The purpose of this COVID 19 Safety Plan is to:
- Ensure all operations are done safely following protocols and demonstrate commitment to safety.
- Outline our legal obligations.
- Provide guidance for operations and to employees.
Profab Steel (1998) Ltd. is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all employees. A combination of measures will be used to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission in our workplace as we resume the “new normal” level of operations. Our Safety Plan will protect not only our own employees, but also those around us and who enter our premises. All Profab employees and management must follow the procedures outlined in this plan to prevent exposure to COVID – 19.
WorkSafeBC recognizes the importance of workers’ safety following COVID-19 work interruptions. Profab has considered WorkSafeBC resources and guidance in developing this Plan. WorkSafeBC will not be reviewing or approving plans; however, during an inspection, they will ask about the steps taken to protect employees. This plan and related addendums are critical components that will demonstrate to WorkSafeBC our commitment to employees’ safety and compliance to any mandates and recommendations set forth for safety.
Right to Refuse Unsafe Work
All employees have the right to refuse unsafe work if they believe it presents an undue hazard. An undue hazard is “unwarranted, inappropriate, excessive or disproportionate” risk, above and beyond the potential exposure a general member of the public would face through regular, day-to-day activity. In these circumstances, the worker should follow some specific steps to resolve the issue.
The employee must report any undue hazard to their supervisor immediately for investigation. Each refusal of unsafe work is dealt with on case-by-case basis.
Self-Monitoring / Daily Self-Check
All employees are responsible and required before coming to work to do a daily health check.
Identifying possible COVID-19 positive employees before they enter the workplace proactively removes the risk that they could inadvertently transmit coronavirus into the workplace.
Supervisors are required to confirm with their staff that they did their daily health checks every day. All employees MUST CONFIRM that they are NOT showing any signs of COVID-19 BEFORE clocking in. The daily health check questions are:
1. Do you have any of the following symptoms? (All employees must answer NO to all the signs and symptoms listed below)
- New or Worsening cough
- Shortness of breath
- New muscle aches or headaches
- Sore throat, trouble swallowing.
- Runny nose
- Loss of Appetite
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Nausea and vomiting
2. Have you had close contact with a suspected carrier or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the last 14 days and not spoken to Public Health?
3. Are you currently directed or instructed by a Public Health Official (nurse, doctor, or 811 call taker) to self-isolate?
4. Have you travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days?
Employees with COVID-19 symptom/s must stay home and not come to work. They must:
- Remain home and self-isolate.
- Complete the self-assessment tool available online at http://www.bc.thrive.health/covid19/en.
- Promptly follow up with public health (call 8-1-1) for guidance on next steps
- Only report back to work after isolation with a Negative Test Result.
Hierarchy of Controls for COVID-19
Considering the Hierarchy of Controls for COVID-19. Operations must select a safeguard or a combination of safeguards that ensure for employees’ safety. The hierarchy of controls (in order of their effectiveness) is:
1. PHYSICAL DISTANCING / Elimination of Substitution. Ensure for spaces that allow for activities to be performed two (2) meters apart. Consider eliminating or postponing work tasks that may create a risk of exposure to COVID 19. Are there opportunities to work from home, or can work processes be changed to eliminate or reduce contact with others?
2. Engineering controls: Are engineering controls such as physical barriers, practicable?
3. Administrative controls: Has the employer fully considered how work practices can be altered to minimize exposure, such as physical distancing or enhanced cleaning protocols?
4. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): This last form of protection should only be considered after careful consideration of the previous control measures. The use of gloves and face masks may be considered where none of the above controls are possible or effective. If gloves, masks and protective suits are used, training and proper usage guidelines must be followed.
5. Cloth or disposable non-medical masks: These masks play a role to prevent the spread of droplets by the wearer with the purpose to protect others. When the cloth mask fits closely to the face and has two (2) but preferably three (3) layers, the mask may provide some protection to the wearer. You must always start at the top of the hierarchy shown above to control the hazards. Choose a less effective safeguard only when more effective solutions are impracticable and continuously monitor to ensure they are providing the best level of protection to our employees.
