The World Health Organization on Wednesday March 11, 2020 declared the novel coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.There are 118,000 cases, more than 4,000 deaths, the agency said, and the virus has found a foothold on every continent except for Antarctica.
We continue to monitor the situation in Canada, following all regulatory recommendations to prevent the spread of this virus. The Canadian government is providing information regarding travel advisories and requirements for self isolation when returning from abroad on their website:
Pandemics and Health and Safety Legislation
Health and safety legislation requires all employers under the “general duty clause,” to take all reasonable precautions to prevent injuries or accidents in the workplace. To reduce the effects of a pandemic, an employer should practice due diligence by taking reasonable precautions. Education and awareness are key at this time:
- Employers should encourage good hygiene, including hand washing. Provide hand sanitizer as available.
- Ensure cleanliness of surfaces where the virus may reside (door handles, elevator buttons, shared telephones, etc.).
- Maintaining good ventilation.
- Ensure sick or leave policies are up to date and clearly communicated to staff.
- Encourage employees to stay home when they are sick.
- Allow for employees to work at home or in staggered shifts.
- Have a policy where people with flu symptoms are not allowed access to the workplace – this includes workers, contractors and visitors.
Download your free poster from CCOHS Prevent the Spread Hygiene Habits to Protect Against Viruses: