Covid-19 Response Plan
This is a regularly updated summary of how we are responding to the pandemic.
Are we allowed to work under the new Stay At Home orders?
All aspects of our business are still permitted to operate. We have implemented policies and procedures for the safety of our staff and customers, and to play our part in the global effort to stop the spread of Covid-19.
What policies do we have in place?
Our office team has been working from home since mid-March of 2020, and our field staff each continue to have the option to work with their own vehicle and equipment to support the need for social distancing.
We are also allowing staff who don't have personal vehicles to take their work vehicle to and from work, to help them maintain social distancing away from the TTC. We have now purchased a bike rack for the use of staff who wish to commute that way.
Additional policies and procedures are laid out in detail under "Employee Policies & Procedures" below.
Are we accepting new customers?
Yes. We are currently accepting new customers. Some services (like larger landscape installations) have a wait list and longer than usual wait times.
We are following updates from all three levels of government closely - as new information becomes available, we will update our policies and timing accordingly.
From our family to yours, we are sending all of our thoughts and strength to everyone who has been affected by this pandemic.
General Manager & Founder
The purpose of these policies & procedures is to meet or exceed current safety recommendations for Lawn Care Workers, to create a safe working environment, and to play our part in the global effort to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Employee Policies & Procedures
- you have the right to refuse work you feel is unsafe. Please speak with your supervisor or one of your health & safety representatives if you have any concerns.
- all staff must complete and submit the government-approved screening tool to firstname.lastname@example.org every morning before work
- the screening tool will indicate current government advice on whether it is safe for you to come into work based on the information you provide
- the company fully supports any employee who opts to stay home due to a possible case or exposure to Covid-19. There are government supports to provide sick pay for staff who stay home as a result of Covid-19 illness or exposure.
- communicate any possible case or exposure of Covid-19 immediately to your supervisor.
In each case, a return to work plan will be put in place following a review of the potential risk.
Staggered Start Times
- the company has implemented staggered start times and remote start locations to minimize crossover of staff at the yard in the morning
Personal Protective Equipment
- the company is supplying the following items, which will be kept stocked at the yard
- hand sanitizer / disinfectant spray
- notify your manager immediately if supplies are getting low
- if there are any other supplies you want, please let the company know – we are happy to cover the cost of any reasonable requests
Every Morning & Start Times
- bring enough food, drinks (water, coffee, etc.) and personal supplies (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, medications, etc.) to last you the day
- if you don’t have to go to the yard in the morning, you should go straight to your first property. The less people at the yard, the less risks of exposure.
- if you need supplies from the yard, try to visit the yard at non-peak times, to minimize the number of people in the yard during the busy morning startup.
- do not loiter in the yard – arrive on-time and in-uniform to minimize your time on site
- maintain social distancing at all times
- the office is closed to all staff until further notice
Shared Touchpoints & Tasks
- assume at all times that shared touchpoints are contaminated with Covid-19, and treat them accordingly – wash your hands before and after touching them.
- during the landscape season, you can use the outdoor washroom at the yard. It is supplied with sanitizer as well as soap and paper towels. Disinfect your hands and any surfaces you touch before and after using the washroom.
- during the snow season, you can use the indoor washroom at the yard. You must wear a mask while inside the garage or offices.
- opening and closing the gate at the yard is another shared touchpoint. Wash your hands before and after using the gate lock every time.
- gas stations, suppliers, customer gates, and other customer surfaces are other touchpoints that require consideration.
- cough or sneeze into your bent arm, not your hands
- do not touch your face. If necessary, wash your hands before and after
- when washing hands with soap or hand sanitizer, wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds
- wash your hands as often as possible after touching any surfaces – especially surfaces that have or will be used by others
- work alone when safely possible
- when around others, keep a minimum of 2 arm-lengths apart (six feet)
- sanitize your hands before touching your face, eating, drinking, or smoking
Vehicle & Equipment
- with the exception of the policies for putting two people in the same vehicle, below, never share a vehicle or any equipment that you have been assigned
- never touch or use a vehicle or equipment that has not been assigned to you
- vehicles and equipment should be disinfected at least once daily, at the end of the day
- you must wash your hands or gloves every time you leave your vehicle (customer properties, gas stations, etc.), and must disinfect your hands or gloves when leaving and re-entering your vehicle
Two People Per Vehicle
- the company now has rules in place for putting two people into the same vehicle
- both parties must freely want to share a vehicle
- snow removal teams will and must share a vehicle due to the nature of the work
CASE 1 – people living together
- if two people live together, they may freely share a vehicle and equipment
CASE 2 – people not living together
- the two people sharing a vehicle cannot share vehicles or equipment with anyone else in the company
- all equipment and vehicle touchpoints should be sanitized at the end of every day
- use the fresh setting on the vehicle air system, and drive with windows down when possible
- both people should wear masks while in the vehicle together
- maintain social distancing and all other recommended procedures to the extent possible
Working on the Same Job Site
- maintain social distancing and all other related procedures/policies to the extent possible
- CASE 1 – two fully-equipped Gardenzilla vehicles
- each person should use their own equipment
- if you have to use the equipment of someone else, sanitize it before and after use
- CASE 2 – one Gardenzilla vehicle and one personal vehicle
- all equipment and vehicle touchpoints should be sanitized at the end of every day
Outside of Work Hours
- practice recommended hygiene and social distancing guidelines
- follow any additional recommendations from health or government officials
April 17, 2021
- updated the name of this document to Covid-19 Response Plan (from Covid-19 Updates)
- updated the website to reflect our interpretation that we remain able to work through the Mandatory Stay at Home order announced yesterday
- implemented mandatory daily screening
- implemented staggered start times
February 12, 2021
- removed requirements for glove use
- removed suggestions that we are only working in teams of one
November 1, 2020
- updated with rules for snow removal teams
- updated to reflect changes in the status of the pandemic
- reduced quarantining requirements, allowing more flexibility following discussion with manager
May 8, 2020
- introduced rules for staff sharing a vehicle
- introduced rules for staff working together on a jobsite
- reduced quarantine to 7 days for staff showing symptoms
- updated rights to include contact information for JHSC representatives
- emphasized importance of avoiding the yard in the mornings
- highlighted rules for shared touchpoints, with emphasis on washroom and front gate
The following resources are maintained on this page for reference. They are the documents we used to verify our status as an essential business during the shutdown of non-essential businesses in March and April 2020. In early May, Doug Ford made it clear that all aspects of landscaping are permitted to work, and so these resources no longer apply.
Transcript of Recording from Recording of Provincial Essential Work Approval
"...property management, [garbled], and landscaping is not allowed. And if you want to you can do grass cutting, you can maintain trees, maintain ponds, and [um] you can do cleaning work, sanitation in the gardens, you can just keep them or maintain the gardens, but you're not allowed to establish new ones."
"Okay, that's perfect, so we're allowed to do routine property maintenance in the form of grass cutting, garden cleanups, basic garden care, but we're not allowed to do any installation work."
"Okay, that's great, thanks very much I appreciate your help."
"No problem sir."
"Have a good night."