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Menstrual products to be provided on larger construction sites: Ontario government

Menstrual products to be provided on larger construction sites: Ontario government

MISSISSAUGA, ONT. — Ontario’s new Working for Workers Five Act, 2024 contains a suite of measures that, if passed, would support workers, including requiring that menstrual products be provided on larger construction sites and mandating washrooms are clean and sanitary.

The legislation, the first of its kind in Canada, builds on the government’s previous four Working for Workers acts.

The regulatory changes to the province’s Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) will require menstrual products be provided on larger construction sites, indicates a release. The government will also propose legislative and regulatory changes to require employers at both construction sites and other workplaces to require that washrooms are kept clean and sanitary and maintain records of washroom cleaning.

Other proposed amendments include adding virtual harassment to the definitions of workplace harassment and workplace sexual harassment in the OHSA to ensure policies to address harassment in the workplace also cover online harassment.

Furthermore, the government will also engage with survivors of harassment, legal experts and other stakeholders to identify the most effective legislative or regulatory means to create a duty to act for employers where investigations have identified workplace harassment has occurred.

Additional measures to address safety in construction will include a comprehensive review of critical injuries and fatalities in the construction sector and a consultation on expanding the types of life-saving equipment, such as defibrillators, to be provided on construction projects, adds the release.

“Clean, functioning washrooms should be the right of every worker, male or female. Providing menstrual products on every jobsite is a tangible way to level the playing field for women onsite and we look forward to continuing to work with the government to roll out these new measures to ensure they have the intended impact across the province,” said Karen Pullen, chair, Ontario Building and Construction Tradeswomen, in a statement.

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