The safety and health of the employees of United Power Ltd. is of vital importance, and as outlined in our company manual, safety is a shared responsibility by all employees and shall be an integral component of work activities. We consider safety, not only for our staff, but for our clients personnel too. Our intent is to operate seamlessly with safety as our priority.
HEALTH HAZARDS OF COVID-19
COVID-19 has been declared a global pandemic and a public health emergency in British Columbia. SARS-CoV-2 is a virus that can cause the respiratory illness COVID-19. This illness can lead to hospitalization and death. The effects of COVID-19 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 of COVID-19 are likely to include fever, cough, sneezing, sore throat, difficulty breathing and loss of smell.
Exposure to the virus that causes COVID-19 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: Touching a contaminated surface and then touching another surface may cause the virus to transfer from one surface to another.
COVID-19 can be transmitted even by people who are not displaying symptoms of the disease. People who may be infected with COVID-19 should not come to work. This includes people who:
• Have or have had symptoms of COVID-19 in the past 10 days.
• Have travelled outside of Canada within the previous 14 days.
• Live with or have been in close contact to someone with COVID-19 (presumed or confirmed) within the past 14 days.
COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT
Three primary routes of transmission are anticipated for SARS-CoV-2, all of which need to be controlled. These include contact, droplet, and airborne transmission.
BREATHING IN DROPLETS OF AIR
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 (Social) distancing, maintaining 2 metres (6.5 feet) of distance from other people at all times, will reduce the risk of this occurring.
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 SARS-CoV-2 may transfer the virus from their hands or clothing to others during close contact.
Surfaces can become contaminated when droplets carrying SARS-CoV-2 deposit 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 SARS-CoV-2 can persist for several days on surfaces.
COVID-19 RISK CONTROL
In an attempt to reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2, United Power Ltd. has taken the following precautions:
• Supply of Face Masks
• Increased Lunchroom Size
• Installed a Temperature Reader
• Supply of Hand Sanitizer
• Supply of Alcohol Hand Wipes
• Daily Health Screening Sheet
CLEANING OF SHOP AND EQUIPMENT
All common areas and surfaces should be cleaned at the beginning and end of each day. Common areas include: Shared Offices, Common Tables, Desks, Light Switches and Door Handles. Company tools and equipment shall be cleaned before sharing with other employees and at the end of each day. Cleaning supplies will be available on site.
MASK WEARING GUIDELINES
A non-medical mask must be worn in all indoor common areas. Common areas include: Building Entryways, Hallways, Stairwells, Washrooms, Elevators, Study Areas and Lounges. Furthermore, a mask should be worn in any other situation where physical distancing is not possible and where signage informs a mask requirement.
The use of non-medical mask or re-usable cloth masks can help in containing your own droplets and protecting others but are not a substitute for physical distancing.
Re-usable cloth masks must be washed before they are reused and should be replaced when soiled or damaged.
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 60% alcohol. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to use the cleanser.
SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES
In person meetings should be avoided. Use of virtual meetings are to be utilized as much as possible.
If in person meetings are required, only essential members should meet and they must maintain physical distancing of 2 metres (6.5 feet) while wearing a mask at all times.
Unless protected by a physical partition, a 2-metre separation between individuals within washroom facilities need to be respected. Any equipment designated as closed shall not be used. Wearing a mask is also required in any washroom.
DELIVERIES AND LOADING DOCKS
Minimize your interactions between outside personnel and visitors. Try and avoid physical proof of delivery practices and opt for online confirmations where applicable. Always wear a mask during these interactions.
Avoid the use of elevators whenever possible and use the stairs. If an elevator must be used, then adhere to the posted capacity limit (or limit to 1 if not posted) and stand in the designated spaces. Follow any signage indicating where to wait for the elevators. While in an elevator, ensure there is adequate space for those exiting the elevator to maintain social distancing. Masks are mandatory while in an elevator or waiting for an elevator.
Before and after using any company vehicle, the steering wheel, doors and dash must be wiped down with alcohol wipes. These wipes will be provided and left in each vehicle. When more than one person is required to be in the vehicle, each person must where a mask.