In December 2012 Ontario's Chief Prevention Officer George Gritziotis named two task groups to consult and provide advice on how to better reach vulnerable workers and small business.
The creation of the task groups was part of the recommendations of the Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety.
Each task group had 12 members: six worker representatives and six employer representatives. Over the course of their 30 month mandates, the task groups provided advice on a number of priority initiatives including the Integrated Occupational Health and Safety Strategy and the Working at Heights Training Standards, among others.
The task groups studied issues, gathered information and provided the ministry with recommendations to better reach and increase occupational health and safety awareness for small business, vulnerable workers and their employers.
The Small Business Task Group provided advice on how to improve small business outreach to help create healthy and safe workplaces. Emphasizing outreach and awareness, their report focuses on small businesses that lack the necessary knowledge to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations.
In a complex regulatory environment, and facing fierce commercial competition, small business owners need accessible, low cost and easy-to-understand resources in order to create healthy and safe workplaces. Task Group members identified four priority recommendations:
The Vulnerable Worker Task Group provided advice on how to improve outreach to increase awareness of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and its regulations among vulnerable workers and their employers. Their report focuses on workers who are the most vulnerable and employers who lack the necessary knowledge to comply with the Act. While all workers are vulnerable to injury, illness and fatality, some workers are at greater risk than others. Those who are at greatest risk may experience a combination of individual, workplace and work activity vulnerability characteristics.
Task Group members identified four priority recommendations: