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Workplace inspection blitz takes place in Simcoe Muskoka between Feb. 5 and 8

Click to play video: 'Inspection blitz finds some big-box stores breaking rules' Inspection blitz finds some big-box stores breaking rules
York Region public health certified health inspector Nadia Varbanova shares the biggest issues and concerns she comes across during her inspections at big-box stores. – Jan 25, 2021

The Ontario government will be conducting workplace inspections at businesses across Simcoe County and Muskoka — including Barrie, Collingwood, Huntsville and Orillia — between Feb. 5 and Feb. 8.

Inspectors will visit big box stores, grocery stores, service stations, hotels, warehousing and manufacturing businesses.

Read more: Big-box inspection blitz targets Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo this weekend

They will check to make sure businesses are following the necessary public health guidelines and the requirements under the Reopening Ontario Act, like screening workers and patrons, requiring workers and customers to wear masks, and maintaining physical distancing.

“We’ve marshalled hundreds of officers to inspect over 1,000 businesses in a few short weeks, and we’ll keep it up as long as there are bad actors out there,” Ontario’s labour, training and skills development minister, Monte McNaughton, said in a statement on Jan. 29.

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Click to play video: 'Ontario increases inspection of businesses to ensure COVID-19 compliance' Ontario increases inspection of businesses to ensure COVID-19 compliance
Ontario increases inspection of businesses to ensure COVID-19 compliance – Jan 20, 2021

“If we find businesses putting people at risk, we will take immediate action. This late in the pandemic, there is absolutely no excuse for owners, staff and customers alike not to be following health and safety rules.”

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The Ontario government said the most common forms of non-compliance were failure to properly screen staff and customers, improper physical distancing and lack of an adequate COVID-19 workplace safety plan.

Read more: Coronavirus: Hamilton’s small businesses less than 50% compliant during inspection blitz, says city

All businesses operating under Ontario’s lockdown must have a COVID-19 workplace safety plan in place that is available to anyone who asks to see it and is posted in a place where it’s easily seen.

So far this year and as of Jan. 29, the Ontario government said 112 tickets have been issued to individuals and businesses during three inspection campaigns.

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