anyone under it.
  7. Never lift loads so high or roll attachments back so far that material dumps into the cab, landing on you.
  8. Never work under a raised attachment, unless the lift arms are secured in the "up" position using approved lift arm supports. 
  9. Whenever possible, perform maintenance work with the engine off, key removed, parking brake set, wheels blocked and attachments lowered or supported by an approved lift arm support.

Prevent Rollovers

When a skid steer loader becomes unstable or out of balance, it tips over. Overloading, carrying loads too high, operating on rough or uneven surfaces, adding attachments or driving too fast for conditions cause the loader to become unstable. Human reaction time is too slow to stop a rollover once it starts. You can avoid rollovers by recognizing dangerous situations and taking action to avoid them. Stay away from steep edges when operating a skid steer loader

Avoid Rollover Accidents

  • Don't overload the attachment. Check the capacity label, data plate, or operator's manual for the maximum load limit. Exceeding that limit may cause the loader to become unstable and roll over.
  • Evenly distribute the load on the attachment so the loader doesn't tip over.
  • Secure unstable loads so they won't shift or fall. When securing is necessary, lower the lift arms, shut off the engine, climb out, chain the load in place, climb back in the cab, start the loader and proceed with the job.
  • Lift loads slowly and evenly to keep the loader stable.
  • Carry loads close to the ground, yet high enough to clear obstacles. When a load is carried too high, skid steer loaders are more likely to tip. It is especially important to carry the load as low as possible when turning, carrying a heavy load, travelling on a slope, or operating on rough surfaces.
  • Keep the attachment level while moving lift arms or driving up and down hills, otherwise the load could shift and make the loader out of balance.
  • Operate at a speed that is appropriate for conditions so you don't lose control of the loader.
  • Operate the controls smoothly to prevent jerking or bucking.
  • Operate on level, stable surfaces. Load, unload and turn on solid, level ground.
  • Drive up and down hills, not across them. Drive slowly on slopes.
  • Keep the heavy end of the loader pointed uphill. When fully loaded, skid steer loaders should be driven with the load uphill. When unloaded, the rear of the loader is heavier, so the back of an empty loader should be pointed up hill. 
  • Do not make sharp turns on hills or the loader may roll over. Stay away from steep hills entirely. The operator's manual de-fines




Golf Cart Safety

Most accidents involving golf carts stem from drivers and workers not operating their cart safely and by not using caution and common sense. Some injuries have been caused by golf cart operators standing rather than sitting inside the cart; passengers standing on the back of the cart where there are no seats, passengers standing on the fenders of a cart, hanging legs or arms out of the cart, the driver not paying attention to where he or she is going, taking sharp turns at too high speeds, trying to drive up, down or across steep slopes, over slippery surfaces or operating a cart with others on the cart simply not seated properly. The rules of the road apply to the cart paths and the use of a golf cart anywhere they are being operated.

No employee is to operate a golf cart until they have read these rules, been properly trained and have this training documented in their training records.

  1. When you first get into your cart, read over the "warnings" or "safety guidelines" stickers or text that most golf carts come with. Observe the rules! They serve as good reminders before you begin to operate your cart. Inspect the cart before starting it to ensure that the brakes work, the tires are intact and that the cart itself looks safe to operate. If the cart you are about to use has any problems, tag it “Out of Service”, remove the key, report it to your Supervisor so that repairs can be made and follow your Lock Out Procedure. Never operate a cart with faulty brakes, damaged tires or a cart that has been tagged as being “Out of Service” and that is locked out!
  2. Keep your arms and legs inside the cart when the cart is in motion. It's especially easy to catch a shoe or work boot in the ground. For example, if you decide to hang a foot outside the cart while traveling. And that can easily lead to a sprained ankle or even a broken ankle or foot. Then there are obstacles - tree branches for example - that arms or legs extended from the cab of the cart can impact.
  3. Most carts in use are not equipped with safety belts. Don't go quickly around corners or attempt sharp curves at top speed - this can result in someone being thrown from the cart. Operating a golf cart in this fashion has led to critical and fatal injuries.
  4. If you are the driver, don't press on the accelerator until your partner is seated. Keep the brake engaged until everything on the cart has been secured and it is safe to proceed. Check for any other vehicles or pedestrians before putting the cart in motion.
  5. Never allow others to ride on the back of the cart where there are no seats as this can be very dangerous. It is a good rule of thumb to only carry as many passengers as there are seats available. Overloading your cart increases the chances of an accident or injury, and the excess weight capacity will cause undue stress on your engine and tires.
  6. Watch the cart path. Sounds simple, but just as a driver on a highway can be distracted by something and lose sight of the road, so can golf cart operators get distracted and drive right off the designated cart path, into a tree, water hazard (pond, lake, etc...) or over an embankment. Be alert for any obstacles that maybe in your path. For example, tree branches, objects like equipment, wildlife or even pedestrians.
  7. Be extra vigilant on cart paths around the public areas, and at any intersections or bottlenecks on the grounds. Slow down, use extra caution. Remember to expect the unexpected.
  8. Don't speed into a stop behind a parked cart or car. Colliding is not a good idea as not only can you damage the other vehicle, but you could cause an injury to yourself or someone in the other vehicle.
  9. Use the carts as they are intended, not as a toy, joyriding, moving objects, equipment or people that were not intended to go on a golf cart.
  10. Don't take the cart to places on the grounds where it is not intended to go: thickets of trees, over rough terrain, down through gulleys or ravines, through water etc…
  11. Maintenance: Keeping your cart in good working order. Make sure that your tires are inflated and your batteries are properly charged. Keeping your golf cart running smoothly will make for a better and safer ride for all to enjoy. If you are cleaning a golf cart with a pressure washer, never aim it at the battery as it could cause damage to the battery resulting in battery acid spilling on the cart, other persons in the area and even yourself! Wear safety goggles at all times when operating a pressure washer.
  12. Golf carts should not be driven faster than 15 miles per hour. If you are on rough, hilly, slippery or uneven terrain, the maximum speed is much less. Most drivers do not understand that a cart is not very stable and many tip over; each and every year there are injuries resulting from the unsafe use of a golf cart. Tipping over in a golf cart could cause serious damage to the driver, passenger, and cart itself.
  13. All persons who operate a golf cart for work must have some form of safety training. Whether by reading a book, or watching a golf cart safety video, drivers and passengers should be trained on the golf carts uses, limitations and what each persons’ responsibilities for the safe use of a golf cart are. Each employer should have their own “competent person” who is responsible for training others in the safe operation of a golf cart, how to inspect a golf cart and who will document the training on the employees’ training records. This person can also be in charge of the maintenance of the golf carts.



Emergency Response Plan




Developing safe work habits before, during and after all work helps you avoid accidents on the job. Yoh have been presented with checklists, safety tips and exercises designed to help you avoid the most commonly reported causes of operation injuries and deaths, as well as other important safety precautions to consider. Use this information to keep your work experience safe. Do not operate any equipment until you have been thoroughly trained and your training records have been updated and signed.

This Agreement signed , shall be binding upon the heirs, executors administrators and assigns of the parties hereto.

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April 15, 2021 10:02 pm EDTOUTDOOR MAINTENANCE AGREEMENT Uploaded by Heidi Pothier on behalf of Hillside Lake Park Recreation Inc. - heidi@hillsidelakepark.com IP