Temporary Foreign
Agricultural Workers

How does OHCOW help Temporary Foreign Workers and their Employers?

  • Providing resources and education on labour laws and worker safety​
  • Distributing materials such as informative posters, guides and other print materials ​
  • Providing translation services
  • Consultation and research into improving the lives of migrant workers at their jobs

Use the below form if you have a question for an OHCOW Temporary Foreign Worker Representative.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page! Check back later as we will be adding more information and resources.

Introduction

Every year thousands of temporary foreign agricultural workers come to Canada to work in the agriculture industry – including 20,000 arriving in Ontario to work on farms and in greenhouses. These workers play a vital role in the industry, and therefore, in Ontario’s economy.

The Provincial Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health and Safety, and subsequently, the Ontario Ministry of Labour (MOL), have identified this labour force as a group who face barriers in accessing effective occupational health and safety resources and support.

As migrant farm workers spend the majority of their time at work, and farm work can be physically demanding, involving a variety of hazards, an occupational health and safety focus is particularly important for supporting the health of this population.

Since 2006 we have offered our services to migrant farm workers, their employers and community partners with the aim to continue to become valued partners in agricultural and horticultural occupational health and safety.

Regions we Serve

Every season we connect and work with more and more Ontario growers, with farms in: Durham, Haldimand-Norfolk, Niagara Regions, Brant County, Lambton County

We support them in addressing the challenges of working with a diverse workforce. Part of OHCOW’s role is to ensure that occupational health and safety guidelines and programs are understood and effective in the form of Workshops, video and literary resources, enforcing strategies and best practices through health and safety programs, consultation services and translation services.

OHCOW RESOURCE

WEBINAR

May 22, 2022

A presentation made as part of the 2022 MayDay, MayDay Webinar Series: Workplace Mental Health Interventions and Other Solutions. Presenters:  Eduardo Huesca, Community Program and Outreach Coordinator and Leonor Cedillo, Research Lead, OMAFRA Project, OHCOW

OHCOW RESOURCE

WEBINAR

International Agricultural Worker Health and Safety Workshop

Day of Mourning 2021

A 90 minute presentation on the effect of Covid-19 on Farmworkers, including the Deputy Chief Coroner’s Review: COVID-19 Related Deaths of Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers in 2020, Health and Safety in the Time of COVID-19 – What Does It Mean for International Agricultural Workers? and more.

Workers’ Rights Apply to Temporary Foreign Workers

Migrant and Foreign workers are covered by the same laws as anyone working in Ontario, and employers of temporary workers have the same responsibility to provide a safe work environment.  This is important because foreign workers may not know their rights. For instance, a worker can refuse unsafe work at any time and cannot be fired from their job for doing so.  If a worker is injured or becomes ill due to an incident or conditions at their job, they are entitled to compensation.

OHCOW RESOURCE

CONFERENCE VIDEOS

Work, Migration and Health Forum: Precarity, Vulnerability, Health and Safety Among Newcomers and Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

2018

A selection of 18 20-30 minute videos on topics such as Health and Social Services, Advocacy, Policy, recommendations for change, presented by expert speakers.

Building a Positive Health and Safety Culture for Migrant Workers

Migrant workers perform strenuous and sometimes hazardous physical work. There are mental health challenges to the job as well. Migrant workers are removed from their families and society and are in a foreign environment with a different culture and language. OHCOW offers an inventory of mental health and psychosocial wellbeing resources and services. These are available to Latinx and Caribbean International Agricultural Workers (IAWs) in Ontario, created from research that involved a scoping review of scientific literature, structured interviews with IAWs and other stakeholders, including community groups, employers, employers’ associations, primary health care clinics.

These resources include those developed by NIOSH, CAL OSHA, the US National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH), among others.

OHCOW RESOURCE

PDF BOOKLET

Mental Health and Psychosocial
Supports for International
Agricultural Workers in Ontario

May 2021 to March 2022

An inventory of available mental health and psychosocial wellbeing supports and services available to International Agricultural Workers (IAWs) in Ontario.

