Effective Date: April 1, 2020 Revision Date: December 15, 2020
The purpose of the COVID-19 SWP is to provide guidance necessary to maintain a safe work environment during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This SWP applies to all worksites and encompasses contracted work activities. This will ensure consistency and compliance with company, industry, and regulatory expectations relating to hazard and risk assessment, and providing effective control of known hazards in both routine and non -routine work situations.
The following definitions and acronyms are specific to the Blood Borne Pathogen Practice:
Coronavirus – Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people and others cause illness in animals. Human coronaviruses are common and are typically associated with mild illnesses, similar to the common cold.
COVID-19–is a new disease and a type of coronavirusthat has not been previously identified in humans. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people, and more rarely, these can then spread from person to person through close contact.
Incubation Period – the period between exposure to an infection and the appearance of the first symptoms
Exposure–The state of being exposed to contact with something
Physical(Social)Distancing–deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19
The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted from one person to another by means of exposure to bodily fluids or surfaces and items contaminated with these fluids. Workers exposed to COVID-19 pathogens are potentially at risk for serious or life-threatening illness. Human coronaviruses, including COVID-19 cause infections of the nose, throat and lungs. They are mostly spread from an infected person through:
respiratory droplets generated when you cough or sneeze
close, prolonged personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
touching something with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands
Current evidence suggests person-to-person spread has a higher likelihood to occur when there is close contact.
Those who are infected with COVID-19 may have little to no symptoms. You may not know you have symptoms of COVID-19 because they are similar to a cold or flu. Symptoms may take up to 14 days to appear after exposure to COVID-19. This is the longest known incubation period for this disease. We are currently investigating if the virus can be transmitted to others if someone is not showing symptoms. While experts believe that it is possible, it is considered less common.
Symptoms have included:
sneezing when presenting in conjunction with any of the above listed symptoms
In severe cases, infection can lead to death. Any individuals exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 are required to STAY HOME.
Coronavirus infections are diagnosed by a health care provider based on symptoms and are confirmed through laboratory tests. Currently Canada does not have rigorous and timely testing in place and the best prevention at this time is early symptom diagnosis followed by quarantine/isolation and to continue to follow strict hygiene and physical distancing protocols.
maintaining a distance of 2 meters from each other and any other individuals
regular handwashing with soap and warm water for minimum of 20 seconds and/or use of hand sanitizer with a minimum alcohol content of 60%
coughing & sneezing into elbow or tissue
not touch one’s face
regular sanitation of common touch points such as doorknobs, access handles, tools
decontamination of all shared workspaces and equipment with disinfectant products that contain a minimum of 60% alcohol content, decontamination will occur prior to hand off of the equipment and after receiving the equipment
Transportation to and from worksites shall be completed in a manner that reduces risk by managing personnel interaction. For company provided vehicles it is important that employees and visitors practice physical distancing.
Prior to driving in a company vehicle it is the driver’s responsibility to complete a daily vehicle inspection form
Single ridership is preferred and to be sought as much as possible
When single ridership is not achievable occupancy in vehicles is limited to TWO people per vehicle ensuring as much space between passengers as achievable, minimum of one empty seat/ space between occupants is required.
Face coverings(masks) will be required for passengers as an additional measure to prevent transmission during transportation.
Vehicles must be cleaned/ sanitized after each use
Effective November 19, 2020 masks are mandatory in all workplaces for shared work areas and areas where physical distancing cannot be maintained. This includes:
Masks must be worn when:
exhibiting symptoms and/or in proximity to someone who either has or is suspected to have COVID-19
travelling in a shared vehicle
performing First Aid assessments or response
Fit-tested half-face respirator with particulate cartridges can be used (please note that half-face respirators provide a higher level of protection than disposable respirators). Cloth or surgical masks are appropriate for use in shared space during meetings or riding in vehicles. N-95 masks are appropriate for administering first aid treatment.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN QUARANTINE (SELF-ISOLATE) AND ISOLATE
There is a difference between advice to quarantine (self-isolate) and advice to isolate. It is important to note these measures are in place to protect the health and safety of everyone.
Quarantine for 14 days if you have no symptoms and you:
are returning from travel outside of Canada
had close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have COVID-19
have been told by the public health authority that you may have been exposed and need to quarantine
Quarantine means that for 14 days you need to:
stay at home and monitor yourself for symptoms, even if mild
avoid contact with others to help prevent transmission of the virus at the earliest stage of illness
practice physical (social) distancing in your home and community
If you develop symptoms, even if mild, stay home and isolate yourself from others. Immediately call a health care professional or your public health authority.
You must isolate for at least 10 days if you have:
been diagnosed with COVID-19, or are waiting for laboratory test results for COVID-19
symptoms of COVID-19, even if mild
been in close contact with a suspected, probable or confirmed case of COVID-19
been advised to do so by your public health authority
returned from travel outside Canada and have symptoms of COVID-19 (mandatory)
Isolation means you must go directly home and stay home for:
A minimum of 10 days after the onset of your first symptoms of COVID-19; AND
Fever has resolved without use of fever-reducing medication; AND
Symptoms (respiratory, gastrointestinal, and systemic) have improved.
