Face Coverings and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Person Wearing Personal Protective Equipment


The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) (e.g. face coverings, gloves, goggles, shields) depends on the sector and tasks performed by employees. Please review the recommendations made in relevant documents, such as the sector specific guidance documents provided by the Government of Ontario.

If employees require PPE, the employer must:

  • Provide it
  • Make sure their employees are appropriately trained on how to use it
  • Make sure it properly fits employees

Who Should Respond to Employee Concerns?

 If employees have questions or concerns, they should consult with either:

  •  their supervisor;
  • a Joint Health and Safety Committee member or Occupational Health and Safety representative; or,
  • their industry-specific health and safety association

 Complaints for non-compliance should be directed to the Ministry of Labour.

Face Coverings

While face coverings are still mandated in some public spaces, owners/operators need to:

  1. Promote the use of face coverings to protect patrons from COVID-19 spread.
  2. Post clearly visible signage stating that face coverings are required inside the building.
  3. Have a policy in place to prevent people who do not have an exemption from entering the premises or transportation if not wearing a face covering.
  4. Make sure all staff are fully aware of the policy and how to handle it.

Certain exemptions for the face covering requirement apply, such as:

  • Age (children under the age of two or under the age of five, either by birth age or mental development and cannot be persuaded);
  • Health or ability;
  • Staff working within or behind a physical barrier (e.g. plexiglass barrier), provided physical distancing of two metres can be maintained among staff;
  • or staff working in an area of an enclosed public space that is not designated for public access and where physical distancing of two metres can be maintained.

The strength of enforcement is up to the local business, organization, or service. A business, organization, or service has the right to deny entry to their premises; however, implementation of the policy should be enforced in ‘good faith’ and primarily used as a means to educate people on face covering use in enclosed public spaces.

No proof of exemption is required.

Eye Protection

Eye protection provides a barrier to particles that might get into your eye and make you sick. It is often used in combination with other personal protective equipment (PPE) such as gloves, gowns, masks or respirators.

Do my Employees Need Eye Protection?

To determine when eye protection and other PPE is needed, review the Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development guidelines and develop a COVID-19 workplace safety plan. This includes looking at the effectiveness of other controls you already have in place.

What Kind of Eye Protection Do You Recommend?

There are several different types of eye protection. Use this Eye Protection in the Workplace Guide to choose the correct eye protection for your workplace, and make sure to properly clean and disinfect your reusable eye protection.

Access a directory of PPE suppliers on the Government of Ontario website.

North Bay

345 Oak Street West

Parry Sound

70 Joseph Street Unit #302

Burk's Falls

17 Copeland Street (by appointment only)