Ontario launches education campaign to help workplaces reopen safely

Friday, February 19, 2021

Full suite of resources available to prevent spread of COVID-19

Ontario is launching a new health and safety education campaign focused on helping small businesses across the province reopen safely. On-the-ground assistance includes a comprehensive suite of resources business owners can access at no cost to ensure they are helping prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.

As businesses reopen and people get back to work, it’s important to ensure it’s done in a safe and responsible way. The new education campaign offers guidance and direction so business owners can properly protect their staff, customers, and the general public.

Starting Feb. 22, provincial offences officers will visit businesses in regions opening into grey, red and orange zones, such as the regions of Wellington-Dufferin Guelph, Durham and eastern Ontario, with a focus on businesses that were closed during the provincial shutdown.

The officers will be carrying out inspections to ensure businesses are complying with the Reopening Ontario Act and adhering to capacity limits, appropriately screening workers and customers, enforcing masking requirements and having adequate safety plans in place. Businesses visited will include stores, gyms and personal care services.

Helping our small businesses keep their customers and employees safe is a key part of building consumer confidence and safeguarding the health of communities across Ontario. By providing free safety training supports today, Ontario provides small businesses the tools and resources they need.

Full suite of government educational supports available includes:

  • Provincial Employment Standards Call Centre (webes@ontario.ca) and Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre (webohs@ontario.ca) to answer small business health and safety questions.

For more information on these tools, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-help-businesses-ontario.

Quick Facts

  • For more serious offences, a person can be charged under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act. If convicted, the court can impose fines as high as $100,000 for individuals, and up to up to $500,000 for directors and officers of a corporation. Both could also receive terms of imprisonment of up to one year.
  • Financial supports for businesses include the Workplace Safety Insurance Board’s Health and Safety Excellence Program, which offer rebates to safe employers. The Ontario government offers other supports for businesses, including the Ontario Small Business Support Grant, rebates for PPE, property tax and energy bills.

For more information, contact your Workplace Safety North Health and Safety Specialist.