Inspection Blitz Helps to Prevent Spread of COVID-19 and Keep Workers and Public Safe
The Ontario government launched a series of education and enforcement campaigns to ensure businesses across the province are taking the necessary steps to keep employees, consumers and the public safe. These campaigns will support the current efforts of police, municipal by-law officers, and public health inspectors to educate businesses and enforce the COVID-19 health and safety requirements.
The Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is pleased to welcome the Multi-Ministry Education and Enforcement Team to several communities on November 27 and 28, including Almonte, Carleton Place, Perth, Smiths Falls, Merrickville, Westport and Kemptville (if there is time). Another visit will be organized at a later date for Brockville, Prescott and Gananoque, and Kemptville (if not already visited).
During the 2-day campaign provincial offences officers will be visiting local businesses (retail stores, restaurants, and gyms) to provide guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic and comply with public health requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act.
The campaigns are being carried out by a team of 18 provincial offences officers from across ministries. To date, over 1,000 workplaces have been visited in other communities across Ontario, and the response from business owners and operators has been overwhelmingly positive.
During each visit, officers provide business owners with guidance on how to operate safely during the pandemic and comply with public health requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act. Businesses will be emailed a report after the visit. These campaigns are developed in consultation with local health units and support Ontario’s COVID-19 Response Framework under the Reopening Ontario Act.
These inspections are primarily focused on education and outreach – confirming that businesses are doing the right things and keeping employees, consumers and the public safe and providing them the opportunity to contact public health for continued support. The most common areas of non-compliance during all campaigns to date have been improper mask use, lack of employee screening, and improper sanitization. Locally the Health Unit has received several complaints about the lack of proper physical distancing or overcrowding at our local retail and food service businesses. There are more than 200 sector-specific guidance resources at Ontario.ca/covidsafety to help business owners and operators create their workplace safety plan.
For more information about operating a business during COVID-19, visit: https://healthunit.org/health-information/covid-19/business-re-opening/