‘Things will not be as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic’
The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS) has released an online course to guide businesses on how to safely return to work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Titled Pandemic Planning: Reopening for Business, the course will teach employers, supervisors, managers and workers how to prepare for a safe return to work, and what controls are needed to be put in place to protect everyone and minimize the impact of the pandemic.
“We know that as we start our return to the workplace and resuming activities outside of the home, things will not be as they were before the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anne Tennier, president and CEO of CCOHS. “Businesses and organizations are looking for information and guidance. We are providing that with this course to help minimize the spread of infection, and help employers and workers return to work as safely as possible.”
Topics covered in the course include:
- how coronavirus spreads and its symptoms
- employer and worker duties and responsibilities in a COVID-19 return to business plan
- methods of control, including cleaning and disinfecting
- how to manage the workplace and prepare workers for a safe return
- the impacts of a pandemic on mental health.
The course is available in French and English languages here.
“Prevention is the best way to keep your workplace healthy as we slowly recover from the pandemic,” said Randstad Canada.
It also previously shared some of the best practices that employers can do to maintain a safe and healthy work environment:
- Have a plan
- Communicate even if the situation is unchanged
- Set up recurring meetings with your employees
- Educate employees about proper health and safety practices
- Ensure employees keep their workspace clean
- Refrain from hugging, handshakes and cheek kissing
- Practice smart eating habits at work
- Ask employees to avoid unnecessary public spaces
- Employees who feel sick should work from home
- Carefully monitor the health of your workforce
Recently, the Manitoba government and its local partners enhanced and expanded B2B Manitoba, the health and safety online marketplace app, to allow businesses and not-for-profits to contract health and safety services.
Also, the federal government announced it is establishing the Essential Services Contingency Reserve, to which essential service organizations can apply for temporary, urgent access to personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies.