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Case Study; Amber Club

Category | Health and Safety    Posted by SafetyON | October 27, 2020

There’s a ton of information readily available to all businesses in both Ontario and Toronto specifically regarding how to responsibly manage your business during the COVID-19 crisis. So it is with no pleasure, but also no surprise, that a case study like this exists to highlight the errors of failing to heed the governmental advice. The Amber Club was a nightclub nearby downtown Ottawa that completely flaunted the repeated advisements from two separate workplace safety advisors and consultants. The establishment had a small patio, but a massive indoor space by comparison, so they were getting frustrated at their inability to utilize the larger space and maximize profits. So it was in this vein that they started setting up tables throughout the restaurant, but close enough to the patio to perhaps argue that they were a part of it.

After several patrons and staff repeatedly reported these infractions to the proper workplace governing authorities, the restaurant was given a full audit. This revealed that the habit had gotten out of control, and the restaurant was fielding 20 additional tables inside, moistly straddling the walls to avoid being immediately obvious from the windows outside. These 20 tables were a huge violation of not only how many people could be allowed in the space to begin with, but also the proximity in which they were to each other was doubly problematic. No one had adhered to any manner of social distancing, and patrons were often drinking, dancing, and socializing in a manner that can easily and dangerously encourage the spread of COVID-19.

The patio, which itself ironically was given no demerits, could comfortably seat 4-6 tables whilst adhering to the law. So it makes it all the more egregious just how many “secret tables” were being used inside. Furthermore, staff members were encouraged by management to keep the habit a secret and no say anything to anyone. Of course, that’s a heinous thing to ask of your staff, but what’s even worse was subjecting the wait staff and bartenders to exposure via customers. Next to none of the clients would wear masks, and the management had heavily implied that the staff wasn’t to wear them as well as they “interfered with the positive atmosphere for the restaurant” one waitress stated. This kind of disregard for the rules is both rude and dangerous as it can have a huge impact if it allows the transmission of even one case of COVID.

People need to be aware at all times of the adherence to Corona procedures in wherever they are. It’s your duty to report the kind of unsafe activity that this establishment was conducting. Many think that profit is something to prioritize, but especially at a time like this, it’s our brave working individuals who deserve our protection and value the most.


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