Labour
While the Ministry of Labour and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board have targeted all industries, there has been a lot of recent attention on greenhouses. One initiative is the application of Ontario’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (with some limitations and conditions) to all greenhouse operations with paid workers.

While we all know it takes more than competitive pay to attract and retain staff, and keep them engaged and motivated, an important part of the ‘reward equation’ is compensation. Today, many employers use a variety of reward strategies including monetary incentives to differentiate themselves from their competitors and to gain a competitive advantage in a difficult labour market. Profit sharing and gainsharing are two well-known examples.

A paycheque is only one ingredient in the total workplace rewards package that employees value.

The Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) now applies to agriculture throughout Ontario via the Farming Operations Regulation 414/05. The “internal responsibility system” and the four supporting principles that define the Act will change the culture of farm workplaces.

This system is based on the principle that workplace parties themselves are in the best position to identify health and safety problems and to develop solutions.

Agriculture has embraced the principles found in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA). The “internal responsibility system” is based on the concept that workplace parties themselves are in the best position to identify health and safety problems and to develop solutions. To balance the employer’s general right to direct the workforce and control the production process in the workplace, the Act gives four basic rights to workers.
Invariably when I’m talking with a grower and asking about the keys to the success of their business, the contribution of their employees is front and centre. But the growing challenge of late has been in finding, and more importantly, keeping good employees. That’s where managing SMART and managing FAST comes in.
Ontario’s agriculture sector has been under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for six months. OHSA will indeed change the culture in the workplace, and with any change, it takes time to adapt.

Agricultural commodity groups felt the industry was over-regulated and wanted a flexible approach to regulations. The principles of the Occupational Health and Safety Act will change the culture of the
workplace as workers gain rights and responsibilities.
In addition to field production and a retractable-roof greenhouse, these cut flower specialists (Oriental lilies, viburnum and hydrangeas) also have five rolling greenhouses, representing half the total number of such units in all of Canada.

Industry’s future is in very good hands
Your success depends on the quality and effectiveness of the people you hire.
A survey conducted in the U.S. of the landscape industry about three years ago cited that nearly 50 per cent of landscape contractors said that “lack of labour” was the limiting factor to their company’s growth. This concern is echoed throughout the nursery industry in Canada and is not getting any better.
A willingness to learn, enthusiasm and lots of energy are the most important qualities most garden centre operators look for in seasonal employees.
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