Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program
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The Enhanced Agri-food Workplace Protection Program will help more operations, including farms, take additional measures to improve the health and safety of agri-food workers in the province during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the continued supply of locally grown food all year round.
Funding is available through the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program in the following categories:
The Preventative Occupational Health and Safety Measures category provides eligible farmers and other operations with cost-share funding to help support the health and safety of their employees through assistance with the purchase of such things as personal protective equipment, medical testing equipment, and enhanced cleaning and disinfection.
The On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program provides support for farm worker safety infrastructure projects up to $100,000 such as housing or workplace modifications and equipment to enhance physical distancing between workers.
Eligible submissions for project costs incurred on or after March 15, 2020 are received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available or until February 26, 2021.
Funding Supports and Opportunities Currently Available
The Government of Ontario is investing up to $15 million to expand the Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program which is helping support the agri-food sector and better protect workers during the COVID-19 outbreak. The federal government has also announced an additional $11.6 million investment into this program, bringing the total to $26.6 million.
Recent enhancements to the program include:
- Support is now available for farmers and other operations to assist with costs for short-term accommodation and transportation related to preventative measures through the Preventative Occupational Health and Safety measures category.
- The amount farmers can claim for preventative expenses has doubled, to $15,000.
- Support is now available for eligible farm businesses which have incurred extraordinary costs related to workers who have needed to isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test result or orders from a public health authority through the Worker Wages and Isolation Expenses category.
- Support of up to $100,000 is now available for small capital projects including housing modifications, workplace modifications and equipment to allow greater physical distancing for workers through the On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program.
Funding is also available now for projects to implement health and safety measures related to COVID-19 in provincially licensed meat plants through the Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program for provincially licensed meat processors through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership. Eligible applications are received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available.
The Support for Worker Wages and Isolation Expenses for 2020 Season program may provide support for farm businesses who have incurred costs during the 2020 season related to worker wages and isolation expenses due to a positive COVID-19 test result or a Public Health Unit/Ministry of Labour Training and Skills Development order. Eligible farmers for this program may contact OMAFRA for more information.
OMAFRA has entered into a Transfer Payment Agreement with the Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) to provide agri-food businesses, organizations and associations with educational resources, tools and consulting services to help them meet implement COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Additional details about businesses that may qualify can be found online on the WSPS website or by calling 1-877-494-WSPS (9777).
For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300