Workplaces must also appoint OHS compliance officer, review HVAC systems
Toronto workplaces are facing new restrictions because of changes brought in by Ontario’s COVID-19 response framework in response to rising rates of infection.
As of Nov. 14, employers are being told that staff should implement work from home wherever possible.
In addition, they should appoint a compliance officer to ensure the implementation of occupational health and safety and infection prevention and control measures.
And businesses are also being asked to review their HVAC systems to ensure they are in good working order.
A report in September found that one in five of COVID-19 infections among adults in Ontario could be attributed to workplace transmission.
The new restrictions for Toronto are based on the recommendations of Eileen de Villa, medical officer of health, following a rise in coronavirus infections in the city.
“COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming rate that we haven’t seen before in our city. While we’ve seen some progress with the temporary restrictions that were imposed last month, more action is required now to protect the people of Toronto from rampant virus spread. Given the circumstances, as your medical officer of health, I am using my authority to take actions that are necessary given what our city and our residents are facing,” says de Villa.
“These decisions aren’t ones I take lightly, however, in my professional opinion they are needed to reduce virus spread, save lives, protect our health system for those who need it most and mitigate broader health, social and economic impacts.”
The neighbouring Region of Peel has invoked similar measures as Toronto, asking that all workplaces prohibit visitors who are not essential to the functioning of the workplace, and enabling, “as possible, “work-from-home options for employees.
Niagara Falls MPP Wayne Gates previously urged the Ontario government to disclose which employers have COVID-19 outbreaks, arguing transparency is crucial in saving lives.