Physical distancing reduces the potential of coronavirus being transmitted through airborne droplets. There is a possibility that even asymptomatic carriers of coronavirus may transmit it, so physical distancing should always be observed, even in cases when people do not display symptoms of COVID 19.
- Lunchrooms break rooms and common areas must be arranged observing the social distancing practices. However, employees are discouraged from using these areas whenever possible.
- Whenever possible, employees should travel alone in vehicles to ensure physical distancing.
- Should a task require close personal contact, appropriate PPE and additional mitigation measures must be considered and discussed with the supervisor.
- If there are cases where, in a shared workspace, physical distancing cannot be maintained, a more comprehensive risk assessment must be undertaken in collaboration with the Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committee (JOHSC). Consideration must be given to the type of task (s) and whether there are alternatives.
- Allow for two (2) meters (6 ft) of physical distance between employees or between employees and the public.
Indoor Employee Space
- Where employees will not be moving around or need to navigate around obstacles, allow for 3.3 square meters (36 sq.ft.) of unencumbered space per person to calculate occupancy.
Indoor Employee/Public Space
- Calculate the total unencumbered square meters available and divide that by 5, to allow for the 5 square meters (54 sq.ft.) of space per person. The resulting figure is the maximum occupancy for that space.
- Always conduct a daily health check before coming to work and inform or respond to your supervisor when they request confirmation.
- Ensure employees who have been away, or a new to the workplace are oriented as necessary so that all COVID 19 related procedures are explained and understood.
- Determine the maximum number of people in each area or space to maintain physical distancing requirements. Ensure physical distancing can be maintained.
- Maintain at least two (2) meters away from other employees. If the physical distancing requirement cannot be maintained, address to solve the challenges which may include physical barriers, planning the work task so time spent in close proximity is minimized, or PPE.
- Use of PPE’s or appropriate face masks when physical distancing is not possible.
- The use of cloth or disposable masks is expected when indoors and the public is present.
- The use of cloth or disposable masks is mandatory whenever working in a vehicle with another employee.
- Consider enhanced measures to maintain the physical distancing requirement.
- Control entry and exit points for employees.
- Manage the flow of people by implementing one-way walkways or marking off designated walking areas.
- Consider creating cohorts of employees who work together and who do not interact with other cohorts. This will assist in reducing transmission throughout the workplace if a staff member becomes ill.
- Identify situations where PPE is required.
- Identify a process to regularly review and/or update protocols and include employees and the JOHSC in the review process.
- Limit in-person meetings and other gatherings and hold any necessary meetings in larger open spaces where distancing can be observed.
- Establish hygiene practices that address the needs of the workplace that includes the requirement to wash or sanitize hands regularly especially after encountering the public.
- Post cleaning procedures and workers’ expectations in all common spaces.
- Before entering any shared spaces such as vehicle, lunchroom, office, wash hands or use of hand sanitizer.
- Provide ample hand washing stations or ensure the availability of hand sanitizer for all operations in the yards and in the field. Instruct employees on proper use.
- Clarify procedures to wipe down or disinfect shared equipment or tools before and after use.
- Ensure that high contact surfaces within the vehicle are routinely cleaned and disinfected. These include seatbelts, headrests, door handles, steering wheels and hand holds.
- Incorporate end-of shift vehicle wipe downs, provide employees with appropriate supplies like soap and water, hand sanitizers, disinfectant wipes or sprays.
- Clarify and follow cleaning and disinfecting schedules.
- Eliminate shared food stations.
- Ensure employees to use their own plates and cutleries.
- Limit the number of employees allowed in common areas at a time.
- Consider staggard break times to reduce the risk of transmission by reducing large gatherings. Encourage employees to take their breaks in their own desks or spaces or outside.
