WorkWise Hamilton

Many businesses in our community and across the country have faced significant hardships over the course of the COVID-19 global pandemic. As Ontario moves through its steps of reopening, the resources here provide infection prevention and control measures and guidelines to support workplace efforts to help protect employees and customers and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community.

The Hamilton COVID Concierge Team and Hamilton Public Health Services partnered together to provide these resources and are committed to supporting local workplaces to WorkWise.

Campaign Goal

  • Our collective goal is to provide workplaces with resources to help navigate the Province’s new regulations and continue to learn about effective ways to prevent COVID-19 spread in the workplace

On this webpage you will find:

  • Work-related resources and information
  • Links to upcoming webinars
  • An interactive workplace safety quiz
  • Suggestions for how your workplace can share innovations that have enabled you to continue to WorkWise

Get involved in this campaign by:

  • Leveraging social media content and resources on this page and sharing through your own networks
  • Posting a video about how your workplace has innovated during the pandemic to create a safer space (details below)
  • Completing the Workplace Safety Quiz and learning what more your workplace can do to create a safer workspace
  • Supporting the WorkWise campaign! Pick up a free WorkWise Hamilton decal and place it in your storefront or office. Decals can be picked up at the Hamilton Rapid Testing Centre (44 Frid Street, Tuesday-Thursday between 10 am – 3 pm)

Workplaces are vital to our community

Keep your employees and your workplace safe. Public health measures continue to be effective in stopping COVID-19 spread.

Sector-Specific Guidance for Step Three Reopening

WorkWise by knowing and following the rules and regulations that govern your sector’s ability to operate. Read more about the sector-specific guidance that applies to your workplace in Step Three Reopening. Click here to learn more.

Open and Ready with COVID-19 Prevention Measures in the Workplace

Following public health measures helps to protect your employees, your customers, and your community, and reduces the likelihood of needing to shut down due to outbreaks or reduced staffing. 

When workplaces understand how COVID-19 spreads, they can implement measures known to help protect employees and customers. The Public Health Guidance for Workplaces webpage information can help businesses and employers identify what infection prevention and control measures to put in place.

You can also learn more about how to keep your workplace safer and WorkWise on the Provincial COVID-19 and workplace health and safety webpage.

Workplace Safety Resources for Businesses

The information below contains resources, including posters and social media messaging you can share with your workplace.

Businesses that are open to the public need to post the following three signs as applicable in a place where they will be visible to the public:

  • Passive screening sign
  • Mask Requirements
    Download the signs above and ensure they are posted at all entrances in a place that is visible to the public.
  • Capacity limits
    *required for retail, food or drink establishments with dance facilities, personal care services, photography studios and services, and media and entertainment/gaming venues (e.g. museums, galleries botanic gardens and similar attractions; racing venues; amusement parks; festivals, rural exhibitions fairs; and tour and guide services)
  • Proof of Vaccination (*for settings where required*) 
    Download the sign above and ensure it is posted in a place that is visible to the public. 

All businesses and workplaces are also required to actively screen their employees and essential visitors. All screening tools can be found here:

The following businesses are also required to actively screen customers:

  • Meeting or event spaces
  • Restaurants, bars & nightclubs (dine in)
  • Food or drink establishments with dance facilities
  • Strip clubs, bathhouses and sex clubs
  • Retailers (*required for test drive retailers only*)
  • Sports facilities and recreational fitness activities
  • Personal physical fitness
  • Personal care services
  • Teaching and instruction (includes driving instruction)
  • Photography studios and services
  • Casinos, bingo halls, gaming establishments
  • Tour and guide services & boat tours

Active screening means employers use information gathered to decide who can enter the workplace. Passive screening is when people decide their own risk and make the decision themselves

Temperature checks are neither required or recommended as part of screening

Please ensure that if you download a paper version of the screening tool, you check the webpage frequently to determine if any changes were made to the screening tools you are using.

All businesses open to the public are required to have a written safety plan that is posted in a visible place made available upon request. 

The safety plan must describe how the requirements will be implemented in the location including by screening, physical distancing, masks or face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and objects, the wearing of personal protective equipment and preventing and controlling crowding.

Additionally facilities for indoor or outdoor sports and recreational fitness activities need to include in their safety plan how to prevent gatherings and crowds at events and mitigate the risk of any interactive activity, exhibits or games.

Additional support for creating your safety plan can be found on the City of Hamilton’s webpage.

Certain workplaces may operate based solely on the ability to physically distance, i.e. ensuring that individuals remain at least 2 metres apart from others.

Capacity limits based on the ability to physically distance do not apply when in:

  • a meeting or event space,
  • a concert venue, theatre or cinema,
  • a horse racing track, car racing track or other similar venue, or
  • a place where commercial film and television production takes place
  • restaurants, bars and other food or drink establishments where dance facilities are not provided,
  • facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, including areas for spectators within those facilities, areas where personal physical fitness trainers provide instruction within those facilities, and waterparks,
  • casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments, or
  • a place of business, facility or location that has elected to opt-in to proof of vaccination requirements during the specific time period when the election is in effect.

