With the current COVID-19 pan-demic causing many people to have concerns about staying safe while at work, the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development hosted an on-line information session to help people understand employment standards and occupational health and safety rights while on the job.
There was a particular focus on staying safe on the job during the current pandemic.
The webinar was hosted through Focus Employment Services in Alliston, on Friday, February 5, and featured experts from the Ministry who provided information and also answered questions from those taking part.
When it comes to safety on the job, workers have certain rights regarding occupational health and safety on the job.
Workers have a right to know about hazards to which they might be ex-posed.
They can participate in identifying and resolving health or safety is-sues.
Workers can refuse unsafe work without fear of reprisals from employ-ers.
The rights extend to people who are concerned about unsafe practices or situations that may arise in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic and keeping safe while at work.
Employers’ responsibilities include providing reasonable precautions in the workplace, providing and explaining proper use of equipment, and pro-viding proper information and instruction about workplace safety.It should be noted the employers do have the right to insist employees wear proper PPE when on the job if it is re-quired to ensure a safe environment.
For the employee, following the work guidelines for safety is their responsibility and both employer and employee should work together to ensure the workplace is free of hazards.
If a person in the workplace does test positive for the virus, an employer is required to inform the Ministry within a specific time frame.
There has been new legislation put into place since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic regarding infectious diseases.
If you have any questions regarding the Health and Occupational Safety act, you can forward questions to the Ministry via e-mail email@example.com.
Brian Lockhart, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, New Tecumseth Times