Coronavirus stories are everywhere these days and the many of the headlines are pretty scary. That’s why we’re taking steps to assure that our customers, our community and our crews are protected.
As health professionals are telling us, hand-washing is critical. In addition to carefully washing up or using hand sanitizer as needed, our crews are taking the additional steps we’ve outlined below.
On-site best practices
The health and safety of workers is a top concern amid the global COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, all parties must place an increased focus on health and safety in order to keep job sites open.
All measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 should be done in compliance with requirements under the Occupational Health and Safety Act and associated regulations and public health directives issued by the Chief Medical Officer of Health.
In addition, below are a set of resources, tips and best practices to help employers prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Protecting yourself and your co-workers
Coronaviruses are spread through close contact, including at work. Here are some helpful tips to help prevent the spread of germs:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Sneeze and cough into your sleeve.
- If you use a tissue, discard immediately and wash your hands afterward.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid high-touch areas, where possible, or ensure you clean your hands after.
- Where possible, wear gloves when interacting with high-touch areas. Do not touch your face with gloved hands. Take care when removing gloves. Ensure you wash your hands after removing them.
- Wash your clothes as soon as you get home.
- If you are ill: notify your supervisor immediately, complete the self-assessment and follow the instructions you get.
Here are the protective actions we’re taking:
- We’re the same friendly company and crews you’ve always known, but for the coming weeks we’ll be maintaining a six-foot distance from you and your family – just to be cautious.
- And while it’s the polite thing to do, we’re going to be skipping handshakes for your protection and ours.
- When requested we can do estimates via pictures and videos.
- Our employees who aren’t feeling well or who have traveled abroad the past 30 days, won’t be coming to your home or business.
- While we’re working at your home we’ll be sure to clean ourselves and the surfaces we touch.
- Know that our team has been educated on proper hand-washing and hand-sanitizing.
- As a company, we will be monitoring the Canadian health authorities to ensure we follow their instructions as to best contain the COVID-19 virus.
We appreciate your patience regarding this challenging time, but we take this virus very seriously and are taking as many precautions as possible to ensure the safety of you, our employees, and the community.
Physical distancing (two metres)
As advised by the Chief Medical Officer, public health officials, and outlined throughout government communications, physical distancing is required to control the spread of COVID-19.
In order to ensure physical distancing on site, employers should consider:
- staggering start times
- staggering breaks
- staggering lunches
- restricting the number of people on-site and where they are assigned to work
- controlling site movement (by limiting the potential for workers to gather, including personnel in material hoists and site trailers)
- limiting the number of people who use elevators and hoists at one time
- holding meetings in an outside or large space to enable physical distancing
- limiting unnecessary on-site contact between workers, and between workers and outside service providers, and encourage physical distancing in these areas (for example, by removing coffee trucks from site)
Coronaviruses are spread person to person through close contact, including at work. While employers always have an obligation to maintain clean worksites, that obligation is under sharper focus during an outbreak like the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Employers should focus on:
- access to soap and water (ways to properly clean hands) or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- washroom facilities
- sanitizing commonly touched surfaces or areas (hoists, site trailers, door handles, equipment, residential units)
- avoiding the sharing of hand tools and power tools. If sharing is necessary, enable sanitization of shared equipment.
- posting signage on hygiene in English and the majority workplace language so everyone can understand how to do their part
Track and monitor your workforce
Due to the latency period of COVID-19, it is important to track where employees have worked. If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the local public health unit will ask employers to provide information on where the employee worked as well as the contact information of any other employee who may have been exposed. Employers will track information and Public Health Units will respond.