Sector Safety: Ontario’s guidelines for auto industry reopen

Toronto, Ontario ⁠— Ontario’s provincial government released a set of safety guidelines for a variety of industries on Thursday, including sector-specific rules for the automotive industry.

The province released several lists of safety guidelines for industries including retail, mining, hospitality and transportation. Some of the suggestions the province makes for service managers, service technicians and other vehicle sales and service employees include:

  • Eliminate contact greetings such has handshakes
  • Limit the number of building entry points and use floor markings to show the distance to be kept apart (two metres)
  • Consider job rotation or implementing smaller shifts
  • Increase cleaning frequency of commonly touched surfaces like equipment/tools, client keys, computers and switches
  • Consider installing barriers like ‘sneeze guards’ or windows for client-facing interactions
  • Try to increase fresh air intake and circulation within the facility to “help minimize opportunities for these kinds of hazards to build up”
  • Wipe down vehicle door handles, steering wheels and controls before beginning the job
  • Ensure everyone has been trained on proper hygiene and check in regularly using questionnaires/conversation to verify whether people are feeling healthy and implemented controls are working

The province also said the industry should consider issuing or requiring PPE as protection against the virus “as a last resort.”

“PPE is effective only if appropriate to the situation and people wear it correctly,” the province says on its website. “Ensure PPE training includes the fit, use, care, putting on and taking off, maintenance, cleaning and limitations of the PPE.”

Premier Doug Ford has yet to give the green light for the province’s non-essential businesses to open immediately⁠—the province reiterated that “the guidelines are not an indication of which workplaces will be opening.”

Ford said the province is still waiting to see two-to-four weeks of steady declines in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths before allowing non-essential businesses to open.

“Today, we are on the path to reopening the economy. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Ford during his daily conference at Queen’s Park. “We’re telling our businesses how to be ready when we get that green light. We can’t throw out the guidelines and expect people to open up overnight. We just want people to be prepared.”

Click here to view Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, Guidance on Health and Safety for Service Managers, Service Technicians and Service Employees during COVID-19.

Click here for Ontario’s full list of sector-specific guidelines.

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