Selected Resources

Video Series, pdfs, infographics, posters and more.

Poster Infographic

Tips on how to prevent hypothermia, frosbite, cold stress and other extreme cold-related injuries. Double sided.

Download PDF

Wallet Cards

Available in English, Spanish and Thai, these wallet-size reference cards contain helpful information concerning workers’ rights in Ontario.

Download PDFS

Working With Pesticides

A series of infographics covering equipment, First Aid and safe practices when using pesticides. In English and Spanish.

Download PDFs

Hazards Poster

What Causes our Symptoms? This poster organizes workplace hazards into coloured categories and highlights the hazard types.

Download PDF

Posters

Colourful posters to help Temporary Foreign Workers find the health and psychosocial assistance they need.

Download PDFs

Workers’ Rights

Informative infographics/posters with information on workers’ rights. In English, Spanish and Tagalog.

Download PDFS

Prevention Poster

A detailed pdf poster about Health and Safety Prevention and Controls in the workplace.

Download PDF

Using Disposable Respirators

Infographics on the proper and safe use of disposable respirators.

Download PDFs

Handout Flyer

This colourful and informative handout is a simple guide for preventing muscle injuries at work.

Download PDFs

Ergonomics Booklet

A 46-page booklet, Ergonomics for Farm Workers, discusses tools to reduce the risk of pain.

Download PDF

Infographic

Available in three languages, this 2-page infographic covers eye safety for agricultural workers.

Download PDF

Using Disposable Respirators

Infographics on the proper and safe use of disposable respirators.

Download PDFs

Resources for Temporary Foreign Workers & Employers

Webinars, Video Series, pdfs, infographics, posters, reports and more.

  • All
  • 2018
  • 2021
  • 2022
  • Advocacy
  • Agriculture
  • air filters
  • Awareness / Empowerment
  • Best Practices
  • Bullying
  • Calling 911
  • Cold101
  • Communication
  • Community
  • Control Methods
  • Coroner Reports
  • COVID (MFW)
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Ergonomics
  • Eyes
  • First Aid
  • frosbite
  • Legislation
  • Masks / Respirators
  • Mental Health
  • Musculoskeletal Disorders
  • Outreach
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
  • Pesticides
  • Policies / Procedures
  • Prevention
  • Rights / Responsibilities
  • Sexual Health
  • Social Services
  • Support Services
  • Training
  • Transmission / Exposure Control
  • Work Refusal

Make Your Own Air Filters

APRIL 2023

INFOGRAPHIC

Build your own air filters with these simple instructions. Instructions include both the four-filter and the smaller One-filter versions.

Working in the Cold Poster

APRIL 2023

POSTER/INFOGRAPHIC

Tips on how to prevent hypothermia, frosbite and other extreme cold-related injuries. Double sided.

Workers’ Basic Health and Safety Rights – The Videos

September 2022

[VIDEOS]
Available in English and Spanish

Workers’ Basic Health and Safety Rights –The Wallet Cards

[WALLET CARDS]
Available in English, Spanish and Thai
OHCOW’s Migrant Farm Workers Team

Health and Safety Prevention and Controls

[POSTER]
Available in English, Spanish (Espanol), and Thai
OHCOW’s Migrant Farm Workers Team

What Causes Our Symptoms? HAZARDS

[POSTER]
Available in English, Spanish (Espanol) and Thai
OHCOW Migrant Farm Workers Team

Supporting the Mental Health of Ontario Agricultural Workers

May 27, 2022

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Eduardo Huesca, Community Program and Outreach Coordinator and Leonor Cedillo, Research Lead, OMAFRA Project, OHCOW

Promising Practices in Support of the Mental Health and Psychosocial Well-being of International Agricultural Workers

March 25, 2022

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
OHCOW Research Team
Sharing findings from the “Community & Workplace Psychosocial Supports for the Mental Health of IAWs in Ontario” Project

Community and Workplace Psychosocial Supports for the Mental Health of International Agricultural Workers in Ontario

March 25, 2022

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
OHCOW Research Team
Sharing findings from the “Community & Workplace Psychosocial Supports for the Mental Health of IAWs in Ontario” Project.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Supports for International Agricultural Workers in Ontario

April 25, 2022

[REPORT]
A report prepared by OHCOW for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA).

