Bakers Journal

COVID-19 Updates News Health and Safety
Ontario bakeries to expect more inspections


May 24, 2021
By Bakers Journal


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Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development. Image courtesy of The Government of Ontario

Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, announced that the Ontario government is expanding inspections of manufacturing and food processing workplaces, warehouses and distribution centres in an effort to curb COVID.

Approximately 100 provincial offences officers are expected to visit about 1,500 bakeries and factories in Toronto, Hamilton and regions of Durham, Halton, Peel and York between May 10 and May 28. They are checking that employers screen employees and visitors, ensure workers maintain physical distance and be masked. The officers are also ensuring that businesses have safety plans, among other measures.

“While case counts continue to drop, we can’t take anything for granted when it comes to protecting everyday workers with more contagious variants of COVID-19 entering our country every day,” said Minister McNaughton in a statement. “We’ve inspected these workplaces regularly throughout the pandemic, but it is important business owners and supervisors continue following health and safety best practices that have helped us get this far. As our government moves forward and continues to respond to the rapidly evolving pandemic, these inspections are a critical tool as we support businesses and employees through this time.”

Only 15 per cent of businesses inspected recently were flagged for follow-up visits and nine tickets were issued, demonstrating that most businesses are following the rules and that workers are being kept safe. Since the beginning of the pandemic, provincial offences officers and occupational health and safety inspectors have done more than 75,000 COVID-19-related inspections and investigations. They have issued over 630 tickets and stopped unsafe work related to COVID-19 93 times during that period.

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The provincial government also offers job-protected Infectious Disease Emergency Leave and paid sick days through the Ontario COVID-19 Worker Income Protection Benefit.