Occupational Health & Safety

Preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workforce & dealing w/outbreak

Recovery from Outbreak – What is on our mind:

 

  • Leadership – communication, setting the example

  • Establish benchmarks to ensure that old work habits do not resurface.  Sustaining the “New Normal”

  • Create a playbook that includes best practices for preventing spread of Covid-19 in a facility

  • Review by department and create plan for New /Physical/Social distancing

    • Establish physical reminders barriers missing chairs etc. Design consistent visual reminders

    • Training - Virtual and/or Physically distanced

    • Response to employee concerns

    • Monitoring of compliance to determine and respond to gaps

    • What areas need to be single person areas (one in one out)

  • Create a mechanism to review and address work processes that encounter issues either with the new standards or with productivity.  What is the blocker and how can we problem solve?

  • Compliance – reacting quickly to changing regulations

  • Protocols for managing employee related COVID-19 issues (health, childcare, family-care, etc.)

  • Personal Protective Equipment

    • How to properly use PPE - wear face masks and gloves in the workplace

    • Sourcing

    • Training/fitting

    • Disposal or Sanitizing protocols (Hazardous disposal requirements) Trash containers should be covered with pedal operation.

    • How will you manage previously shared safety equipment?  i.e. fall protection harnesses, face shields, safety glasses, etc.

  • What New safety measures are needed – i.e. temperature taking prior to shift, possible future – administering rapid COVID-19 testing, maintaining medical records and personal health information privacy.

  • Dealing with COVID-19 outbreaks in operating facilities

    • Identifying potential cases

    • Capacity for Contact Tracing

    • Partnership with Public health teams

    • Communication

    • Protection of Personal Health Information

  • Tele-Health Services Support for both onsite issues and worker’s compensation

  • Relationship with clinics to understand new processes for being seen.  Consider Occupational Health clinics vs Urgent care if possible, to decrease exposure for work related injuries

  • Redesigning first aid and emergency response plans to meet new risks

  • Monitor housekeeping services and ensure the plan is to clean and then sanitize.  Do you have the right capacity for ramped up cleaning and emergency response?

 

Moving to ‘new normal’ – What lies ahead:

 

  • Update Safety Management Policies and processes when the current policy no longer fits. –

  • Virtual Training capacity for initial and annual safety training and ad hoc training.

  • Employee assistance –Stress and Anxiety for employees or family members, Finance, Grief counseling, mental health concerns, substance abuse issues, etc.

  • Ramp up EAP services to ensure coverage for all employees consider adding resources and providing contact information to managers, supervisors

  • Wellness programs

    • Reinstitute or establish flu vaccine program for Influenza.

    • Consider potential for Pneumonia vaccine coverage.

  • Recording COVID-19 claims on OSHA logs. Determine if case is potentially reportable if work related and hospitalized.

  • Plan for inspections (public health, OSHA, etc.) Meeting and walkthrough should include standards established for physical distancing and any PPE needed.  Be prepared to discuss all the policies actively in place.

  • Establish a safe and healthy working environment, guidelines, policies, and communication plan

  • Plan for coverage of key personnel in the event of illness or absence.