OHS Canada Magazine

Survey: nearly two-thirds of small businesses would use rapid testing


OTTAWA — Nearly two-thirds of Canadian small businesses would consider using rapid testing to screen employees if it would help their business to stay open, says a recent survey.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says 63 per cent would adopt rapid screening.

Support was strongest in social services like dentists and chiropractors at 71 per cent, followed by 69 per cent in the hospitality sector, 68 per cent in wholesale and 66 per cent in construction, personal services such as salons and dry cleaners, and arts and recreation.

The federation is also calling on the federal and provincial governments to expand large enterprise rapid screening pilots to small firms.

Under one model, small employers could ask employees to visit a local pharmacy for a rapid screening test once or twice a week.

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The survey was conducted online with about 3,290 respondents starting Feb. 4.

“Small businesses have willingly adopted every new safety measure and protocol recommended by governments, and it is encouraging that so many are willing to consider using rapid screening in their workplaces,” said Dan Kelly, CFIB’s president.

“And while it is deeply disappointing that it has taken nearly a full year of the pandemic for governments to get serious about using rapid screening, CFIB believes it can be another tool in our arsenal, allowing small firms to remain open and helping us avoid further lockdowns.”

According to the polling industry’s generally accepted standards, online surveys cannot be assigned a margin of error because they do not randomly sample the population.