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Health Hazards of Infectious Diseases

Infectious disease has been declared a global pandemic and a public health emergency in British Columbia. It is a virus that can cause respiratory illness and can lead to hospitalization and death. The effects of these diseases are expected to be much more severe than for seasonal influenza because most people will not have any immunity to the virus. Seniors and people with underlying health issues (including heart disease, diabetes and lung disease) are at a higher risk of hospitalization and death, but young and healthy people are also at risk.

 

Symptoms

Infectious diseases are likely to include fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat and difficulty breathing.

 

Transmission

Exposure to these illnesses can occur by:

• Breathing in droplets in the air that are generated when people cough or sneeze

• Close contact with other people (e.g. shaking hands or hugging)

• Touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face, mouth, or food.

Note that touching a contaminated surface and then touching another surface may cause the virus to transfer from one surface to another

They can be transmitted even by people who are not displaying symptoms of the disease. People who may be infected with these types of illnesses should not come to work. This includes people who:

• Have symptoms of COVID-19

• Have travelled outside of Canada within the previous 14 days 

• Have been exposed to someone with these types of sicknesses

• Share a home with someone who has symptoms 

• Share a home with someone who has been exposed to these types of illnesses

Statement of Purpose

United Landscapes is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace for all of our staff. A combination of measures will be used to minimize worker exposure, including the most effective control technologies available. Our work procedures will protect not only our workers, but also other workers who enter our facilities. All employees must follow the procedures outlined in this plan to prevent or reduce exposure.

Responsibilities

Employer Responsibilities

Our company will:

• Ensure that the materials (for example, gloves, alcohol-based hand rubs, and washing facilities) and other resources (for example, worker training materials) required to implement and maintain the plan are readily available where and when they are required.

• Ensure that workers are able to maintain physical distancing (2 meters apart) at all times while completing their work safely.

• Select, implement, and document the appropriate site-specific control measures.

• Ensure that supervisors and workers are educated and trained to an acceptable level of competency.

• Ensure that workers use appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) — for example, gloves, gowns, eye protection, and respirators.

• Conduct a periodic review of the plan’s effectiveness. This includes a review of the available control technologies to ensure that these are selected and used when practical.

• Maintain records of training and inspections.

• Ensure that a copy of the exposure control plan is available to workers.

 

Supervisor Responsibilities

Our supervisors will:

• Ensure that workers are adequately instructed on the controls for the hazards at the location.

• Ensure that workers use proper respirators, they have been fit tested, and the results are recorded.

• Ensure that physical distancing measures are maintained.

• Direct work in a manner that eliminates or minimizes the risk to workers.

 

Worker Responsibilities

Our workers will:

• Maintain physical distance (2 m)

• Know the hazards of workplace.

• Follow established work procedures as directed by the employer or supervisor.

• Use any required PPE as instructed.

• Report any unsafe conditions or acts to the supervisor.

• Know how and when to report exposure incidents

Risk Identification and Assessment

Three primary routes of transmission are anticipated, all of which need to be controlled. These include contact, droplet, and airborne transmission.

 

Breathing in droplets in the air

BCCDC advises that coronavirus is not transmitted through airborne transmission, however, if somebody coughs or sneezes, they do generate droplets which are airborne for at least a short period of time but do not float in the air and generally fall to the ground within one to two meters. Anybody who is near the individual may risk breathing in these droplets. Physical distancing (maintaining 2 meters of distance from other people at all times) will reduce the risk of this occurring.

 

Close Contact

Close contact refers to physical contact with another person, for example shaking hands or hugging. When people cough or sneeze, droplets may deposit on their skin or clothing, especially if they cough or sneeze into their hands. People who are carriers of may transfer the virus from their hands or clothing to others during close contact.

 

Surface Contact

Surfaces can become contaminated when droplets carrying these diseases are deposited on them, or when they are touched by a person who is infected. Surface contact involves a worker touching a contaminated object such as a table, doorknob, telephone, or computer keyboard or tool, and then touching the eyes, nose, or mouth. Surface contact is important to consider because some of these diseases can persist for several days on surfaces.

