Grounds Operations and Maintenance

Today’s recreation practitioner often has an evolving job description that requires that they have a variety of skill sets. Grounds operations includes, but is not limited to, ensuring safe building entrance and egress access, grass and shrubs that surround a facility, parking lot maintenance moving onto the cross trained worker, who may cut ice in the winter and grass at sport fields, parks or other public open spaces in the summer. The demand for low impact recreational experiences creates additional responsibilities for traditional indoor staff who are given responsibilities for trails, outdoor aquatic features, historical locations, tennis courts, marinas and whatever the public demands of community leaders. Grounds workers are given a variety of basic and advanced tools to assist in their duties. Each has its own inherent risk and hazards attached to improper use. This course is designed to introduce the next generation of recreation grounds professionals to the opportunities associated with grounds maintenance, while challenging experienced workers that may have entered the industry with limited training. It is considered the industry standard for the cross-trained recreation worker. Participants will leave with a clear understanding of the complexities associated with grounds operations and what role they play in maintaining these environments.

Topics include:

  • An introduction and history of Ontario outdoor recreational experiences and infrastructure
  • Legislation and regulations that guide outdoor leisure activities
  • Applying basic health and safety principles with a goal of increasing how they must be adopted specific to this type of work
  • Working safely outdoors – knowing the risks associated with changing weather patterns, sun exposure, heat risks, chemical use, heavy lifting, working alone, insect and animal risks, hazardous weeds identification and management, sharps, etc.
  • The importance of comprehensive playground equipment, sports fields, and greenspace inspections
  • The risks and hazards associated with maintaining public trails and walkways for trip and slip hazards
  • Dealing with illegal behaviour involving drugs and/or alcohol
  • Staff role in offering safe significant community events
  • An understanding of basic terms and terminology associated with ground maintenance tools
  • Getting equipment safely to and from the work location
  • Grounds tool safety
  • Identification of grounds equipment that require specific training and or certification prior to use by any worker
  • Fossil fuel safety
  • Outdoor winter recreational grounds maintenance and upkeep
  • Proper record keeping

Personal Protective Equipment Required: When possible, but not guaranteed, this course includes a tour of grounds related infrastructure. Participants will be challenged to visually identify risks and hazards while offering appropriate corrective action(s) to the findings. In addition, available grounds equipment will be used to demonstrate risks, hazards and applicable safety precautions. Participants attending this course must at minimum supply and wear their own CSA-approved footwear suitable for an outdoor environment. Workers attending the course under the support of an employer should arrive with all workplace policy required PPE. No exceptions.

This course is worth 35 professional development credits towards recertification of any ORFA professional designation.