‘This new education campaign will offer guidance and direction so business owners can properly protect their staff, customers and the general public’
Ontario is launching a health and safety education campaign to help employers in the province reopen safely.
"As we allow more businesses to reopen and get people back to work, we have to ensure they do so safely and in a responsible way. This new education campaign will offer guidance and direction, so business owners can properly protect their staff, customers and the general public,” says Monte McNaughton, minister of labour, training and skills development.
Through the campaigns, employers can access a free suite of resources that are meant prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. These include:
- webinars on how to operate a business safely, and comply with health and safety requirements
- a 30-minute online course on infection prevention and control provided by the Public Services Health and Safety Association
- a Provincial Employment Standards Call Centre and Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre to answer health and safety questions.
Recently, Ontario announced it is developing specialized COVID-19 resources to better protect the health and safety of temporary foreign workers and others employed in the agri-food sector.
Starting next week, Ontario’s provincial offences officers will be visiting businesses in regions opening into grey, red and orange zones. They will inspect employers to ensure they are complying with the Reopening Ontario Act and following COVID-19 safety protocols, including adhering to capacity limits, appropriately screening workers and customers, enforcing masking requirements and having adequate safety plans in place.
The inspectors will focus on businesses that were closed during the provincial lockdown, including stores, gyms and personal care services.
In the province, corporations can be fined $1,000 for failing to comply with the orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Individuals, including employees and patrons, can also be fined $750 for failing to comply with orders under the acts.
For more serious offences, individuals can be fined as much as $100,000 and directors and officers of a corporation as much as $500,000. They could also face jail time for up to one year.
The province has also seen an increase in compliance with public health guidelines of almost 19 per cent following safety blitz on employers.