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:
- Free webinars on how to operate a business safely, and comply with health and safety requirements, during COVID-19.
- A free 30-minute online course on infection prevention and control provided by the Public Services Health and Safety Association.
- Provincial Employment Standards Call Centre (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Occupational Health and Safety Contact Centre (email@example.com) to answer small business health and safety questions.
For more information on these tools, visit covid-19.ontario.ca/covid-19-help-businesses-ontario.
- To help businesses understand how to use health and safety guidance to develop a safety plan for their unique situation, the government has developed a toolkit that includes a guide, template and checklist.
- The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development has developed more than 200 business guidance documents. This includes factsheets, guides, posters and multilingual tip sheets for supervisors and employers.
- Corporations can be fined $1,000 for failing to comply with the orders under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act and the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act. Individuals, including employees and patrons, can also be fined $750 for failing to comply with orders under the Acts.
- 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.
- COVID-19 response framework including COVID-19 measures by region (map)
- Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the workplace
- Guidance for employers during breaks
- Break poster
- Lunch poster
- Keep it to yourself poster
- COVID-19 safety checklist for workplaces
- WSN sector-specific COVID-19 workplace safety resources
For more information, contact your Workplace Safety North Health and Safety Specialist.