Good public health practices can minimize transmission of respiratory infections, including COVID-19, influenza, and common colds. These practices include proper hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, enhanced cleaning and disinfecting, and staying home when sick.
Johnston Builders will:
- Support employees to stay home when sick including guidance on isolation and quarantine if necessary.
- Provide information on vaccines and their role in workplace health and safety.
- Encourage frequent hand washing and make hand sanitizer and wash stations available throughout the workplace.
- Encourage all individuals on our work sites to follow respiratory etiquette.
- Provide adequate space to avoid overcrowding in workspaces, office areas and trailers.
- Provide frequent cleaning and disinfecting.
- Continue to research and test alternatives to in-person interactions when required.
- Provide appropriate PPE to our employees (i.e., gloves, masks, physical barriers, etc.)
- Develop and communicate best practices and procedures to provide clear guidance to employees, subcontractors and other stakeholders on the hazards associated with respiratory illnesses and how to best mitigate them.
To provide direction on maintaining good hygiene, cleaning procedures and illness management for all work sites (offices included) to minimize the impact of the respiratory infections (i.e., COVID-19, influenza, or the common cold). This procedure will encompass infection prevention best practices, additional measures of protection, specific procedures for handling sickness and infections, and COVID-19 specific protocols.
Infection Prevention Best Practices
Vaccines help prevent people from getting infected and protect them from getting severely sick if they do become ill. Where vaccines are available (i.e., for COVID-19 or the flu), JBL strongly recommends that all eligible individuals be immunized.
Isolation and Quarantine
Isolating and quarantine can help prevent the spread of respiratory infections by reducing the number of people who could be infected by a sick person. JBL requires employees to stay home when sick. If you arrive at the work site while presenting with symptoms related to respiratory infections, you will be asked to return home and isolate until symptoms are resolved.
Respiratory infections tend to spread rapidly in enclosed, small spaces with a large number of people. Increasing space between people reduces the risk of transmission. JBL will help to promote and increase spacing between workers and other site attendees by:
- Arranging seating/tables/workstations to allow for spacing between workers.
- Reducing the number of attendees in a location at one time where possible.
- Encouraging workers to check in on other’s comfort level and increasing spacing where requested.
- Monitoring the number of attendees on site and managing workforce numbers where necessary.
- Researching and offering safe alternatives, where appropriate, to in-person interactions (i.e., outdoor options for meetings, contactless deliveries, work-from-home arrangements when applicable, and virtual meetings).
Hand Hygiene and Respiratory Etiquette
- Promote frequent and proper hand hygiene for all workers.
- Provide hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol and hand washing facilities on all worksites.
- Post signage and directives on proper hand washing procedures.
- Promote proper respiratory etiquette in the workplace (i.e., coughing or sneezing into a bent elbow, promptly disposing of used tissues in a lined garbage bin, etc.).
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Arrange for frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high traffic areas.
- Use products approved by Health Canada.
Personal Protective Equipment
- Regularly evaluate the need for specific PPE (i.e., barriers, masks) as part of ongoing hazard assessments.
- Encourage workers to wear face coverings when unable to maintain 2m of physical distancing with others.
- Support individuals in their choice to wear a mask where it doesn’t inhibit the activities being done.
- Respond to employees or attendees if they are exhibiting symptoms of a respiratory disease at the workplace.
General Infection Prevention Procedures
Hand Washing Procedure
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. How to apply hand sanitizer:
- Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
- Rub your hands together.
- Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds
Workplace Sanitation Procedure
Wiping down high traffic areas will reduce the spread of viruses in areas which come into contact with various people throughout the day. The following areas require frequent cleaning:
- Door handles
- Entrance doors
- Shared kitchens and bathrooms
- Light switches
- Vehicle steering wheels
- Remote controls
Follow the appropriate steps to ensure proper sanitization:
- Select appropriate cleaning product.
- Review product Safety Data Sheet prior to use.
- Spray area to be cleaned and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Wipe area with disposable cloth.
- Dispose of cloth in garbage.
- Wash/sanitize hands thoroughly.
Respiratory Infection Identification Procedure
In order to minimize the risk of transmitting illness to others in the workplace it is important to watch for the symptoms of respiratory infection in yourself and others. The most common symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
- Runny nose or congestion
- Acute or intense fatigue
- Generalized muscle aches (not from physical activity)
- Significant loss of appetite
- Loss of taste and/or smell
Stay-at-home Initiative and Isolation Procedure
If you are ill, stay home. Employees are required to stay home from work if they present with any of the core symptoms of respiratory infection (including COVID-19) that are not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition. If you have any of the above core symptoms:
- Self-isolate, avoid contact with anyone you could potentially spread an infection to.
- Contact your supervisor and inform them that you will not be attending work.
- Contact 811 or complete a self-assessment online:
- Follow the advice you are given by your local Health Authority.
- Get tested if advised.
- Review your local isolation/quarantine requirements.
Isolation and quarantine requirements may differ for fully or partially vaccinated individuals. You are considered fully vaccinated 14 days after receiving:
- both doses in a 2-dose vaccine series; or
- 1 dose in a 1 dose vaccine series.
Individuals are considered partially vaccinated 14 days after receiving the first dose in a 2-dose vaccine series
Suspected Case of COVID-19 on Site
If you or another worker show symptoms of COVID-19 you must immediately report it to your supervisor and follow the Isolation Procedure:
- Stop all work.
- Distance yourself from others or other worker showing symptoms.
- Report to your supervisor.
- Move potentially infectious person away from other workers, customers and/or visitors.
- Isolate in area with closeable doors.
- Ask individual to wear a mask (if available and tolerable).
- Restrict personnel from entering isolation area.
- Protect workers in close contact with sick person who have had prolonged and/or repeated contact.
- Report to management for next steps.
- Participate in Incident Investigation and documentation.
In the event of a confirmed case:
All areas on site potentially infected by a confirmed or probable case are barricaded to keep individuals two metres away until the area is properly cleaned and disinfected.
JBL will inform other workers that they may have been exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace, including details regarding the date and time of the potential exposure and where it took place. However, information that might identify the infectious person will not be shared.
Management will review incident specifics on a case-by-case basis and make a determination on the shutdown of a work site (requirement, duration, mitigation procedures) based on results of the incident investigation.