Ontario Public Health Standards

Health Hazard Prevention and Management

Goal

  • To prevent or reduce the burden of illness from health hazards35 in the physical environment.

Societal Outcomes

  • There is reduced incidence of adverse health outcomes from exposure to chemical, radiological, biological, and other physical factors in the environment.
  • There is reduced public exposure to health hazards.
  • There is increased capacity on the part of the public and community partners to address the risk factors that reduce health hazard exposure and diseases.
  • There is increased public engagement in practices and activities that reduce exposure to hazardous conditions and factors and protect the environment.
  • There is increased community partner participation in developing local policies and programs that address the risk factors associated with health hazard exposure and diseases.

Board of Health Outcomes

  • The board of health achieves timely and effective detection and identification of exposures of human health concern and associated public health risks, trends and illnesses.
  • The board of health is aware of and uses epidemiology to influence the development of healthy public policy and its programs and services to reduce or eliminate the burden of illness from health hazards in the environment.
  • The public is aware of health protection and prevention activities related to health hazards and conditions that create healthy environments.
  • Community partners have the information necessary to create healthy public policies related to reducing exposure to health hazards.
  • The public and community partners are aware of health hazard incidents and risks in a timely manner.

Assessment and Surveillance

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall conduct surveillance of the environmental health status of the community in accordance with the Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol, 2008 (or as current); [PDF] the Infectious Diseases Protocol, 2008 (or as current); the Rabies Prevention and Control Protocol, 2008 (or as current); [PDF] the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Protocol 2008 (or as current); and the Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  2. The board of health shall conduct epidemiological analysis of surveillance data, including monitoring of trends over time, emerging trends, and priority populations, in accordance with the Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2008 (or as current) (or as current). [PDF]

Health Promotion and Policy Development

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall increase public awareness of health risk factors associated with the following health hazards:
    • Indoor air quality;
    • Outdoor air quality;
    • Extreme weather;
    • Climate change;
    • Exposure to radiation; and
    • Other measures, as emerging health issues arise.
    These efforts shall include:
    1. Adapting and/or supplementing national and provincial health communications strategies; and/or
    2. Developing and implementing regional/local communications strategies.
  2. The board of health shall assist community partners to develop healthy policies related to reducing exposure to health hazards. Topics may include but are not limited to:
    • Indoor air quality;
    • Outdoor air quality;
    • Extreme weather; and
    • Built environments.

Disease Prevention/Health Protection

Requirements

  1. The board of health shall ensure that the medical officer of health or designate is available on a 24/7 basis to respond to and manage health hazards in accordance with the Health Protection and Promotion Act; the Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol, 2008 (or as current); [PDF] the Public Health Emergency Preparedness Protocol, 2008 (or as current); [PDF] and the Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  2. The board of health shall inspect and assess facilities where there is an elevated risk of illness associated with exposures that are known or suspected to be associated with health hazards in accordance with the Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  3. The board of health shall implement control measures to prevent or reduce exposure to health hazards in accordance with the Identification, Investigation and Management of Health Hazards Protocol, 2008 (or as current) [PDF] and the Risk Assessment and Inspection of Facilities Protocol, 2008 (or as current). [PDF]
  4. The board of health shall develop a local vector-borne management strategy based on surveillance data and emerging trends in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Protocol, 2008 (or as current).
  5. The board of health shall maintain systems to support timely and comprehensive communication with all relevant health care and other community partners about identified health hazard risks.

Resources

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35 Health hazard, as defined in s.1(1) of the Health Protection and Promotion Act, means "(a) a condition of a premises, (b) a substance, thing, plant or animal other than man, or (c) a solid, liquid, gas or combination of any of them, that is likely to have an adverse effect on the health of any person."

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