Multi-faceted: Shining Light on Worker Deaths to Learn and Prevent in Future

April 28, 2022

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Marking the 36th Day of Mourning for workers killed and injured on the job through the lens of nine international agricultural worker (IAW) deaths during the pandemic, from the perspectives of investigators, regulators and researchers.

Calling 911 / Llame al 911

February 2022

[VIDEO]
Available in English and Spanish (Espanol)
Government of Canada, Kairos, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Prevent COVID-19: Up Your Mask!

February 28, 2022

[VIDEO]
Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) Migrant Agricultural Workers Program, as part of the KAIROS project, Empowering Temporary Foreign Workers during COVID-19

Workers’ Basic Health and Safety Rights – The Infographics

[INFOGRAPHICS]
A series of four colourful and informative infographics that contain helpful information for workers who need to exercise their rights for a healthy and safe work environment.

Mental Health and Psychosocial Supports for Ontario International Agricultural Workers

[POSTERS]
Nine colourful posters to help workers find the mental health and psychosocial assistance they need while working in Ontario’s Agriculture Industry.
(Available in both English and Spanish)

Supporting the Mental Health of Ontario International Agricultural Workers

April 26, 2022

[WEBINAR EVENT]
OHCOW Research Team
Sharing findings from the “Community & Workplace Psychosocial Supports for the Mental Health of IAWs in Ontario” Project.

Using a Disposable Respirator

February 3, 2022

[INFOGRAPHIC]
Available in English, Spanish and Tagalog
OHCOW
Aerosol Transmission Coalition

*CONTINUED COLLABORATION

November 26, 2021

(RECORDED WEBINAR]
Part of the OCC-TOBER Webinar Series

Exposures of concern for firefighters, the evolution of ODAP and COVID information needs of agricultural workers are discussed

International Agricultural Worker Health and Safety Workshop 2021

April 2021

[WEBINAR EVENT]

Marking Canada’s National Day of Mourning for Injured & Killed Workers reflecting on lives lost, health impacted and strategies learned to fight COVID-19, plus other workplace hazards

Health and Safety in the Time of COVID-19 – What Does It Mean for International Agricultural Workers?

April 2021

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dorothy Wigmore, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Deputy Chief Coroner’s Review: COVID-10 Related Deaths of Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers in 2020

April 2021

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dr. Leah Vosko, Professor at York University and Canada Research Chair in Political Economy of Gender and Work

Remembering Farmworkers Killed and Harmed by COVID-19

April 2021

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dr. Janet McLaughlin, Wilfrid Laurier University and Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group

What to Expect When Calling 911 for a Health Emergency

2020

[FACTSHEET / HANDOUT]
Government of Ontario

Calling 911 When You Need Emergency Health Care

2020

[FACTSHEET / HANDOUT]
Government of Ontario

Working Safely with Pesticides

2020

[FACTSHEETS / HANDOUTS]
A series of colourful, information handouts available in both English and Spanish.

Overcoming Health Challenges Faced By Migrant Agricultural Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 9, 2020

[REPORT]
Bob Barnetson, PhD, C. Susana Caxaj, RN, PhD, Amy Cohen, MA, Donald Cole, MD, MSc, FRCP(C), Carlos Colindres MLT, MSc, CIC, Natalie Drolet, MA, LLB, Jason Foster, PhD, Eduardo Huesca, MA and more

Heightened COVID-19 Risks to Temporary Foreign (Migrant) Agricultural Workers (TFAWs) and Recommended Actions 2020

June 4, 2020

[PERSPECTIVE PAPER]
Donald C Cole, MD, DOHS, MSc, FRCP(C) Occupational, Environmental and Public Health Medicine Consultant

Migrant Farm Workers Health Forum 2019

April 2020

[WEBINAR EVENT]

Marking Canada’s National Day of Mourning for Injured & Killed Workers reflecting on lives lost, health impacted and strategies learned to fight COVID-19, plus other workplace hazards

Communicating Health and Safety Effectively

2018

[FACTSHEET / HANDOUT]
OHCOW Migrant Farm Workers’ Team

Improving Confidence and Building Culture

2018

[FACTSHEET / HANDOUT]
OHCOW Migrant Farm Workers’ Team

Where Do We Go From Here?

2018

[RECORDED PRESENTATION]

Migration and Health: A Global Way Forward

2018

[RECORDED PRESENTATION]
World Health Organization (WHO)

Worker, Migration and Health 2018

May 2018

[RECORDED EVENT]

A Forum on Precarity, Vulnerability, Health and Safety Among Newcomers and Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Take Care of Your Eyes

September 13, 2018

[INFOGRAPHIC]
Available in English, Spanish (Espanol), Tagalog
OHCOW Migrant Farm Workers Team

Mental Health Information for Farm Workers

September 28, 2022

[BROCHURE]
OHCOW Migrant Farm Workers Team

Pesticide Safety in Ontario – Legislation and Training

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Eduardo Huesca, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Occupational Health Issues in Agriculture

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dr. Michael Pysklywec, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Sexual Health and MFWs

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Aaron Diaz Mendiburo, Postdoctoral fellowship, International Migration Research Centre, Wilfred University with additional speakers from AIDS Committee of Windor and Durham, and Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS).

Mental Health Among Jamaican Farm Workers

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Stephanie Mayell, McMaster University

Creating Supportive Spaces with MFWs in Simcoe

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Camille Roberts, Outreach Volunteer

Approaching the Challenge of Worker Feedback and Data Collection for MFW Programs

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Eduardo Huesca, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Health and Safety Hazards in Agriculture

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
John Aird, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)

Pesticide Safety in Ontario – Legislation and Training

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Lynn Van Maanen, Ontario Pesticide Education Program (OPEP)

First Aid for Eye Injuries

2015

[FACTSHEET / HANDOUT]
Canadian Ophthalmological Society

Outreach – Migrant Farm Worker Program

October 14, 2015

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Eduardo Huesca, OHCOW (Hamilton)

Muscle Injury Prevention at Work

September 28, 2022

[HANDOUT]
Available in English and Spanish (Espanol)
The Northeast Centre for Agricultural Health | The New York Center for Agricultural Medicine and Health  | Migrant Clinicians Network (MCN)

Simple Solutions: Ergonomics for Farm Workers

September 28, 2022

[HANDBOOK]
US Department of Health and Human Services | Centres for Disease Control and Prevention | NIOSH

FOR EMPLOYERS

Heightened COVID-19 Risks to Temporary Foreign (Migrant) Agricultural Workers (TFAWs) and Recommended Actions in the 2020 Agricultural Season Occupational Medicine

A Perspective Paper
by Donald C Cole MD, DOHS, MSc, FRCP(C), Occupational, Environmental and Public Health Medicine Consultant

English

Recommendations for Overcoming Health Challenges Faced By Migrant Agricultural Workers during the COVID-19-Virus Pandemic

Report to ESDC (last update June 9, 2020)

English

Health and Safety Guides and Toolkits

A collage of thumbnails illustrating WSPS Guides and Toolkits

(many are related to agricultural work)
Source:  Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

ENGLISH

Improving Confidence and Building Culture

Thumbnail of the "Improving Confidence and Building Culture" factsheet

English

Effectively Communicating Health and Safety

Thumbnail of the "Effectively Communicating Health and Safety" flyer

English

EVENT RESOURCES

  • All
  • 2016
  • 2018
  • 2021
  • Advocacy
  • Agriculture
  • air filters
  • Awareness / Empowerment
  • Best Practices
  • Cold101
  • Coroner Reports
  • Data Collection
  • Day of Mourning
  • Employment Agencies
  • extreme cold
  • frosbite
  • Hazards
  • Legislation
  • Mental Health
  • Migrant Farm Workers
  • Newcomers / Refugees
  • outdoors
  • Pesticides
  • Policies / Procedures
  • Precarious Work
  • Sexual Health
  • Social Services
  • Supportive Spaces
  • Training
  • Vulnerability
  • Worker Feedback

Make Your Own Air Filters

APRIL 2023

INFOGRAPHIC

Build your own air filters with these simple instructions. Instructions include both the four-filter and the smaller One-filter versions.

