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Resources for working safely during the COVID-19 outbreak, aimed at employers and workers, are available online. These include guidelines for numerous jobs and sectors, as well as downloadable workplace posters and graphic tip sheets.
The province is investing in Ontario’s first Virtual Action Centre, an online counselling and training portal, to support laid off and unemployed hospitality workers, and is helping apprentices by providing grants to purchase tools, protective equipment and clothing for their trade, along with forgiving previous loans to purchase tools.
The Ontario government is taking steps to help ensure that as the economy gradually and safely reopens workers will have jobs to return to and businesses will be protected from incurring unsustainable termination costs. On June 1, the government announced that it had enacted a new regulatory amendment that will put non-unionized employees on Infectious Disease Emergency Leave during the COVID-19 outbreak any time their hours of work are temporarily reduced by their employer due to COVID-19. This will ensure businesses aren’t forced to terminate employees after their ESA temporary layoff periods have expired.
New web pages help employers and employees navigate COVID-19
The ministry has published two new web pages to assist Ontarians during the COVID-19 outbreak. Employers can learn about their employment standards responsibilities with regards to the Employment Standards Act, and health and safety, including how to protect workers. Workers can access information about leaves, vacation time and temporary layoffs, as well as information about health and safety protection.
The Infrastructure Health and Safety Association has made available a pre-recorded, 45-minute webinar on COVID-19 health and safety practices for the construction sector. The webinar includes information on best practices for construction sites as well as on-site roles and responsibilities regarding COVID-19.
PSHSA offers return-to-work resources: conference, roadmap, readiness assessment
The Public Services Health and Safety Association (PSHSA) is offering several resources for returning to the workplace during and following the COVID-19 outbreak. Organizational leaders can attend a free virtual conference on June 16. Businesses can complete a self-administered questionnaire to assess their readiness to return to work. And a Return to the Workplace Roadmap, structured in three stages of recovery, outlines specific control measures for workplaces, with considerations for evidence-informed health and safety advice and practical solutions.
WSPS provides resources: Return-to-work videos, preparedness and response guide, decontamination checklist
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) has produced several resources for workplace safety. The organization has created three short return-to-work videos in English and French on mask safety basics; how to be smart, safe and supportive in the workplace; and working safely in the food processing sector. It has also created a business playbook that lays out processes to raise awareness of new health and well-being protocols, and a decontamination checklist for cleaning workplaces.
WSPS to provide consulting under Agri-food Workplace Protection Program
The federal and provincial governments are launching the Agri-food Workplace Protection Program, through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, to help agriculture producers and meat processing facilities enhance health and safety measures to stop the spread of COVID-19. Under this program, WSPS can provide Partnership-funded consulting and training related to modifications to existing agricultural workplaces and enhancing healthy workplace access and accommodation.
The Occupational Cancer Research Centre was funded by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board to examine the risk of neurological disease among Ontario miners who were exposed to McIntyre Powder in the mid to late twentieth century. The study, released earlier this spring, found evidence of an association between McIntyre Powder exposure and increased risk of Parkinson’s disease. McIntyre Powder was administered to miners in Ontario between 1943 and 1979 because it was thought to prevent silicosis, or thickening and scarring of lung tissue. It was later found to have no protective effect.
The Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders has created a quick-start guide to help prevent pain and improve office setup while working from home.
The XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, originally scheduled to take place in Toronto this fall, has been moved to September 19-22, 2021, due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Co-hosted by the Institute for Work & Health and the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety, the 2021 global forum will still take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
The Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease has created an online resource for information about skin problems, such as irritant contact dermatitis and/or allergic contact dermatitis, related to wearing personal protective equipment.
What’s New is published by
The Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development
400 University Avenue, 12th Floor
Toronto, ON M7A 1T7