Tree planting can be a rewarding and lucrative summer activity. Working safely will ensure you don’t return home with a chronic injury.

Every year, thousands of young people look forward to spending the summer planting trees at locations in Northern Ontario. It represents a great way to do a job that is meaningful, in a spectacular location, not to mention good earning potential.


While the act of planting a tiny seedling may not appear to come with risks of any consequence that is far from true. If care is not taken and proper attention to health and safety not adhered to, this seemingly minor action can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain, not to mention succumbing to other workplace hazards.

Potential hazards associated with tree planting include:

  • Musculoskeletal and repetitive strain disorders
  • Exposure to the sun and extreme heat or cold
  • Exposure to insects and wild life
  • Lack of proper supervision and training
  • Working alone • Living in close quarters in wilderness bush camps

Workplace Safety North (WSN) has created, an online health, and safety program that is designed to give prospective tree planters the knowledge they need to safely perform this demanding work. “A key feature of the program is the relevant and realistic content,” says Kelly Ann Smith, WSN E-Learning Specialist, “and that comes from consultation with front-line workers, supervisors, and subject matter experts. Planters get the real goods on tree planting. They come better prepared to face the realities of the job, and that leads to better retention of planters.”


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