- Consider distancing the tables in the lunchrooms, limiting the number of chairs, placing “X” on tables and benches where people should not use. Consider installing barriers like plexiglass, acrylic, polycarbonate or similar materials. See WorkSafeBC “Designing effective barriers.”
- First-Aid attendants must follow the WorkSafeBC guidelines.
Hand Washing Procedures
If water is unavailable, use hand sanitizers that has at least 60% alcohol. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the cleanser. Be aware the locations of hand cleansers, sanitizers throughout the work site.
Employees must practice proper hygiene. Learn the proper technique of hand washing, as it is the single most effective way of reducing the spread of any viruses.
Proper respiratory etiquette should also be followed. Touching your face, including your eyes, nose or mouth must be avoided and wash hands or sanitized following such touching.
Shared Workspaces/ Motorized Equipment / Tools / Others
- Employees are discouraged from sharing equipment (i.e., pens, phones, hand tools)
- The need to share workspaces and equipment will be minimized.
- If you in doubt about the cleanliness of an area or item, employees are encouraged to disinfect the areas before and after use to reduce contamination.
- In the event of a potential COVID 19 case in a shared workspace, workstation or with a person using shared equipment, the station or equipment must not be used until a deep cleaning is performed which is to be delegated by the supervisor.
- Employees who use company vehicles must ensure that high contact surfaces within the vehicle are routinely disinfected.
- Practice social distancing policy. Where there is an approved exception, refer to the appropriate developed safety procedure in placed.
- Continue to follow all other safety work procedures. If it is unsafe to work, talk to your supervisor immediately to address any concerns.
- Stay home if you feel sick and has any of the COVID symptoms.
- Practice proper personal hygiene.
- Must wash their hands for a minimum of 20 seconds before their shift starts, before and after eating, before and after touching shared items, after using the washrooms, after handling a cash or any type of cash cards, after each delivery (if contact has been made), and at the end the of the shift. It is recommended to remove jewelry while washing.
- Expected to wear mask (cloth or disposable) is facility public areas, staff common areas and where physical distancing cannot be maintained.
- Wear mask when two employees are travelling in a vehicle.
- Must clean before and after use of any surfaces, things, equipment and other shared items.
Profab Steel must ensure that no employees will report to work when they are displaying any symptoms of COVID 19. This includes employees who fall into the below categories:
- Anyone with COVID 19 like symptoms such as sore throat, fever, sneezing or coughing.
- Anyone with these symptoms should self-isolate at home and call their physician or 811 for care guidance. If am employee tests negative for COVI 19 and has not been advised by the Public Health to self-isolate, they can return to work once their symptoms are gone (besides a lingering cough).
- Employees who have travelled internationally, must remain away from the workplace and should self-isolate for at least 14 days.
- Employees who are required to self-isolate on Public Health orders or direction.
- Employees should be sent home to self-isolate if they are showing any of the COVID like symptoms while at work. Advise them to call 811 for direction. Clean and disinfect immediately their working station and other spaces he/she have possibly in contact with.
Note: Profab must ensure to guide employees what to do when they feel sick (e.g., reporting procedures)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is specialized clothing or equipment worn by an employee for protection against infectious materials. It should serve as a last resort that must not replace any other risk control and infection control measures. However, sufficient stock of PPE must be kept, to ensure its provision to protect employees form exposure to infectious agents in the workplace. The common PPE used includes:
- Surgical Mask- Wear a surgical mask to protect mucus membranes of the nose and mouth during surgical procedures that are likely to cause exposure to blood or bloody fluids.
- Non-surgical Mask- this type does not protect the wearer but may prevent the wearer from exposing others to the virus.
- Particulate Respirator- use a particulate respirator (e.g., N95) for first-aid attendant/first responders or for maintenance work on ventilation or sewage systems.
- Gloves- wear disposable gloves when touching blood, body fluids, mucus membrane or contaminated item. Remove gloves promptly after use and thoroughly wash your hands immediately. Gloves do not replace hand hygiene.