Working in the Cold Poster

APRIL 2023

POSTER/INFOGRAPHIC

Tips on how to prevent hypothermia, frosbite and other extreme cold-related injuries. Double sided.

International Agricultural Worker Health and Safety Workshop 2021

April 2021

[WEBINAR EVENT]

Marking Canada’s National Day of Mourning for Injured & Killed Workers reflecting on lives lost, health impacted and strategies learned to fight COVID-19, plus other workplace hazards

Health and Safety in the Time of COVID-19 – What Does It Mean for International Agricultural Workers?

April 2021

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dorothy Wigmore, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Deputy Chief Coroner’s Review: COVID-10 Related Deaths of Temporary Foreign Agricultural Workers in 2020

April 2021

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dr. Leah Vosko, Professor at York University and Canada Research Chair in Political Economy of Gender and Work

Remembering Farmworkers Killed and Harmed by COVID-19

April 2021

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dr. Janet McLaughlin, Wilfrid Laurier University and Migrant Worker Health Expert Working Group

Migrant Farm Workers Health Forum 2019

April 2020

[WEBINAR EVENT]

Marking Canada’s National Day of Mourning for Injured & Killed Workers reflecting on lives lost, health impacted and strategies learned to fight COVID-19, plus other workplace hazards

Where Do We Go From Here?

2018

[RECORDED PRESENTATION]

Migration and Health: A Global Way Forward

2018

[RECORDED PRESENTATION]
World Health Organization (WHO)

Worker, Migration and Health 2018

May 2018

[RECORDED EVENT]

A Forum on Precarity, Vulnerability, Health and Safety Among Newcomers and Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada

Pesticide Safety in Ontario – Legislation and Training

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Eduardo Huesca, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Occupational Health Issues in Agriculture

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Dr. Michael Pysklywec, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Sexual Health and MFWs

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Aaron Diaz Mendiburo, Postdoctoral fellowship, International Migration Research Centre, Wilfred University with additional speakers from AIDS Committee of Windor and Durham, and Asian Community AIDS Services (ACAS).

Mental Health Among Jamaican Farm Workers

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Stephanie Mayell, McMaster University

Creating Supportive Spaces with MFWs in Simcoe

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Camille Roberts, Outreach Volunteer

Approaching the Challenge of Worker Feedback and Data Collection for MFW Programs

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Eduardo Huesca, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)

Health and Safety Hazards in Agriculture

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
John Aird, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS)

Pesticide Safety in Ontario – Legislation and Training

2016

[RECORDED WEBINAR]
Lynn Van Maanen, Ontario Pesticide Education Program (OPEP)

EVENTS

OHCOW hosts, and partners with other organizations, to bring special events to the migrant farm worker community.

Previous events include:
Migrant Farm Worker Forums    •    Work, Migration and Health Forum
International Foreign Agricultural Workers Workshop
plus many others

Presentations from the past events can be found above under Additional Resources.

CONSULTATION SERVICES

We offer both Workplace and Clinic Consultations as part of our Migrant Farm Workers Program.
Learn more about each service in the blocks below.
Register for a free consultation using the contact form or phone number below.

Workplace Consultations

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Clinical Consultations
For individuals with occupational health concerns

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Translation Assistance

If you need help translating your existing occupational health and safety program material into a second language,
please contact us using the contact form or phone number below.

CONTACT US

Use the following form to contact the OHCOW Migrant Farm Workers Program:

You can also call us about the Migrant Farm Workers Program if you prefer:

1-877-817-0336