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'Go above and beyond standard health and safety measures': Labour minister tells Canadian employers

Last Updated Mar 21, 2020 at 3:01 pm PDT

FILE - In this illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). THE CANADIAN PRESS/ AP-CDC via AP, File
Summary

The labour minister is emphasizing that employees are not exposed to conditions that could be harmful to their health

Layoffs have devastated some sectors while demands on others have dramatically increased. 

OTTAWA (NEWS 1130) — Canada’s labour minister wants to make sure employers are going above and beyond to protect workers who remain on the job amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mister Filomena Tassi has released a statement, saying companies have an obligation to keep their workers safe.

She urges employers to ensure–above all else–that employees are not exposed to conditions that could be harmful to their health.

“We know that exposure to COVID-19 is a new phenomenon. We also know we must take this matter very seriously. If there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19, employers have an obligation to identify, assess the risk, and implement proper controls through their hazard prevention programs,” the statement reads.

“We urge all employers during this critical time to go above and beyond standard health and safety measures to make sure that workers are safe in this extraordinary situation, and accommodate reasonable requests from employees.”

While layoffs have devastated some sectors and 500,000 people have applied for Employment Insurance, but the minister points out demands on others have dramatically increased.

“Some of Canada’s workers are being asked to step up. Canadians working in trucking, the food supply chain, railways, ports, and airways, along with many other industries, are now needed more than ever before to ensure Canadians have access to food and other essential goods during this very difficult time.”