‘We all have a role in recognizing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace’
Ontario has released a new resource to improve awareness of Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) for Ontario workers.
The province is providing the free online program as basic IPAC awareness will be crucial to protecting workers and ensuring safe work environments as regions move within the COVID-19 Response Framework and more workplaces reopen.
“Infectious hazards can have a devastating impact on our health. We all have a role in recognizing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases in the workplace,” said the province’s Ontario’s Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development in a tweet.
The program is suitable for all workers across all types of workplaces in Ontario, and is available in both French and English.
The Public Services Health & Safety Association noted that infectious hazards can exist in any type of workplace, and it is everyone’s responsibility to recognize and control these hazards with the same diligence as other workplace health and safety hazards. And especially with the COVID-19 pandemic, we see now how relevant IPAC is for all workers, not just those in healthcare settings.
Among all Ontario workers who have acquired the COVID-19 coronavirus from January 15 to June 22, 2020, 17 per cent were healthcare workers, according to data from Public Health Ontario.
“Free Online Infection Prevention and Control Basic Awareness Training will help workers familiarize themselves with infectious hazards, including #COVID19, and help workplace parties prevent them as more workplaces,” it said in a tweet.
Recently, Ontario announced it is providing $255 million to help municipalities and Indigenous program partners respond to an increase in COVID-19 cases in some emergency shelters and help keep vulnerable people safe. The new funding will protect homeless shelter staff and residents, and help prevent more people from becoming homeless.
“Our government is once again taking immediate action to save lives by responding to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in some shelters across the province,” said Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing. “This investment will provide our municipal service managers with the financial ability to take any means necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19 in shelter spaces.”
Ontario has been conducting workplace inspections in an effort to tackle the current threat of COVID-19. The province has also hired more than 100 new occupational health and safety inspectors to support the province’s business inspection campaigns.