Ontario releases COVID-19 safety guide for businesses

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At a June 16 press conference, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced that the Ontario government is providing employers with a new general workplace guide that will help them develop a COVID-19 safety plan. 

The downloadable toolkit offers tips on how to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as more people return to work. 

As more regions enter Stage 2 of reopening, we want to give businesses the tools and resources they need to adapt and succeed in this new environment,” said Ford. 

By providing this guide on COVID-19 workplace safety, employers, employees, and customers can have the confidence they need to resume business as usual with the right health and safety measures in place.”

The province says the new guide will help each employer create a safety plan that works for their own unique workplace. It includes information on the use of face coverings and personal protective equipment.

The province says the guide will help employers:

  • Identify the risks for transmitting the virus through person-to-person contact and actions such as touching faces with hands that have been contaminated by contact with surfaces and objects;
  • Determine what controls are needed to help mitigate risk, such as engineering controls like the installation of plexiglass to separate workers from customers, administrative controls limiting the number of workers in a space at one time, and personal protective equipment including face and eye protection;
  • Create a workplace safety plan based on the identified risks and appropriate controls specific to the employer’s workplace;
  • Implement the plan in the workplace, and review and update it as the situation evolves; and
  • Communicate the actions being taken to workers and othe r people entering the workplace.

According to the province, inspectors from the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development have inspected 10,716 workplaces as of mid-June. They have issued 6,405 orders, including 23 stop work orders, related to COVID-19.

Any worker who thinks they are working in unsafe conditions should report their concerns to Ontario’s Health and Safety Contact Centre, at 1-877-202-0008.

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