Ontario helping employers understand employment standards inspections

Online video showing inspectors demonstrating what employers can expect in an inspection receiving positive feedback

The Ontario Ministry of Labour is taking to the Internet to ensure employers are familiar with what is expected of them to comply with workplace legislation and make inspections easier on the inspectors as well as the employers.

After consulting with employers and labour groups, the ministry realized that many people didn’t know what health and safety inspectors and employment standards officers looked for when they came to inspect workplaces. This confusion exposed employers to liability and employees to potential dangers or unfair working environments.

In response, the ministry decided to produce a series of online videos — viewable on its website — on various topics that would help prevent problems before they happen. The videos star the ministry’s own front-line staff of inspectors and officers. One particular video that has received an enthusiastic response from employers is the recently posted “What to expect during an employment standards inspection.”

The video — which features actual employment standards officers explaining the inspection process and what they look for — has proven popular and has received a positive response from employers. In the first two weeks after its launch on July 14, it was viewed more than 2,500 times, according to Matt Blajer, team leader of strategic communications at the Ontario Ministry of Labour. And of 80 viewers who rated the video, 78 (95 per cent) rated it as “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful.” The Canadian Federation of Independent Business also supporting the video and has put up a link to it in the Ontario section of its website, said Blajer.

“As with all of our inspection videos, this video should help businesses comply with the appropriate legislation by heading off issues before they occur, thus saving them time and money,” said Blajer. “ The videos also help to take the ‘mystery’ out of our enforcement activities.”

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