Health & Safety Planning – Coronavirus 2020

The Public Health Agency of Canada estimates that during pandemics, up to 15 to 35 percent of the population could become sick and be unable to go to school or work. This does not include those that may contract a specific virus and feel ill, but continue their usual activities. The most significant impact on the private sector is likely to be disruption due to employee absenteeism.

Personal hygiene (hand washing, covering nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing), environmental cleaning (rigorous cleaning of all hard surfaces in the workplace), social distancing (avoiding crowds, travel) and possibly screening workers to exclude ill persons, are all strategies aimed at keeping the workforce healthy. In addition, advance planning by our firm, owners and managers will be critical to protecting employees’ health, limiting negative economic impacts, and ensuring the continued delivery of essential services like food, medicine, water and power. It will be up to every business to prepare its own continuity plan.

Our planning will address these questions:

  • How will we maintain business operations when 15 to 35 percent of the workforce falls ill and up to 50 percent of our workforce may be absent at one time?
  • How can we adapt our existing continuity of operations plans to take this kind of human resources impact into account?
  • How will we cope when the other businesses and suppliers we rely on experience the same absentee rates?
  • How will we adapt to disruptions in the supply chain for the raw materials, goods, and services you require, and how will we get our product to the consumer if our distribution network is hit with high absentee rates?
  • How can existing return-to-work and travel policies be adapted to control the spread of this virus among employees?
  • How will we limit the economic impact of a flu or other pandemic on our business?

Continuity planning for a pandemic should include:

  1. Identification of our essential business activities (and core people to keep them running),
  2. Measures to ensure these are backed-up with alternative arrangements,
  3. Mitigation of business/economic disruptions, including possible shortages of supplies, and
  4. Minimizing illness among employees, suppliers, and customers.

We will be guided by the World Health Company’s advisements along with any health releases from our Federal and Provincial governments. As each pandemic is different, so must our response be different to address the real conditions present. We will design and implement a program suited to each set of circumstances as required. Personal hygiene practices are a key element of pandemic control. Know that we will address each circumstance with specific plans and directives. Generic plans do NOT help curtail the actual spread of a specific virus.

Coronavirus Safety Precautions

Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 2 metres (6 feet) physical distance from others and especially from anyone coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early
Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider
Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.
Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

  • Follow the guidance outlined above.
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.