COVID-19 Employee Vaccination and Testing ETS

On November 4th, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace, particularly those of large employers. Some main points of the ETS, including how this may affect landscape industry workers, include:
  • By January 4, 2022, employers with 100 or more workers must implement a mandatory vaccination program and/or mandate weekly testing and masks for those who refuse the vaccine.
  • Fines for violating the vaccination rules could start at $13,653 each and go as high as $136,532 per violation if employers are found to be willfully non-compliant or repeat offenses. 
  • Seasonal and temporary workers are counted if the employer has reached 100 employees and if the employee is employed during the time that the ETS is in effect.  
  • The ETS does not apply to employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present, employees working from home, or employees who work exclusively outdoors. According to OSHA’s calculations of Landscaping and Groundskeeping Workers, 90% work outdoors constantly and 9% work outdoors exclusively. 
  • In order to qualify as work performed exclusively outdoors, the following criteria must be met: the employee must work outdoors on all days; the employee must not routinely occupy vehicles with other employees as part of work duties (i.e., do not drive to worksites together in a company vehicle); the employee works outdoors for the duration of every workday except for minimal use of indoor spaces where other individuals may be present – such as a multi-stall bathroom or an administrative office.
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Quick Tips for Seasonal Color Success

It seems to happen around this time every year – clients begin calling and want to know when they can expect their flowers to be changed out. With over twenty years of experience in growing, selling, and installing seasonal color, Mark McGrady of Carolina Colorscapes and Colorscapes Supply Company offers tips on how to  combat the three most common issues he sees that prevent seasonal color success.

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Collecting Water Samples

Clemson University distributed a new publication on “Collecting Samples for Agricultural Irrigation Water Quality Testing.” While this article is primarily geared for producers, it also serves as a resource for landscapers troubleshooting plant and pesticide efficacy problems in a client’s yard. Knowledge about water quality is important, and this is a good time of year to collect a water sample.

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