Minister McNaughton warns of serious consequences for rule breakers
Ontario Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, Monte McNaughton, on Tuesday, warned of serious consequences for those who break rules and safety protocols among small businesses.
Speaking to ethnic media via Zoom on the government’s support for the safe reopening of small businesses in Ontario, Minister McNaughton said “we have done more than 42,000 inspections, throughout this pandemic, we’ve shut down about 70 unsafe workplaces and construction job sites for example, throughout this pandemic.”
“Most of the small businesses want to do a good job and most of them are doing a good job but there are obviously lots of questions out there. One of the new enforcement tools that our inspectors got starting in January, was the power to issue tickets on the spot. So for example, most of these tickets range between $750 up to $1,000. This would be for managers and supervisors who wouldn’t wear a mask or weren’t wearing a mask properly. If they weren’t screening workers coming into a business, if they didn’t have a health and safety plan to prevent COVID from coming into the workplace, tickets that would be issued on the spot,” the minister said responding to a question from MEDIAinTORONTO.
“I think, since January we’ve issued about 300 of those (tickets). But again, we’re finding that the majority of businesses are doing a good job, especially small businesses. And one of the other things I should point out, we’re going out to small businesses with an education first approach but we also do follow up visits to those small businesses where we’re seeing some challenges, and we’re seeing a huge improvement in those businesses that needed to up the protocols to protect their workers. So, again, I really feel that everybody’s working together and we’re seeing improvement on the ground, but there are serious consequences for rule-breakers, not just the tickets, but the under the Occupational Health and Safety Act. I mean the fines can be as high as one and a half million dollars,” he said.