On April 30, 2020 the Government of Ontario announced new guidelines to provide processes for safe business resumptions for agriculture, manufacturing, foodstuffs, restaurant and food services businesses. These guidelines build on measures already set out by the Ontario Government in respect of retail, health care, constructions, and transit services, among others. Although the Government is providing these guidelines, employers should note that they are recommendations and best practices – application of the guidelines will vary by the specific circumstances of each workplace.
The Government has provided specific guidance notes in respect of each of the following sectors:
In addition to sector-specific guidance, the Government has also released various posters in respect of each sector. The posters, and other links, can be found by clicking here. The posters suggest steps to reduce the incidence of COVID-19 cases including suggesting that construction sector companies hold meetings outdoors, staggering lunch breaks in the food service sector, and limiting the number of people sharing pieces of equipment in long-term care homes among other suggestions.
The Government has also collated information and technical guidance from various associations for ease of reference including guidance from the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association, Public Service Health and Safety Association, Workplace Safety North and Workplace Safety and Prevention Services. All such resources can be found on the Resources to prevent COVID-19 in the Workplace webpage.
As the situation evolves, it is certain that additional guidelines will be provided by the Ontario government in the future.