HEALTH CHECKING & REPORTING
All crews shall comply with compliance reporting as required by Clients for Contractor Travel or Site Access. Examples: BC Hydro COVID-19 Compliance Form to be submitted weekly for ongoing vegetation maintenance work and Teck Coal COVID-19 Take 5 completed daily prior to site arrival.
Team members will self-check using the Canadian COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool (https://ca.thrive.health/covid19/en) and not come to work if self-isolating, have symptoms, or have been out of country within the past 14 days
Team members in self isolation or quarantine will record symptoms for the entire isolation/quarantine period on the ‘COVID-19 Daily Monitoring Form’. Nupqu’s Health & Safety Manager will be responsible for providing the form and tracking the submissions.
These protocols outline measures to be implemented in the event an employee is identified as experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or is confirmed to have COVID-19.
RESPONSE PROCEDURE – SYMPTOMATIC EMPLOYEE AT HOME
Response procedure in the event an employee contacts their Project Manager from home to advise they are now experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19:
Project Manager to ask the employee not to come into work and to self-isolate for at least 10 days.
Project Mangers should tell the employee that Nupqu’s Health and Safety Manager
will be calling them to go through Nupqu’s Daily Monitoring Form.
Request employees contact their Public Health authority or family physician to inform them of their symptoms and for further guidance.
If an employee reports a positive test to COVID-19, please notify the Health and
Safety Manager immediately so actions can be discussed. Employee medical privacy and confidentiality MUST be preserved.
Employees who have recovered from a positive case can only return to work with a medical clearance from a qualified medical practitioner.
Nupqu’s President and or Health and Safety Manger will communicate internally
and externally to inform confirmed cases of COVID-19 in a timely manner.
RESPONSE PROCEDURE – SYMPTOMATIC EMPLOYEE AT WORK
Identify the employee’s current location within the operation and ask them to stay
there if possible and safely stop their work or vehicle.
The Response Team member(s) shall first don PPE as required.
Request that the Team member exhibiting signs of COVID-19 dons an N95/KN95 respirator mask immediately (where available, an N95/KN95 without an exhalation valve should be provided)
Call your Project Manager immediately and other site support if available letting them know that you have activated the above steps.
Standby for further direction from supervisors
FIRST AID RESPONSE FOR OFA LEVEL 1 CERTIFIED
Providing first aid during the COVID-19 pandemic can raise questions around safety and transmission. Outlined below are the first aid protocols that should be followed when attending to an unresponsive person.
When responding to a responsive or unresponsive patient, it is recommended that responders don appropriate PPE- mask, disposable suit, gloves, glasses. Ensure that the patient is wearing a mask when dealing with a responsive patient. If dealing with an unresponsive patient an alternative face covering such as a towel or cloth can be used. Where possible complete first aid assessments while maintaining social distances of two meters.
According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, the COVID-19 situation is rapidly evolving, and an individual’s risk is variable depending on location. If someone’s heart stops, and the First Aider is concerned they may have had respiratory symptoms, it is at the individual’s discretion to perform or not perform mouth-to-mouth breaths based on personal preference. It is still important to call emergency medical services and find an AED. If the individual chooses to perform breaths, they can also use a barrier device, such as a pocket mask, to help protect themselves.
CPR with breaths is recommended for people who have been trained in CPR, but as an alternative, hands- only CPR can be performed until help arrives if the First Aider is unsure about putting their mouth on a
stranger’s mouth, or has concerns the person may have COVID-19. If the individual chooses to perform hands-only CPR, they should first call 9-1-1, lay a cloth, a towel, or clothing over the person’s mouth and nose to prevent any potential spread of the virus through contaminated air or saliva, and then push hard and fast in the centerof the person’s chest until advanced help arrives. If the First Aider believes the person may have COVID-19, they should state their concerns to the emergency response telecommunicator so everyone who responds can be aware of the potential for COVID-19 transmission.
The potential for exposure to COVID-19 needs to be assessed and, where contact may reasonably be expected to occur, controls need to be implemented.
Potential exposure to COVID-19 needs to be maintained as low as possible.
