Inspections expanded at workplaces in hot-spot regions
Maryam FaragGeneral Health & Safety Government COVD-19 government Ontario physical distance safety measures Workplace inspections
The Ontario government is expanding inspections of manufacturing and food processing workplaces, warehouses and distribution centres.
Approximately 100 provincial offences officers are expected to visit about 1,500 workplaces in Toronto, Hamilton and regions of Durham, Halton, Peel and York between May 10 and May 28 to uphold the results previous inspections have delivered.
“While case counts continue to drop, we can’t take anything for granted when it comes to protecting everyday workers with more contagious variants of COVID-19 entering our country every day,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. “We’ve inspected these workplaces regularly throughout the pandemic, but it is important business owners and supervisors continue following health and safety best practices that have helped us get this far. As our government moves forward and continues to respond to the rapidly evolving pandemic, these inspections are a critical tool as we support businesses and employees through this time.”
Officers made 718 visits to workplaces during the first week of the campaign, inspecting for COVID-19 workplace safety requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act. They are checking that employers screen employees and visitors, ensure workers maintain physical distance and be masked, and that businesses have safety plans, among other measures.
They are offering information on workplace rapid antigen screening and job-protected Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and paid sick days through the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit.
Fifteen per cent of businesses inspected last week were flagged for follow-up visits and nine tickets were issued.