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New Labor Guidelines for Businesses in Ontario – COVID-19

New Labor Guidelines for Businesses in Ontario – COVID-19
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About the Author

Damian Rostoski

Damian Rostoski

Damian Rostoski is the legislative assistant to Oakville's Member of Provincial Parliament Stephen Crawford, and president of the Ontario PC Campus Association.

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As we work towards reopening the economy, the health and safety of Oakville and Ontario’s workers continues to be our government’s top priority. To assist employers in their responsibility to provide safe and healthy work environments, we are providing specific guidelines to numerous sectors.

These guidelines offer practical advice to help Oakville businesses operate safely in our new environment. These measures will provide direction to those working in the manufacturing, food manufacturing and processing, restaurant and food service and the agricultural sectors. They build on the 60+ guidelines developed by Ontario’s Health and Safety Associations in response to COVID-19 for various sectors such as retail, health care, construction, transportation, police services, firefighters, and transit employees.

These new sector-specific guidelines feature recommended actions Oakville and Ontario employers can begin to plan for as they prepare to adapt to the new reality during COVID-19, including:

  • Ways to ensure appropriate physical distancing, like eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage traffic flow.
  • Changes to the workplace, like installing plexiglass barriers, increasing the air intake on building heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to increase air flow, and using boot sanitizing trays.
  • Promoting proper workplace sanitation, providing personal protective equipment, substituting dry dusting with vacuuming, ensuring customer-facing staff are given hand sanitizer, providing a place to dispose of sanitizing wipes, and enforcing handwashing before and after breaks.

The government is also issuing posters to promote a variety of useful safety tips. The posters offer helpful advice on physical distancing and sanitation. They are downloadable from the Ontario.ca website so Oakville employers can print and post them in their workplaces.

While the vast majority of Oakville and Ontario employers do the right thing and ensure that their workplace is safe and clean, we know that there are some bad actors. That is why we are also adding 58 new inspectors. We want workers to have confidence that the Government will investigate if they feel unsafe on the job.  As of April 27, inspectors have completed 4,606 inspections and issued 1,468 orders, including 18 stop-work orders, related to COVID-19.

By providing clear guidelines on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace and adding new inspectors, we are preparing for a responsible reopening of the province that balances the health and safety of the people of Ontario. The government is committed to a careful, stage-by-stage approach to loosening emergency measures and reopening Ontario’s economy. Public health and workplace safety will remain the top priority, while balancing the needs of people and businesses. Stay strong, Oakville.

For workplace health and safety questions, Oakville residents and businesses can contact the Health & Safety Contact Centre at toll-free 1-877-202-0008.

Contact information for Stephen Crawford, MPP for Oakville

Tel: 905-827-5141

Email: Stephen.Crawfordco@pc.ola.org

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