Depending on the size of your retail location, there are different options for how to calculate maximum capacity while still supporting physical distancing.

Capacity Limits for Retail Spaces:

  • For small retail spaces, look at your space, considering shelving and other items that reduce available square footage. Place floor markings around your store to help calculate number of people. Make sure each floor marking is 2 metres away from the next floor marking in all directions (side-to-side and up-and-down). The number of floor markings is the same as the number of people you are allowed inside your store.
  • For larger retail spaces and those interested in using a mathematical formula, here’s how you determine maximum capacity:
    • Know your square footage (remember this number also needs to be posted on your door)
    • Know how many employees are scheduled to work, and use this number to determine how many customers you can have in your establishment to maintain the 2 metre physical distance required
    • Based on the amount of square footage available (i.e. without any shelving or other items that reduce the amount of space available), allow for at least 2 metres squared and ideally 4 metres squared per person.
    • Always round down.

Capacity Limits for Businesses Open to the Public:

Businesses open to the public must ensure that physical distancing of at least 2 metres from every other person in the business or facility can be maintained and that the total number of members of the public in the business or facility at any one time does not exceed 50% capacity indoors and 75% outdoors

  • To calculate 50% capacity, take 50% of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility (if only a part is being used) as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code) , made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.
  • To calculate 75% capacity, take the total number of square metres of area accessible to the public and divide this number by 1.33, rounding the result down to the nearest whole number.

Food or drink establishments with dance facilities, bathhouses & sex clubs are limited to 25% capacity indoors (or 250 persons, whichever is less).

  • To calculate 25% capacity, take 25% of the maximum occupant load of the business or facility, or part of a business or facility (if only a part is being used) as calculated in accordance with Ontario Regulation 213/07 (Fire Code), made under the Fire Protection and Prevention Act, 1997.


As of September 22, 2021, Ontario residents will need to provide proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, along with proof of identification to access certain businesses and settings. Learn more about this requirement here.

Additional resources, including posters and signage and translated resources, can be found on the City of Hamilton’s Public Health Guidance for Workplaces (under ‘Workplace Resources’)

Posters for Your Workplace

Click on the posters below to download them. You are encouraged to print them and display them in your workplace!

How WorkWise are you? Complete the Workplace Safety Quiz

Below is a checklist of general public health measures that can help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Test your organization. How WorkWise are you?

Recognizing & Celebrating Employees and Innovations in the Workplace

Many adjustments were required to successfully operate your businesses during the pandemic. Businesses as well as employees needed to frequently pivot in response to regulations and required health measures changes.

Recognize and celebrate employees’ continued effort in and contribution toward making the workplace a safer space. Let your employees know how much you appreciate their dedication, especially during these trying times.

  • Check in with your employees frequently. It’s the little interactions that create valuable points of connections for your employees and your workplace
  • Give balanced feedback. Let your employees know that they’re doing well and where they can improve. With the frequently changing COVID-19 landscape and the required work-related changes, this feedback becomes more important than ever!
  • Be flexible. More than anything, COVID has underscored the need to be flexible. Employees who aren’t feeling well shouldn’t be penalized for missing or leaving work if needed.
  • Express gratitude. Take the time to connect with each of your employees to thank them for their specific contributions to the workplace.
  • Encourage and celebrate vaccine uptake. Remind employees that each one of them makes a difference and that vaccination is the key to keeping workplaces and our community safer spaces. More information about COVID-19 vaccination and workplaces can be found here.
  • Acknowledge and support mental well-being. Give your employees the chance to reach out by letting them know that your organization cares about their wellbeing and that resources are available if needed, e.g.
  • Reward Excellence. For example, select a COVID-19 Champion of the Month and celebrate their achievements.

What’s enabled your organization to WorkWise?

Share the innovations and safety measures that your organization has implemented during COVID-19 to make your workplace a safer space.

  • Post through your own social media channels testimonials or create short videos (30seconds -2 minutes) highlighting some of the measures or innovations your workplace has put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Not only is this a great way to celebrate how your workplace is responding to COVID-19, but also, this will allow you to build confidence with both your employees and customers that your organization appreciates the gravity of COVID-19 and is implementing processes to protect the workplace, employees and customers.
  • Post information in your workplace that celebrate employee contributions and remind employees what they can do to help keep their workplace safer (for ways in which employees can help keep their workplace safer, please see the resources for workplaces above).

Safety Checklist Quiz

"*" indicates required fields

Step 1 of 9

Screen for COVID 19

Question 1*
Employees and essential visitors (e.g. contractors, suppliers and volunteers) are actively screened before entering the establishment (if screened in person, screening should be taking place at least 2 metres (6 feet) away and/or through use of a physical barrier (e.g. plexiglass).
Question 2*
Customers can see the required screening tool sign posted on our entrance prior to entering.
Question 3*
Question 4*
Customers or employees who fail screening are denied entry to our establishment and advised to follow screening tool advice.
Question 5*
Our organization supports workers who must isolate while sick. Workers are aware of resources for workplace accommodations, sick leaves, financial support and return to work policies.