For Immediate Release: March 9, 2021
SIMCOE – The Ontario Government, through Workplace Safety and Prevention Services (WSPS), is providing information sessions to help farmers and other agri-food operators better protect workers’ health and safety and prevent COVID-19 outbreaks. Agriculture Minister Ernie Hardeman and Toby Barrett, MPP and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister, will host the webinar session for Haldimand-Norfolk Monday, March 15, 2021.
The 2021 growing season is already underway in some parts of the agri-food industry and temporary foreign agricultural workers have started to arrive in Ontario. This information session will help all farmers and operators enhance health and safety requirements and apply best practices in their operations.
“Farmers adapted very quickly last year as the pandemic showed no mercy throughout the growing and harvesting seasons,” said Haldimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett. “The contribution our farmers and their workers make to the province, to our country, and around the world is unmatched. Giving those who feed us all the tools they need to keep themselves and their workers safe is top priority.”
“I know farmers and agri-food operators care deeply about their workers’ health and safety,” said Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “There’s an abundance of resources and information out there and these sessions will help each farmer and agri-food business in their ongoing efforts to improve their own workplaces to protect their workers.”
The upcoming session for Haldimand-Norfolk will support agriculture workplaces, including those with temporary foreign agriculture workers or other employees, to prepare for and put in place effective measures and training based on evidence-based practices. It will also introduce tools and resources to assist these workplaces to implement these practices and includes access to up to two days of individualized consulting and training services by WSPS experts for their business.
The webinar for Haldimand-Norfolk will take place on March 15, 2021, from 4-5 p.m. To register for one of our regional sessions, please visit: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/about/webinar-registration.htm
Control the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace by incorporating public health advice and include measures to:
- consider having a screener at the farm to conduct active screening of workers and visitors to the farm
- limit the potential spread of an outbreak through cohorting, establishing work teams or crews of people that work together.
- ensure physical distancing and separation of at least 2 metres, Personal Protective Equipment must be work when workers are unable to maintain at least 2 metres distance from another person
- use appropriate Personal Protective Equipment including surgical/procedure mask, gown, gloves and/or eye protection (goggles or face shield).
- reduce transmission from surfaces and objects by sanitizing commonly touched surfaces or areas such as entrances, counters, washrooms and kitchens.
- support good hand and respiratory hygiene, enable workers and visitors to properly clean their hands, by providing access to soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, warn individuals to not work if experiencing respiratory symptoms
Prevention, Control and Outbreak Support Strategy for COVID-19 in Ontario’s Farm Workers
Working with farm operators to stop the spread of COVID-19 on farm
– 30 –
For more information, please contact MPP Toby Barrett at 519-428-0446, 905-765-8413, 1-800-903-8629