We understand the vulnerability of the COVID-19 transmission and have identified areas that may elevate the risks of transmission. This includes person-to-person transmission, where risks increase due to close physical proximity; but also, surface transmission, where risks increase through contact with high-touch areas.
The risk assessment conducted at Cascadia Metals consisted of the following factors:
- The identification of surfaces that are frequently touched in a short period of time, such as doorknobs, buttons, and light switches.
- The identification of tools, machinery, and equipment that employees share while working.
- The identification of areas where people gather, such as lunchrooms, meeting rooms, and kitchens.
- We have involved supervisors and joint health and safety committee employees in the risk assessment.
PROTOCOLS FOR REDUCING RISK
Cascadia Metals has reviewed industry-specific protocols on worksafebc.com to determine whether there any relevant to our industry. We have also considered all Orders, guidance and notices that were issued through the Government of BC pertaining to COVID-19 Workplace Regulations. Input was sought from employees, supervisors, and the joint health and safety committee. Through our research, OHS best practices and conducted risk assessment, we have implemented the following protocols:
First Level Protection (Elimination)
- In order to reduce the number of people at the worksite, we have actioned work-from-home arrangements, virtual meetings, reorganization of work tasks, and limited the number of visitors in the workplace.
- When possible, job duties are reorganized to ensure that physical distancing of at least 2 meters is maintained.
- We have established occupancy limits for common areas such as washrooms and lunchrooms and have implemented staggered lunch breaks by department, machine or work team.
Second Level Protection (Barriers & Partitions)
- We have installed barriers where employees cannot keep physical distance from co-workers and visitors.
- We have included barrier cleaning and sanitization in our cleaning protocols.
- We have displayed signage on our floors by punch-in clocks which maintain 2-meter distancing when employees are punching in/out at work.
- We have provided employees with all essential PPE.
Third Level Protection (Rules and Guidelines)
Through aid of PHO guidelines and OHS best practices we have identified rules and guidelines for how employees and managers should conduct themselves. We have clearly communicated these rules and guidelines to employees through a combination of training and signage.
Measures that we have in place pertaining to this protection are:
- One-way doors and walkways
- Cleaning and disinfecting multi-use equipment and products after use
- Minimizing traffic in frequently visited areas
Fourth Level Protection (Using Masks)
- We have reviewed the information on selecting and using masks, along with instruction on how to use a mask.
- We understand the limitations of masks to protect the wearer form respiratory droplets. We understand that masks should only be considered when other control measures cannot be implemented.
- We have trained employees in the proper use of masks.
Measures that we have in place pertaining to this protection are:
Mandated the usage of masks in all shared workplaces, including but not limited to hallways, lunchrooms, kitchens, and washrooms.
Mandated the usage of masks for all employees.
Conducted a workplace toolbox, a company training action, on cloth masks based on daily instructions required by the manufacturer and WorkSafe guidelines. Each employee has provided signage and received ‘mask toolbox talk’ as an acknowledgement.
IMPLEMENTATION OF CLEANING & HYGEINE PRACTICES
- We have reviewed the information on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.
- Our workplace has enough handwashing facilities on site for all our employees. Handwashing locations are visible and easily accessed.
- We have set up portable washrooms and handwashing stations outside which are available for essential visitors.
- We have policies that specify when employees must wash their hands and we have communicated and posted good hygiene practices to employees.
- We have implemented cleaning protocols for all common areas and surfaces — e.g., washrooms, tools, equipment, forklift interiors, shared tables, desks, light switches, and door handles.
- Employees who are cleaning have adequate training and materials.
- We have removed unnecessary tools and equipment to simplify the cleaning process — e.g., coffee makers and shared utensils and plates.
Cascadia Metals has developed the necessary policies to manage the workplace, including policies around who can be at the workplace, how to address illness that arises at the workplace, and how employees can be kept safe in adjusted working conditions. Our workplace policies ensure that employees and others showing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to isolate and are prohibited from entering the workplace. Examples of policies are as follows:
- Anyone who has had symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 10 days must self-isolate at home.
- Anyone who has been identified by Public Health as a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
- Anyone directed by Public Health to self-isolate.
- Anyone who has arrived from outside of Canada must self-isolate for 14 days and monitor for symptoms.
- Limited third party visitors to essential visitors only.
- Job positions that are able to work from home, are given the option to work remotely.
- Our policy addresses employees who may start to feel ill at work. It includes the following:
- Sick employees should report to first aid, even with mild symptoms.
- Sick employees should be asked to wash or sanitize their hands, provided with a mask, and isolated. We ask the employee to go straight home and recommend them to consult with the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool, or call 811 for further guidance
- If the employee is severely ill (e.g., difficulty breathing, chest pain), call 911.
- Clean and disinfect any surfaces that the ill employee has come into contact with
We have ensured that everyone entering the workplace, including employees from other employers, know how to keep themselves safe while at our workplace.
- We have ensured everyone is trained in workplace policies and procedures.
- All employees have received the policies for staying home when sick.
- We have posted signage at the workplace, including occupancy limits and effective hygiene practices.
- Supervisors have been trained on monitoring employees and the workplace to ensure all policies and procedures are being followed.
- We conduct daily screenings with all employees prior to beginning their shifts to ensure that everyone is symptom-free.
MONITORING & UPDATING
There have been significant fluctuations with the COVID-19 pandemic and Cascadia Metals is ready to comply with changing responsibilities and regulations. If we identify a new area of concern, or if it seems like something isn’t working, we will take steps to update our policies and procedures. This includes involving employees in this process and reviewing and updating our COVID-19 safety plan to ensure its effective and functioning properly.
- We have a plan in place to monitor risks.
- We make changes to our policies and procedures as necessary.
- Employees know who to go to with health and safety concerns.
- When resolving safety issues, we will involve joint health and safety committees or employee health and safety representatives.