How we're reducing COVID-19-related risks in the workplace

11 June 2020
by SeaFirst Insurance

As British Columbia's economy reopens, we remain eager to serve our community. While we remain closed to the public, we are available to service our clients by phone and e-mail.  We appreciate your patience as we continue working on our business plan to allow in-person visits in the near future. 

In the meantime, SeaFirst has implemented the following measures for reducing COVID-19-related risks for our staff in the workplace:

Category

Key Considerations

Limiting the number of employees and others in the workplace

  • Encouraging employees to continue working from home if they are able.
  • Allowing only a minimum amount of staff to return to the physical workplace.
  • Implementing staggered or rotating returns to the workplace to reduce the number of employees present at the workplace at any one time. For example, specifying which day(s) an employee or group of employees may come to the workplace.
  • Controlling the number of customers and other third parties entering and exiting the workplace.

 


 


 

Encouraging physical distancing at work

  • Limiting entrance and exit points by having all employees enter via the side door and exit the main door only (if possible).
  • Rearranging workspaces and floor plans, including increasing separation between desks, workstations, and furniture or fixtures in common spaces such as lunchrooms, meeting rooms, waiting rooms, and washrooms. Examples include removing chairs in common spaces to ensure adequate physical distance.
  • Controlling access to elevators and areas within the workplace, including updating keys to limit access and limiting the number of people who may ride in the elevator at a time.
  • Adjusting scheduling, such as start/end times and breaks to reduce the number of people using common spaces (such as break rooms, kitchens, and bathrooms) and elevators at the same time.
  • Implementing signage to ensure distance is maintained, for example using taped arrows to indicate “one-way” traffic in hallways, taping off waiting areas to prevent bottlenecks in small spaces such as washrooms, taping off areas around workstations, appliances, machines, photocopiers, etc. to indicate appropriate two-meter spacing.
  • Discouraging or canceling all non-essential activities, social events, and in-person meetings.
  • Staggering appointments and meetings with customers or other meeting attendees.

 


 

Limiting physical contact and minimizing interpersonal interactions

  • Installing physical barriers between workers or between workers and third parties.
  • Removing all communal items that cannot be easily cleaned, such as newspapers, magazines, and candy bowls.
  • Reducing or eliminating the sharing of tools and equipment (such as keyboards, pens and other tools) between employees, or if sharing is required, providing solutions for employees to disinfect tools and equipment between uses.
  • Using technology to minimize interactions, such as using technology to share documents.

 


 

Worker and workplace hygiene

  • Promoting regular and thorough hand-washing and good hygiene by employees and other individuals present in the workplace. For example, by ensuring employees have access to soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizer, putting hand sanitizer dispensers in prominent places around the workplace, ensuring these dispensers are regularly refilled, and placing informational posters throughout the workplace.
  • Developing procedures for regularly scheduled enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of the workplace, particularly high-contact items such as doors, handles, faucet handles, keyboards, and shared equipment.

 


 

Preventing sick employees from being at work

  • Preventing symptomatic employees from attending the workplace by developing written policies and procedures employees must follow if they are sick or suspect they have come into contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. This involves requiring employees to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment prior to attending the workplace.

 


 

Implementing appropriate policies

Developing policies and practices to:

  • Limit nonessential travel to other locations or worksites.
  • Ensure that all employees are trained on all COVID-19 related policies and procedures, including up-to-date education and training on COVID-19 risk factors and protective behaviors (for example, transmission points, equipment cleaning processes, cough etiquette and handwashing).
  • Ensure that policies are kept up to date and being followed, for example through regular audits to ensure employees are maintaining an appropriate physical distance.
  • Respond appropriately to employee concerns or refusals to work due to workplace health and safety concerns, including providing advance policy for consultation with employers’ joint workplace health and safety committees and appropriately implementing additional policies and controls to address hazards identified by employees on and ongoing basis.
  • Check with vendors, suppliers and landlords on measures they have implemented to manage COVID-19 related risks.

 


 

Evaluate policies and procedures regularly

  • Review policies, practices and procedures regularly and assess whether they are achieving the desired outcome.
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