COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy

COVID-19 WORKPLACE SAFETY POLICY (ABRIDGED WEBSITE VERSION)

PURPOSE

Carefirst Seniors & Community Services Association and Carefirst Family Health Team (collectively referred to here as “Carefirst”) have introduced this policy to increase the protection of our employees and improve client/patient health and safety by reducing the transmission of novel coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) within our organization.

SCOPE AND APPLICATION

This policy applies to all Carefirst employees, students, and volunteers, agents/service providers (including tenants), clients/patients (including program participants), caregivers/their families, visitors, and members of the general public.

Failure to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination for employees, or removal from programs/services for clients.

POLICY & GUIDELINES

Face Coverings (for example, non-medical masks, cloth masks)

Everyone entering any Carefirst premises is required to wear a face covering for general use. These masks are coverings for the face that are intended to limit potential dispersal of droplets that may contain the virus to others and surfaces. The use of face coverings can help to protect employees as well as clients/patients, and visitors.

Everyone is also reminded to not touch their face, to wash their hands and to properly wear the masks.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Employee use of masks and PPE e.g., gloves, gowns, facial protection, will vary in accordance with Occupational Health and Safety requirements and directives for Carefirst services and departments, and these may change over time.

Related Control Measures

Other control measures to help reduce risk of exposure to and control the risk of transmission of COVID-19 include (but are not limited to) the following:

1. A Health Screening Declaration Form for New Hires/ Returning Employees

2. Screening Protocols on Arrival

  • All visitors will be screened on arrival for COVID-19 symptoms and other risk factors
  • Temperature checks at the main entrance using the least intrusive methods available (i.e., non-contact infrared thermometers)
  • Individuals who test at or above a level that concerns a medical expert i.e. 37.8 degrees Celsius, will not be allowed access to the workplace, and discreetly asked to leave and to seek medical advice.
  • All individuals must properly clean their hands before entering the premises using the provided alcohol-based rub.
  • Employees will complete the COVID-19 screening survey by departments (not at the entrance.)

3. Hand and Respiratory Hygiene
Carefirst will:

  • Post reminders to wash hands, use proper cough and sneeze etiquette and avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth
  • Ensure that employees can clean their hands frequently by providing access to soap and water and/or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Provide instruction on proper hand washing techniques as needed

4. Maximize/Maintain Physical and Social Distancing
Carefirst will enable employees to maintain a physical distance of at least 2 metres from others through:

  • Use of barriers e.g. plexiglass in reception areas
  • Rearrangement of workplace and reception layouts (seating, use of tape to mark floors)
  • Requesting caregivers, attendants, family to wait for the patient outside the waiting rooms or on the main floor while patient receives care wherever possible to avoid overcrowding
  • Use of outdoor space
  • Schedules and/or coffee breaks to reduce the number of people sharing a space at the same time
  • Use of telephone/video conferencing

5. Self-Monitoring
Carefirst will:

  • Encourage employees to monitor their own symptoms at all times
  • Ensure employees know where to find the online COVID-19 self-assessment
  • Ask employees to use the tool at home if they have any COVID-19 symptoms and not to come to work if feeling ill
  • Ensure employees who have returned from travel in the last 14 days from outside of Canada or from a COVID-19 affected area within or outside of Ontario and/or have had a confirmed, unprotected exposure to a person with COVID-19 self-monitor for symptoms and observe government guidelines which may change from time-to-time.
  • Work with the local public health unit if employees have COVID-19 or are exposed to someone with COVID-19
  • Ask employees showing symptoms of COVID-19 at work to return home and self-isolate

6. Cleaning and Disinfection Protocols
Public Health Ontario recommends cleaning high-touch surfaces at least twice a day. In order to reduce transmission, Carefirst will:

  • Determine if there is a need to clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces and common areas more than twice a day
  • Assign tools, equipment and workstations to a single user if possible, or limit the number of users
  • Regularly clean and disinfect any shared equipment and tools, including between users

If you have questions or would like the full version of this policy please contact: anthea.li@carefirstontario.ca.

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