Ontario businesses making workplaces safer

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Increased awareness and compliance with COVID-19 safety requirements

Worker wearing hardhat and maskMore Ontario small businesses are complying with COVID-19 safety requirements, according to provincial government. During follow-up visits for educational workplace safety campaigns, provincial inspectors found approximately 73 per cent of businesses were in compliance with public health measures and compliance increased by 20 per cent.

Inspectors across the province are providing education and enforcement to ensure businesses of all sizes follow the rules. Education-focused workplace safety blitzes demonstrate that businesses are learning to operate safely during COVID-19 and appreciate support and guidance from the province.

Significant improvement in masking, screening, and COVID-19 workplace safety plans

From February 25 to 28, 110 provincial offences officers conducted more than one thousand COVID-19 related workplace safety visits in Durham Region, Eastern Ontario and Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph. The majority of the visits were made to small businesses with fewer than 25 employees, which had been closed during the provincial shutdown.

Follow-up visits in early March have shown significant improvement, especially in the areas of masking, screening and using COVID-19 workplace safety plans. Workplace inspections continue to focus on educating small businesses across the province to help them reopen safely. Where needed, follow-up visits were conducted with a focus on enforcement. 

Occupational health and safety inspectors and multi-ministry teams of officers have conducted more than 15,800 COVID-related workplace inspections and investigations across the province since the beginning of 2021. During those visits, they issued over 11,900 orders and 410 COVID-19 related tickets, and stopped unsafe work related to COVID-19 a total of 20 times. 

These initiatives, in consultation with local public health units, include targeted blitzes of big-box stores, small businesses and the farming sector, with a particular focus on areas of high transmission such as breakrooms.

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