Work situations and jobs with increased risk potential include but are not limited to the following:
Any worker or contractor required to provide first aid
Medics, nurses and doctors
Cleanup activities following an injury where blood or bodily fluids have been spilled
Contact with contaminated food, drugs, or water
A comprehensive Exposure Control Plan (ECP) must be developed and implemented for each work site to eliminate or minimize the risks and hazards. A new Exposure Control Plan (ECP) must be completed whenever employees are on a new worksite or employee worksite arrangements change (ie. addition of new team member or new work-space set up)
SITE SPECIFIC EXPOSURE CONTROL PLAN (ECP)
A site-specific Exposure Control Plan (ECP) must:
Identify any worker(s) who may be exposed
Identify tasks or conditions that may put workers at risk of exposure
Describe the ways in which infectious material can enter a worker’s body and the risks associated
with that entry
Describe the protection required to eliminate risk of entry
Describe the signs and symptoms of COVID-19
Describe infection control measures to be used, such as the following:
Safety-engineered devices and equipment
Health assessments appropriate to the hazard
Personal protective equipment
Safe work practices and procedures
Standard practices that incorporate universal precautions
The hazard of worker exposure must be managed in accordance with the hierarchy of controls:
Elimination of the hazard
Engineering controls e.g. enclose the hazard, isolate the hazard, remove or redirect the hazard
Administrative controls e.g. develop policies and procedures
Personal protective equipment
A combination of controls may be required to protect the health and safety of the worker(s)
Identify the limitations of the infection control measures described above
Set out procedures to be followed in each of the following circumstances:
If there has been a spill or leak of an infectious material or organism
If a worker has been exposed
If a worker believes that they have been exposed
Set out the methods of cleaning, disinfecting, or disposing of clothing, personal protective equipment, and/or other equipment contaminated with and infectious material or organism that must be followed and indicate who is responsible for carrying out those activities
Require the investigation of all exposure incidents be reviewed as necessary for a specific incident or to reflect advances in infection control measures
Be readily available to every worker who may be exposed
All employees who are at risk from exposure to COVID-19 must be trained in the following:
Applicable Exposure Control Plan (ECP)
Use of PPE required for the task
Additional training is required when changes, such as modifications of tasks and procedures or
implementing of new tasks or procedures, affect the employee’s occupation exposure.
Roles and responsibilities specific to this ECP are described below;
HEALTH & SAFETY COORDINATOR
Health & Safety Coordinator is responsible for:
Documenting and monitoring status of individuals in quarantine or isolation
Working with supervisors and workers to coordinate returning to work following quarantine or isolation
Supervisors are responsible to:
Identify work tasks potentially involving exposure to COVID-19
Ensure that the risks of exposure to COVID-19 are assessed, and the appropriate controls are implemented, and where necessary, an exposure control plan is developed
Maintain essential supplies including sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and nitrile gloves
Ensure all workers have been provided awareness training on the ECP
WORKERS AND CONTRACTORS
Workers are responsible to:
Complete an ECP for their site or become familiar with an existing ECP developed for their site (a COVID-19 Site Specific Exposure Control Plan Template is available below in Appendix A)
Implement and maintain a current Exposure Control Plan that is kept on site, available for review
Be trained in the equipment necessary to implement the Exposure Control Plan
Mitigations to COVID Related Project Delays & Interruptions:
Nupqu is engaging existing partners as well as subcontractors to acquire additional resources in order to meet contract obligations
Proactively acquired & distributed and continuing to acquire COVID specific PPE Exposure Control Plan development as prevention
APPENDIX A – SITE SPECIFIC EXPOSURE CONTROL PLAN TEMPLATE
Worker(s)who may be exposed:
Tasks and conditions:
Ways infectious material can enter body:
Risks associated with entry:
Potential signs and symptomsofCOVID-19:
List Control measures:
Hand washing: Readily accessible hand washing facilities shall be provided, or, if this is not feasible, an appropriate antiseptic hand cleanser and clean cloth or paper towels. In any case, employees shall wash hands with soap and running water as soon as feasible after removal of gloves or other personal protective equipment
Eating,Drinking,etc.: Eating, drinking, applying cosmetics or lip balm, and handling contact lenses are prohibited in work areas where there is a reasonable likelihood of occupational exposure. Food and drink shall not be kept where potentially infectious materials are present
Splashing, Spraying, Spattering: All tasks involving potentially infectious materials shall be performed so as to minimize splashing, spraying, spattering, and generation of droplets
Potentially Contaminated Equipment: Any equipment that may be contaminated shall be decontaminated prior to use
Personal Protective Equipment:Personal protective equipment shall be repaired or replaced as needed to maintain its effectiveness. All personal protective equipment shall be removed prior to leaving the work area
Gloves:Gloves shall be worn when it is reasonably anticipated that employees may have hand contact with blood, other potentially infectious materials, mucous membranes, and non-intact skin. Gloves shall also be worn when handling or touching contaminated items or surfaces. Disposable gloves shall be replaced as soon as practical when contaminated, torn, punctured, or otherwise compromised in their ability to function as a barrier
Housekeeping: All equipment, environmental and working surfaces shall be cleaned and decontaminated with an appropriate disinfectant after contact with potentially infectious material. Decontamination shall occur immediately or as soon as feasible after any contamination of surfaces with potentially infectious materials.
Post Exposure Evaluation and Follow-Up: Following a report of an exposure incident, the supervisor shall ensure that the team member conducts an online COVID-19 Self Assessment and follow-up symptom monitoring documents are made available to the exposed employee. Employees who have had close contact with someone who is or is suspected to have COVID-19 will enter a mandatory Quarantine period.
See above sections for an outline of what a Quarantine period involves.