THE NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY “BEST PRACTICES” GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESSES IN THE CKL
The Government of Ontario’s general resources page for all sector-specific guidelines is here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace
Specifically, these “best practices” guidelines apply to the manufacturing, food manufacturing/processing, restaurant/food service and agricultural sectors.
Today, these businesses in the CKL will be permitted to reopen operations, while following health and safety guidelines:
- garden centres and nurseries with curbside pick-up and delivery only;
- lawn care and landscaping;
- additional essential construction projects that include:
shipping and logistics;
broadband, telecommunications, and digital infrastructure;
any other project that supports the improved delivery of goods and services;
colleges and universities;
site preparation, excavation, and servicing for institutional, commercial, industrial and residential development;
child care centres; and
- automatic and self-serve car washes;
- auto dealerships, open by appointment only;
- golf courses may prepare their courses for the upcoming season, but not open to the public; and
- marinas may also begin preparations for the recreational boating season by servicing boats and other watercraft and placing boats in the water, but not open to the public. Boats and watercraft must be secured to a dock in the marina until public access is allowed.
The guidelines are arranged in a similar way for each sector, with dozens of specific recommendations listed under the following headings (among others):
- protecting yourself and your co-workers (e.g. by hand-washing and staying home when ill);
- physical distancing (e.g. by holding team meetings outdoors or installing plexiglass barriers);
- workplace sanitation (e.g. by providing hand sanitizer, improving ventilation and staggering work schedules);
- workplace tracking (e.g. by keeping records of where each worker has been in the workplace);
- reporting illness (e.g. by encouraging workers to do Ontario’s online self-assessment);
- sharing information (e.g. by using up-to-date workplace posters re COVID-19 policies).
The new guidelines stress across all business sectors:
1. appropriate physical distancing (2m / 6’), eliminating pay-at-the-door options, holding team meetings outdoors, staggering shift times and using ground markings and barriers to manage customer traffic flow;
2. wherever possible, 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; and
3. 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 hand washing before and after breaks.
Depending on the industry sector, additional recommendations may also be made.
For example, for restaurants (and food manufacturers with associated retail operations), there is a recommendation against accepting reusable bags from customers and a recommendation that staff be assigned to monitor physical distancing by customers.
Generally, however, the recommendations are fairly similar across all of the sectors.
HEALTH AND SAFETY POSTERS
The government is also making a range of safety posters available for downloading.
Go here: https://files.ontario.ca/mltsd-2/mltsd-essential-sector-posters-food-manufacture-processing-worker-en-8.5x11-2020-04-30.pdf
Also go here: https://www.ontario.ca/page/resources-prevent-covid-19-workplace
INSPECTION AND ENFORCEMENT
These guidelines are recommendations, but will be monitored and enforced by Ontario’s Ministry of Labour inspectors.
Ontario is committing 58 additional workplace inspectors to the effort, who will focus primarily on communicating best practices to employers.