Ontario Launches COVID-19 Workplace Safety Inspection Blitz in Simcoe Muskoka

(Bradford/Innisfil, ON)  The Ontario government is carrying out workplace inspections in communities covered by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit, including Bradford and Innisfil, from February 5-8.

A team of South Simcoe Police Service officers is joining Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury By-law, Town of Innisfil By-law, Ministry Inspectors and Health Unit officers to conduct the inspections throughout the weekend.

The inspections will help ensure essential businesses are following the public health guidelines so that workers and customers are properly protected from COVID-19. Businesses 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.

Additional 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 businesses had at least one contravention of the Reopening Ontario Act. A total of 57 tickets and 57 health and safety orders were issued.