Business Owners Making Ontario Workplaces Safer
Small businesses are making Ontario workplaces safer, and here’s how. Near the end of last year, workplace inspections increased when The Ministry hired 98 new inspection officers. This was the largest number of labour inspectors in the history of Ontario. This was done to keep the economy on the road to recovery and to show an example for everyone in the community to follow.
Workplace PPE Supplier Directory
You’ve probably noticed the sneeze counter guards, sanitizers, and disinfectants at nearly every workplace now?
This is because the Government set up a webpage that does business with Canadian suppliers to provide workplaces with the safe PPE they need to continue operating safely.
Have you seen what can be ordered?
Proudly, the Ministry found that 73% of businesses were in compliance with health measures. Those who were not compliant right away were given a chance to increase their compliance score and did by 20%
As more COVID-19 resources and information were made available, The Ministry and its partners began creating posters, infographics, guides, forms and suggested safety protocols. These resources are what helped business owners protect their workers, their customers, and their brand. The government conducted these visits to priority locations in an educational manner and saw that businesses do appreciate the support they’ve received so far.
However, in February of this year, 2021, 110 provincial offences officers were also conducting visits and did over 1k in visits to workplaces in the Durham Region, Eastern Ontario, and wellington-Dufferin-Guelph areas. They visited small businesses with less than 25 employees. They then followed up in March with those businesses and saw an improvement in compliance including masking, screening, and using COVID-19 workplace safety plans.
Barrie Ontario’s Harvey’s on Cundles Road is proudly COVID-19 workplace safety compliant by protecting their customers with a scannable safety plan and self-assessment questionnaire! Those social distancing posters may seem excessive, but the reminders are perfect and a necessary part of any workplace safety plan.
Ontario COVID-19 Workplace Inspections Continue
Workplace inspections continue, and will focus on educating businesses across the province to help them continue to be safe. Follow up visits are conducted with a focus on enforcement, and are currently taking place in:
- Eastern Ontario
- Durham Region
- York Region
- Waterloo Region
Throughout the pandemic, local businesses have appreciated these visits. Small businesses play an important role in maintaining public health measures and in protecting the public. According to Dr. Paul Roumeliotis, EOHU medical officer of health, “We have been working diligently with local business owners and operators to ensure they are aware of the role they play in maintaining public health measures and ultimately protecting the public. When employees and employers work together to stop the spread of COVID-19, they are doing their part to support the local economy and their community.”
Employees and employers of small businesses are working together towards making Ontario workplaces safer. They are doing their part in supporting the local economy and the community. To keep this going, occupational health and safety inspectors, agents from provincial offences and the supporting ministry teams, have already conducted more than 15,800 COVID-Nineteen workplace inspections and investigations across Ontario. Over 11,900 orders have been given, and 410 COVID-19 related offences have occurred and been handed out violations for. Unfortunately, there have been about twenty stop-work orders issued to this date in Ontario, with a list of violations given and another chance to become compliant upon return of the inspectors.
So, Thank You For Making Ontario Workplaces Safer
As we mentioned, the majority of workplaces in Ontario are COVID-Nineteen compliant already and the rest are being brought up to compliance rapidly. If you are a small business owner or employee, be prepared and know that the ministry and their partners including provincial offences officers are inspecting workplaces and giving out warnings, fines, and stop-work orders if your workplace is missing the essential safety tools. To stay ahead of that, as we mentioned in our previous COVID-19 workplace safety article, there needs to be a safety plan posted at all entrances and in a place where people who are visiting the workplace can see and understand. There needs to be a way to screen visitors, and a way to communicate safety with them via posters, social distancing stickers on the floor, and hand sanitizer available to them.
Businesses can access the following resources here too:
- Workplace safety plan toolkit
- Live Webinars – How to Operate a Business Safely During COVID
- 30-minute online course on infection prevention and control
- Provincial employment standards information centre
- Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre
- Workplace COVID-19 Safety Fact Sheets, Guides, & Posters (multilingual)
This article is based off the information from The Ontario Government’s Website, it can be read here!