How to Limit the Spread of COVID on Worksites

As a province, British Columbia has now transitioned to Phase 3 of the COVID Restart Plan. This allows for smart, safe, and respectful travel within B.C. However, the guidelines and precautions from Phase 2 are still in place. 

Below are a few tips to help ensure that your worksite is maintaining guidelines and keeping your staff safe.

Easy Access to Disinfectant 

Ensuring that there is disinfectant accessible in every work area is key. This should include hand-sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, or a spray bottle and paper towel that can be disposed of after use. Having these materials accessible to your team encourages their use and helps keep everyone safe. 

Disinfect Surfaces & Objects 

At the beginning and end of each shift, crews should be given time to disinfect their areas. This includes offices, washrooms, the inside of vehicles, tools, door handles, and any other high touch surfaces. Disinfecting these surfaces and spaces regularly will significantly decrease the risk of spreading any type of germs. Disinfecting should happen multiple times throughout the day! 

When possible, advise staff to use only personal tools and avoid sharing. When the sharing of tools is required, gloves should be worn and disinfectant used between each use. Gloves worn (even if they are not one-time use), should be changed after touching shared materials.

Social Distancing 

It is important to maintain social distance between co-workers. Businesses are required to have a plan and safety measures in place to accommodate these guidelines, but in certain fields of work, this can be quite difficult. Making sure that PPE (personal protective equipment) is available and used properly by staff is key in situations where social distancing may not be possible. 

A reminder that any reusable fabric PPE should be washed daily and only used by one employee throughout the day! 

Where social distancing is possible, proper adjustments must be made. This includes areas such as lunch areas, washrooms, meeting spaces, and any other area where co-workers regularly come into contact with one another. This is especially important in remote work areas where normal ‘office’ protocols might not be possible. It is a team effort to keep everyone safe and healthy and each team member should understand the importance of playing their part! 

Assign Duties & Equipment Use 

Another way to accommodate social distancing is by assigning team members to specific duties or equipment. Examples of this include:

  • Assigning specific employees to one vehicle/machine and having no more than one driver per vehicle and one passenger to a vehicle.
  • Having one person assigned to enter equipment trailers, and retrieve supplies as needed rather than allowing all employees to take supplies on demand. 

Strategies such as these can help minimize possible contact points, helping to limit outside contaminants and exposures.

Overall, workplaces are having to adapt. These are some general guidelines on how to maintain social distancing and ensure workspaces are properly sanitized to keep your workers safe. For more information be sure to check out your local government’s website.