The Ontario government is carrying out workplace inspections in communities covered by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, including Barrie, Bracebridge, Collingwood, Huntsville and Orillia, from February 5-8.
The inspections will help ensure essential businesses are following the public health guidelines so that workers and customers are properly protected from COVID-19. Business that will be visited include big-box stores, grocery stores, service stations, hotels, warehousing and manufacturing businesses. They will be expected to be complying with the COVID-19 safety requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act, such as screening workers and patrons, requiring workers and patrons to wear masks, and to maintain physical distancing.
See January 29 news release and below for more information.
Corporations can be now 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. Everyone in Ontario, including employees and patrons, can also be fined $750 for failing to comply with orders under the acts.
If a violation is more serious, a person can be charged with failing to comply with an order under the acts. If convicted, the court can impose fines as high as $100,000 for individuals, and directors and officers of a corporation can be fined up to $500,000. Both could also receive terms of imprisonment of up to one year. The maximum fine for a corporation on conviction of an offence is up to $10,000,000.
Last weekend, provincial offences officers carried out 523 workplace visits in Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo Region. They found 60 per cent of business had at least one contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act. A total of 57 tickets and 57 health and safety orders were issued.
All campaigns to date have been carried out with the support of the local public health unit.
Campaigns are planned with several other Ontario public health units in the coming weeks, including Peterborough Public Health; Leeds Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit; and Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health