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Inspectors enforcing new COVID-19 vaccine passport to 'lead with education'

Minister says they will be reasonable with business owners implementing the new vaccine passport
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In the wake of the COVID-19 vaccine passport roll out, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development Monte McNaughton says inspectors will "lead with education" as they head out to enforce the new system.

Ontario has also launched a new Workplace Safety Plan Builder to help businesses with their health and safety plans.

Ontario's COVID-19 vaccine passport went into effect on Sept. 22. It requires people going to certain higher-risk public indoor spaces to be fully vaccinated, which is 14 days after receiving your second dose.

Today, more than 100 health and safety inspectors graduated, bringing the total number of labour inspectors in the province to 507, according to a Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development news release.

In the coming weeks, the inspectors and provincial offences officers will be doing inspection and education campaigns to make sure businesses are following COVID-19 safety rules.

“As we fight the fourth wave of COVID-19, we need all hands on deck,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, in a statement.

“With 100 more inspectors, these boots on the ground across our province will help keep workers safe and support businesses to remain open. Our government’s inspectors will be patient, lead with education, and be reasonable to business owners and frontline workers implementing the vaccine certificate.”

Since the start of the pandemic, there have been more than 65,000 COVID-related workplace inspections, resulting in 79,200 orders being issued and unsafe work being stopped 102 times.

"Data from the most recent visits, conducted over the summer, shows the education assistance provided by inspectors helped double the number of businesses who were fully compliant with their responsibilities under the Reopening Ontario Act," reads the news release.

Under the reopening act, having a written safety plan is mandatory for businesses that are allowed to be open.

The Workplace Safety Plan Builder website was created to help business owners create and update their COVID-19 safety plans.

"The safety plan builder will lead employers through an easy process to create and update an online safety plan that is right for their workplace. It also allows for easy customization and employers who sign up for updates will be notified when information is changed, allowing them to stay up to date with current guidance and requirements," according to the announcement.