Risk Assessment for Infectious Diseases

The following risk assessment table is adapted from WorkSafeBC Regulation Guideline G6.34-6. Using this guideline as a reference, we have determined that the risk level of our workers is low when they maintain physical distancing. Our workers work on an agricultural work site and have little contact with the general public.

LOW RISK

Workers who typically have no contact with people infected 

MODERATE RISK

Workers who may be exposed to infected people from time to time in relatively large, well ventilated workspaces

HIGH RISK

Workers who may have contact with infected patients, or with infected people in small, poorly ventilated workspaces

HAND HYGIENE

Yes (washing with soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand rub, or using hand wipes that contain effective disinfectant)

Yes (washing with soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand rub, or using hand wipes that contain effective disinfectant)

Yes (washing with soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand rub, or using hand wipes that contain effective disinfectant)

DISPOSABLE GLOVES

Not required

Not required (unless handling contaminated objects on a regular basis)

Yes in some cases (for example, when working directly with COVID-19 patients)

APRONS/GOWNS

BODY PROTECTION

Not required

Not required (unless handling contaminated objects on a regular basis)

Yes in some cases (for example, when working directly with COVID-19 patients)

EYE PROTECTION

GOGGLES OR

FACESHIELD

Not required

Not required

Yes in some cases (for example, when working directly with COVID-19 patients)

AIRWAY

PROTECTION

RESPIRATORS

Not required

Not required (unless likely to be exposed to coughing and sneezing)

Yes (minimum N95 respirator or equivalent)

Risk Control

The WorkSafeBC Regulation requires employers to implement infectious disease controls in the following order of preference:

1. Engineering controls

2. Administrative controls

3. Personal protective equipment (PPE)

 

It is not necessary to implement engineering controls in our workplace because the risk of exposure can be controlled using administrative controls (for example, physical distancing, hand washing, surface cleaning and cough/sneeze etiquette) and PPE (respirators).

 

Administrative Controls

1. Requirement for Daily Self Assessments to be completed by all staff before arriving at the

workplace, with worker sign off for confirmation of health before entering the workplace each

day.

 

2. Workplace risk assessments have been completed to identify all work areas occupancy limits for safe occupancy. Signs are posted on doorways with allowable number of occupants in all

affected locations.

 

3. Sanitization and enhanced cleaning protocols as well as personal hygiene are in place, including instructions for proper handwashing and hygiene sneezing etiquette as attached to this document.

 

4. Physical distancing measures are always in place for all workers to maintain 2-meter social distancing.

 

5. Workplace spaces have been reconfigured where necessary to ensure social distancing can be maintained in an effective way wherever possible.

 

6. Workers able to work from home have been identified and issued to work from home to reduce the number of people in the workplace.

 

7. Numbers of customers have been restricted in the workplace and notified by our occupancy limit posted at the entrance to our business (if applicable).

 

8. Work schedules have been reviewed, and where possible and necessary modified to reduce the number of workers on site at one time.

 

9. Workers are trained and educated to report issues related to physical distancing in the workplace for expedited attention to resolve any concerns/issues.

Physical Controls (Including PPE)

1. Barriers have been installed at permanent work locations where people will be close to one

another.

 

2. Barriers are installed and maintained correctly and effectively.

 

3. Ongoing assessments are completed to ensure there are no issues with workers moving around them to communicate.

 

4. Workers are trained and educated to communicate any concerns or issues related to physical

barriers for expedited attention to resolve any issues.

 

5. Masks are implemented as mandatory for all indoor workspaces, even where barriers are

present.

 

6. Masks must be appropriate for the workplace and work processes with the minimum coverage as specified by WorkSafeBC, CCDC and other regulatory bodies.

 

7. Workers are given information and instructions for proper use and care of masks.

 

8. Customers are required to wear masks before, and during any entry to our business.

 

9. Workers are trained an educated to report any issues related to physical controls in the

workplace for expedited attention to resolve any concerns/issues.Risk Control

Daily Self Attestation

Are you experiencing any of the following: Check off all of the symptoms you are experiencing right now?

  • Severe difficulty breathing (e.g. struggling to breathe or speaking in single words)

  • Severe chest pain

  • Having a very hard time waking up

  • Feeling confused

  • Losing consciousness

Are you experiencing any of the following?

