April 30th, 2020

Making safety optional will put lives at risk

QUEEN’S PARK — Opening restaurants and other workplaces with health and safety “guidelines” instead of enforceable rules will put people’s health at risk, said the NDP.

“Some employers will work hard to keep people as safe as they can when they re-open following the COVID-19 peak. And some absolutely will not,” said NDP Leader Andrea Horwath. “Allowing individual employers to decide if their employees, customers and suppliers get to be adequately protected is a bad idea that will put people at risk, and hurt us all if it leads to a resurgence of COVID-19.”

The Ford government announced Thursday that it will put roughly 60 health and safety guidelines up online to guide business re-opening, and produce posters.

“Having guidelines rather than rules and inspections contributed to the deadly disaster in long-term care,” said Wayne Gates, the NDP’s Labour critic for Workplace Health and Safety. “Before Doug Ford moves ahead with re-opening businesses, he needs to set and clearly communicate rules, and ensure that inspections will take place to enforce those rules.”

Horwath has previously called for Ford to put in place a robust testing plan, make PPE available, and increase the number of proactive site inspections as a part of the plan to re-open segments of the economy.