To Our Members
and Green Industry Professionals across the state of
We have received hundreds of phone calls, emails and social media requests concerning
the effects of COVID-19 (CORONA VIRUS) on our industry. Most of these requests have asked
for clarification of Governor DeWine’s “Stay at Home Order,” and whether landscape
contractors – specifically - are considered essential businesses during this time.
Based on the most recent communications with the Governor’s office, they are asking each
company to thoroughly review the “Stay-At-Home Order” and CAREFULLY decide if the work
they are doing each day - during the shutdown period - falls under one of the business
activities listed as essential. The Governor is leaving it up to you - the business owner - to make
that determination, on a business by business basis.
Should you decide to work, it is stressed that you must follow the safety guidelines in Section
18 of the order. We acknowledge and applaud the sacrifices made by those companies
that have decided to cease operations and advocate that all companies work with their
legal counsel before determining the legality of their operations.
While we understand that this may be far from the YES/NO answer you are looking for, we
have included some guidelines you can follow in making such a determination.
- Is the work you are performing TODAY essential to the health, safety, and security of the
- Does this work for any reason put the health and safety of your employees, their
families, or your clients at risk?
- Can the work you plan on performing today be done at a later date, or is it of a time-
We pose these questions to you because, for those of you who choose to continue to do
business, these are the questions we have been told that you and your staff will need to be
prepared to defend, not only to your local health department but to your peers, your
employees, and the general public.
Furthermore, if you do determine that your business is providing essential services, we have
outlined these industry best practices, along with any other procedures unique to your
- Get verbal and/or written confirmation from your clients that they allow you to work on
- Communicate, as accurately as possible, the times you plan to be on their property.
- Inform clients of the safety protocols your company has put in place, including but not
limited to proximity rules (6 feet).
- Designate one on-site contact (potentially the foreman) for your clients. Ask them not
to approach workers, other than this contact.
- Be prepared to cease working if a client raises any health or safety concerns.
- Allow employees who are uncomfortable working to stay home. (Some may have time-
off they can use.)
- Be mindful of those employees currently receiving unemployment benefits that you
have not called back yet. Given the number of people filing currently, it may be more
difficult for them to reapply.
- Communicate and reinforce all safety protocols daily, via text and email. Also,
communicate why the work you are doing, day to day, is considered essential.
- Train designated personnel (possibly foreman) to answer safety and health questions
from the public clearly and concisely. We recommend written safety rules to be carried
- In instances where employees will be on one job site all day long, encourage meeting
on-site, rather than at the shop.
- In instances where employees must report to the shop, stagger crew start times to
minimize proximity issues.
- Businesses should operate with the least amount of employees necessary on any site.
- All employees should have their temperatures logged at the beginning and end of the
- If at all possible, limit crews to one person per truck.
- In instances where two employees must travel together, pair employees together
indefinitely. Assign them one truck that is not to be shared. Make sure the vehicle is as
well ventilated as possible. Each vehicle should be sanitized at days end. If one
employee becomes ill, both should be treated as if they are contagious. Follow CDC
- Enforce sanitation of all common areas including trucks, storage rooms, offices,
- Wear proper PPE at all times. Store PPE in clear plastic bags, sanitizing PPE at the end of
every day. DO NOT, for any reason, share PPE.
- Minimize the use of shared equipment, making sure to properly and fully sanitize all
equipment after each use.
- Always maintain proper social distancing (6 feet), unless necessary. In the event,
employees must work close to one another, for heavy lifting, etc., wear a face mask
and gloves. Once separated, immediately wash/sanitize hands.
Being designated as a company allowed to perform work essential to the health and safety
of the general public should be viewed as a privilege, not an entitlement. This privilege is not
one to be taken lightly, as the Governor’s office has shown over the past few weeks that
when proper safety measures are not being followed, they will move quickly to cease ALL
operations. It is important to understand that your compliance with these measures effects
not only you and your company, but all landscape professionals across the state.
The Ohio Landscape Association will continue to provide facts and information from credible
sources during this strenuous time to assist all members to make the business decisions they
alone must make. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide as much information
as possible on our website, via email and through our Facebook page.
PLEASE NOTE: The Governor specifically asked that you DO NOT contact your local officials for
an interpretation of the Director's Stay Home Order, as they are being overwhelmed with
calls and cannot conduct business. They did clarify it was up to local law enforcement and
local health departments to enforce the order, you should be prepared to defend your
interpretation of essential work during this period (Thru April 6th, 2020 and beyond, should the
current rules be extended) and is subject to change at any time.
|Ohio Landscape Association
9240 Broadview Road
Broadview Heights, OH 44147
Toll Free: 800-335-6521
Additional Covid-19 Resources
KEEP OHIO WORKING INITIATIVE
The Ohio Landscape Association - along with
many of it's member companies - is looking for
ways to lessen the burden on those who are out
of work due to COVID-19 mandates. In short; We
are looking to help find Ohioans displaced by
COVID-19 jobs in the Green Industry. Find a list of
those companies, or sign up to participate here.
DIRECTOR OF HEALTH STAY AT HOME ORDER
Amy Acton, MD, MPH, Director of the Ohio
Department of Health (ODH), pursuant to the
authority granted her in R.C. 3701.13 to "make
special orders ... for preventing the spread of
contagious or infectious diseases" Ordered the
following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into
the State of Ohio.
BY THE NUMBERS
Daily information, by county, concerning the
number cases of COVID-19 in the State of Ohio.
RESOURCES FOR ECONOMIC SUPPORT
The COVID-19 Pandemic has created a great
strain on the nation’s healthcare system, but it’s
not come without it’s economic difficulties as
well. State leaders are working to ensure
resources are readily available to Ohio businesses
and workers to ensure we all weather this difficult
time, remembering we are all in this together.
This resource includes a backlog of daily updates,
press releases, and best practices as deemed
essential to preventing the spread of COVID-19.
BUREAU OF WORKERS COMPENSATION FAQ
The BWC has created a Frequently Asked
Questions document to provide information
about the coronavirus' (COVID-19's) impact on