  • Mild to moderate shortness of breath

  • Inability to lie down because of difficulty breathing

¨  Chronic health conditions that you are having difficulty managing because of difficulty breathing

 

Select the symptoms you have. If you are not experiencing any symptoms, select "None of the above."

  • Fever or chills                                                   ¨  Diarrhea

  • Cough                                                              ¨  Loss of appetite

  • Difficulty breathing                                            ¨  Nausea or vomiting

  • Sore throat                                                        ¨  Body aches

  • Loss of sense of smell or taste                           ¨  Extreme fatigue or tiredness

  • Headache                                                         ¨  None of the above

 

Have you returned to Canada from any country (including the United States) within the last 14 days?

¨  Yes            ¨  No

Did you have close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19 within the last 14 days? *A close contact is someone confirmed to have COVID-19 who you live with or otherwise had close face to face contact (within 2 metres) while they had symptoms or in the 48 hours before their symptoms started.

¨  Yes            ¨  No

If any of the conditions or symptoms apply to you, DO NOT enter this workplace. Go home and use the BC. COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool available online and follow any public health advice you have been given.

Physical Controls (Including PPE)

·    Barriers have been installed at permanent work locations where people will be close to one another.

 

·    Barriers are installed and maintained correctly and effectively.

 

·    Ongoing assessments are completed to ensure there are no issues with workers moving around them to communicate.

 

·     Workers are trained and educated to communicate any concerns or issues related to physical

      barriers for expedited attention to resolve any issues.

 

·      Masks are implemented as mandatory for all indoor workspaces, even where barriers are present.

 

·      Masks must be appropriate for the workplace and work processes with the minimum coverage as specified by                         WorkSafeBC, CCDC and other regulatory bodies.

 

·      Workers are given information and instructions for proper use and care of masks.

 

·      Customers are required to wear masks before, and during any entry to our business.

 

·      Workers are trained an educated to report any issues related to physical controls in the

·      Workplace for expedited attention to resolve any concerns/issues Risk Control

Hand Washing

Hand washing is one of the best ways to minimize the risk of infection. Proper hand washing helps prevent the transfer of infectious material from the hands to other parts of the body—particularly the eyes, nose, and mouth—or to other surfaces that are touched.

Wash your hands immediately:

• Before leaving a work area

• After handling materials that may be contaminated

• Before eating, drinking, smoking, handling contact lenses, or applying makeup.

Use soap and warm running water. (It doesn’t have to be hot to do the job.) If water is unavailable, use a waterless hand cleanser that has at least 70% alcohol. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the cleanser.   

Cough/Sneeze Etiquette

Our workers are expected to follow cough/sneeze etiquette, which is a combination of measures that minimizes the transmission of diseases via droplet or airborne routes. Cough/sneeze etiquette includes the following components:

 

• Educate workers in control measures, including hand washing.

• Post signs at entry points to instruct everyone about control measures.

• Cover your mouth and nose with a sleeve or tissue when coughing or sneezing.

• Use tissues to contain secretions, and dispose of them promptly in a waste container.

• Offer surgical masks to people who are coughing.

• Turn your head away from others when coughing or sneezing.

• Wash hands regularly.

 

If Workers Show Symptoms of COVID-19

If workers are ill with COVID-19, they should stay home. If they develop symptoms of COVID-19 while at work, they should leave the workplace. Workers should only return to the workplace once they have recovered from COVID-19. Workers should inform their manager or supervisor if they are ill with COVID-19.

 

Workers who suspect they may have COVID-19 should use the BC Self-Assessment Tool: https://covid19.thrive.health or call 811 for assistance.

Worker Training

Our workers will receive training in the following:

• The risk of exposure to and the signs and symptoms of the disease

• Safe work procedures to be followed, including hand washing, physical distancing and cough/sneeze etiquette

• Location of washing facilities, including dispensing stations for alcohol-based hand rubs

• How to seek first aid

• How to report an exposure to or symptoms.

Health Monitoring

 Our workers will promptly report any symptoms to their manager or supervisor and the first aid attendant.\

Record Keeping

Our company will keep records of instruction and training provided to workers regarding infectious diseases, as well as exposure reports and first aid records.

 

Continual Review

We will review the exposure control plan every year and update it as necessary, in consultation with our joint health and safety committee or worker health and safety representative.

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